Thursday, November 17, 2016

Back With a Smugness

There's been much discussion in the media of "fake news" recently, specifically on Facebook where some wiseass may have gotten Donald Trump elected President or something.

Not being a Facebook user I am blissfully ignorant of the manner in which word travels on that platform, but I have certainly witnessed the "too lazy and/or gullible to tell fact from fiction" phenomenon firsthand.  Indeed, I myself am guilty of creating at least one falsehood now regarded as fact.  It all started in 2008, when I made up this quote:

Give me good books, good conversations, and my Trek Y-Foil, and I shall want for nothing else. –George Plimpton

I thought nothing of it because, after all, look at George Plimpton:


Now look at a Y-Foil:


As tempting as it is to imagine Plimpton riding around the Upper East Side on a Y-Foil sporting a wicker handlebar basket with a baguette in it, it seemed fairly obvious to me that my fabricated quote was well within the realm of parody.

Also, the Y-Foil came out in 1998, at which time Plimpton was 71 years old.

Nevertheless, somebody bought it.  Not just anybody, either, but the editor-in-chief of the Paris Review:


And since then a quick Googling reveals it's now entered the canon of actual quotes:


I deeply regret posthumously and inexorably associating George Plimpton with one of the most horrendous bicycles of the 20th century, but sadly once these things get absorbed into the culture there's simply no way to undo them, as Richard Gere and his imaginary ass-gerbil know all too well.

Oh sure, it's easy to blame the Internet, but the medium is largely incidental.  This is as old as human communication itself.  Consider another load of bullshit called "The Bible."  It's mostly the fake news of its day, yet millenia later we're still living by it and fighting wars over it.  And hey, look at that, we just elected a president who campaigned on banning Muslims.  Whaddya know.

Maybe that's why Gandhi said this:


Or was it Bachman Turner Overdrive?

I get confused.

Then there was the time I tweeted this:
I thought that was even more ridiculous than the Y-Foil thing, but people have asked me if it's true.

(If you meditate on any image today, let it be Grant Petersen driving the California Coast in a Ferrari with a Y-Foil on the trunk rack.)

In other news, remember how my WorkCycles FR8 (shown here with my smallest human child for maximum pathos) was stolen from outside of my largest human child's school?


Well, while I got pretty much all of it back, it required some rehabilitation in order to be rideable again.  So naturally I did what any self-respecting semi-professional bike blogger would do, which was to defer the maintenance and use my wife's WorkCycles instead:


I didn't even bother to raise the seat.

Nevertheless, I realized yesterday that my procrastination was getting ridiculous, and I was also missing my own WorkCycles and its more generous proportions.  So I brought the bike into my makeshift workshop and performed a diagnosis.  The most obvious symptom was that the tires had been punctured in what I imagine was a final "Fuck you" from the thief or thieves after they had failed to open the wheel lock, but closer inspection revealed a considerable flat spot from when they'd dragged the bike away:


It's tough to see from my shitty photos, but it looks like they went at it with a deli slicer:


Also, they were considerate enough to stab the tires in the sidewall:


I thought at least one of the tires was salvageable, but inflating it revealed this was not the case:


Sure, I might boot it or something if this was just a neighborhood beer-getter, but tempting a blowout on a bike used to portage two (2) children is sub-par parenting--especially when I'm already a sub-par parent who doesn't lock his bike and enjoys helmetless familly hillbombing sessions.

Fortunately I had a spare set of 26" slicks in storage from when I still owned a tiny-wheeled mountain bicycle, so I set about installing them:


The great thing about the WorkCycles is that everything's enclosed so you don't have to worry about your pant cuffs and you can leave it outside.  The bad thing about it is that tire changes are kind of a pain in the ass, though they're at least facilitated somewhat by the handy removable dropout design:


I also fully admit I have yet to fully wrap my head around how you open the chain case, so in the spirit of laziness I just removed the end piece and worked around it.

Once I'd changed the tires it was mostly just a matter of aligning stuff here and snugging up fittings there, and I'm pleased to report that the Smugness Flotilla Mark II is back in action:


Alas, the tires I had were merely 1.5s, but while it may look a bit unsightly I think they'll do the job just fine.  Also, the brakes could use a bleed but that was the case before the theft anyway.

Lastly, my wife's WorkCycles is the "Secret Service" model, and I just learned today there's such a thing as a Secret Service bicycle officer--and apparently even they can't escape shitty drivers (unless it was a deliberate attack, but here in the USA we know nobody uses cars to do bad things):
Naturally I'm wishing the officer the best, but the revelation that the Secret Service has a bike division raises many interesting questions, including but not limited to:

--Are they a highly-drilled squad with awesome bike-handling skillz?
--If so, when's the movie coming out?
--And of course, most importantly, #whatpressureyourunning?

97 comments:

Bamaphred said...

Podidio

Anonymous said...

2 with a bullet

Schisthead said...

If they told you that, they wouldn't be very secret, would they?

Spokey said...

drats

foiled again

Anonymous said...

Top ten?
ahem
scranus

Amanda said...

That poor kid is wearing crocs!

Seattle lone wolf said...

Top 10! (F U Ted)

N/A said...

"What pressure you runnin'?"
-Abraham Lincoln to George Plimpton

Freddy Murcks said...

Where the fuck is Ted K.? Too busy checking the virtual pressure in his virtual bot tires?

I seen my opportunities and I took em' - Boss Trump said...

The Bible as Fake News? The dead coming back to life is really believable considering the crew being considered for cabinet positions. Hey, someone run over to the NYC Emergency Command Center at the WTC and wake Rudy up.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Trumper's Tax-Budget Proposal, Bazillions for the wealthy, trickle down for the Middle Class - EXCEPT his budget includes huge cuts in funding to the states which the states & localities will in all probability recover through tax and fee increases, so the Middle Class might break even or even pay more. Sing along - "Meet the new GOP Boss, same as the old GOP Boss..."

BikeSnobNYC said...

Amanda,

Correction:

FAKE Crocs.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Bryan said...

Secret Service Freds are supposed to blend in with the regular Freds. It's part of their mission to find out the answer to #whatpressureareyourunning by polling every Fred they see. They are also out there keeping an eye for counterfeit bikes, since bikes are used as Fred Currency.
Make the Tour de Trump Great Again!
I had something insightful to say, but after that divergence of thought I don't remember anymore.
When is Brooks going to come out with a hand chamfered child seat? Your Smugness Flotilla Mk II is in dire need of leather, or at least Cambiums all around.

McFly said...

Do you ever sit on the "front seat" and goon peddle?

N/A said...

McFly @ 1:30

Ahahahaha

Fred Mercury said...

The word "gullible" is not in the dictionary. Look it up.

Anonymous said...

Them D.C. boys runnin high pressure

Captain Oblivious said...


Isn't the Cambium beast on the U.N. endangered species list?

wishiwasmerckx said...

As our 16th President, the great Abraham Lincoln, famously said, "Don't believe everything you read on the internet."

Grump said...

Snobby, I hope you remember Lincoln's famous words about the internet. He said "Most of the time, people are dumbasses".

Tony Danzig said...

Abe Lincoln also said, "Anything is a dildo, if you're brave enough."

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Winner Dinner at the 21 Club? Scranus!!!

N/A said...

"Abraham Lincoln's quotes are fuckin' stupid!"
-Mark Twain.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

21st Century Garrison Keiller said...

If you get your news from facebook, you know less about the world than if you just drink gin straight from the bottle.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Snob, you could have just left it at your made up quote attributed to George Plimpton. You didn't need to tell us that the Richard Gere gerbil story and the whole (hole) gerbil paper towel roll anal tunnel thing is all an urban legend!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...your little human child is a bike hugger!

Anonymous said...

“If you meditate on any image today, let it be Grant Petersen driving the California Coast in a Ferrari with a Y-Foil on the trunk rack.”

I actually did laugh out loud at that, for possibly the first time in over a week. Thanks!

Also, if you’d start writing about how nice low-pressure tires ride, maybe Jan Heine would fix you up with a pair of 26" x 2.3"ers for your smugmobile.

Drock said...

Thanks snob for no facebook, I to will not do it cause it be stupid. Three years ago I was stopped by cops on bikes. Not for a cititation which probably should have been but rather they seeked my advise. Seems they had been watching me for some time and wanted some lessons in urban travel. That's the day the bike disciple was born. Been working with them ever since on how to get across town with a gun on their hip. Plus scored a matentance deal and get first pick of all confiscated bikes. Win win. However across the state line I'm still an outlaw, but fuck kansas anyway, and no bubbles in my hydro dick brake lines so log that away for another day.

clyde said...

Did someone say Mark Twain is dead - cuz' I heard that was a fake!

Russell Morris said...

Fake news, fake quotes, fake crocs...

...and I'm none too sure those removable dropouts are the real thing.

It don't look as though it could slide back on. If you slide it "straight ahead" on to the chain stay, then surely the seat stay bit couldn't be coupled? It would sort of be going sideways in relation to the seat stay rather than straight up over it.

Also, there appears to be some rust at the chain stay junction point, I trust you attended to it?

Unless you faked that as well!? Diabolical!

JLRB said...

Thanks for the amusement.

And on the secret squirrel bike police - they stopped me once as I pedaled past the White House on my way to work - they wanted to know what the camera on my helmet was all about (it was the early daze of mini-cameras - still a novelty). I did not joke with them - too many snipers on the roof.

8carlisle said...

If you get your news from Facebook then you will know less than before reading said news.

Anonymous said...

And you thought those fixie riders were douchebag hipsters....Secret Service win.

Anonymous said...

"I've got your Facebook right here..."
- Abraham Lincoln

J-Ho said...

Having lived in DC for a decade, I've had my run-ins with the Secret Service. If that sounds totally badass, let me tell you that it's not. They maintain a huge force of uniformed officers all over the District and patrol in typical police cars and on those weird Smith & Wesson (or are they on Treks now?) mountain bikes. For the most part, Secret Service officers behave like your average police officers: Parking in bike lanes, yelling at cyclists for doing things they think are illegal but aren't, etc., but they have worse attitudes. As I look out my office window down New York Avenue to where President Trump will soon live and work, I wonder if he'll get them off the bikes and into Hummers because boo environment! and yay military! or if they'll ride early '90s road bikes in the spirit of Tour de Trump. (We all know the answer, which is that bikes are for losers.) I also realize that by writing this, I'm probably going to get arrested as soon as I click publish. See you all in four years.

Anonymous said...

Snob, it's interesting that your definition of the Bible precisely fits that of Facebook today. Plus Facebook has the advantage of convincing you that you don't suck and locks you into a delusional feedback loop that never challenges a single thought you may have. Makes the Bible seem balanced and expansive.

Be careful--you may offend many of your readers with your Facebook disdain!

Philip Bey said...

A recent photo on your blog showing your youngest human child sporting a Ramones t-shirt was as warm and fuzzy as it gets.

CommieCanuck said...

The liberal media told us Hillary would win with 99% certainly, so hell yeah Richard Gere shoved a Gerbil up his ass.

BUTT GRBL

bieks said...

Thanks for clearing up the Gandhi quote Snob. Really pisses me off that BTO didn't attribute it to him.

I don't even know who you are anymore BTO. I ask you,
well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I just came up with that but I'm still working on the melody.

JLRB said...

Lies, lies, Lies

You also claimed to want to convert your single-speed mountaineering bicycle to electronic multi-geared kludgedom

Lies, Lies, Lies

Matt said...

Wow...I'm so uneducated that mostly ur blog is above my head and I never know what to believe (who is Grant Peterson anyway? I feel everybody but me gets it). I'm not even sure what you look like cuz you've put so many diff pics of 'yourself' in the last year or so that I just don't know.

Wait...what were we talking about again?

Smoke This said...

“I don’t believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago,” he said. “The same country with all its grace and flaws, and volatility and insecurity, and strength and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago. The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama. I feel badly for the people for whom this election will mean more uncertainly and insecurity. But I also feel like this fight has never been easy.”

leroy said...

Well of course the Secret Service has bikes. And of course, they also have dogs.

I've been getting inquiries as to whether they also have bicycle riding dogs authorized to sell admission tickets in mid-town to visiting job applicants.

And of course, I can neither confirm nor deny such reports.

But I don't believe half the stuff my dog says. The only hard part is figuring out which half.

Dooth said...

Way to put words in a dead man's mouth, Wildcat. And of all people--George fucking Plimpton. YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...



Teddy K???

crosspalms said...

I love that photo of your bike's rear triangle taken apart, with tools and bits on the floor, because I've looked at that same thing (different bikes) time after time and wondered where the hell the little thingamajig just rolled, and why don't I have better lighting in my basement.

Also, I think Trump is a president Fred. He got smoked a few years ago by Obama at some highly You-tubed and very funny event, decided he wanted to get even, so he got the kit (suit), joined a team (Fox), worked out (picked up the phone or tweeted), joined the president Fred equivalent of Strava (polls! followers!), and now he's got his KOM, he Cat-6ed his opponent. Or at least his previous opponent's replacement; and only in the electoral college -- which is totally honored in the Cat 6 bylaws, even though the real votes are against him because they were probably juicing. So now he's arguing about what KOM means, while he tries to choose his new teammates/succcubi. Take if from Snob, cycling ain't easy.

bieks said...

Hey Matt, This might enlighten you ... or send you down a rabbit hole.

crosspalms said...

Also
I'm on Facebook (insert totally legitimate criticisms here), and the other day one of those fake news things flashed by saying New Balance shoes are now the official shoes of white people.

Well, I was bummed, because I used to have a pair of their shoes and I liked them. Plus, now they're making bike shoes, and I thought I should check them out. But as a white person I really don't wan't to associate with the "official white" anything, no matter what it is. Turns out the guy who made it "official" is just some random racist asshole on the internet. So I'll check out the New Balance bike shoes. And I'll squint a little harder at any "news" that shows up pretty much anywhere i look. Who knew this social media shit would involve homework?

Peter Lichfield said...

Trump and now "Pant cuffs"?

Fucking Americans.

bad boy heading south said...

Geez Louise,snob.the idiot(s) that"borrowed" your bike, really pissed 'em off.must've been a trump supporter.

JLRB said...

Somebody draw me a bridge!

DeWayne Stark said...

Closed my FaceBook account several years ago. Now it seems to be the universal standard for a log-in. "Please enter your Face Book #####" Once GoodReads refused my use of my own account because I had quit FaceBook and could not sign on without using FaceBook. FaceBook sucks.

Gnarlynickb said...

Our modest host has not spilled on this blog that his stock as an actor is on the rise. Snobby is currently starring in the series Red Oaks, on Amazon. To see exactly what RTMS looks like right after his bike gets stolen, see Red Oaks Season 2, Episode 2, at 24 minutes 10 seconds.

Anonymous said...

Scranus

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

^ anon, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

I wrapped up season 2 of Red Oaks last night. I thought of RTMS at some point while watching the show (coming of age in the 80's in and around NYC) but I didn't see an actor or character who bore a resemblance.

Some days, the blog entries arrive "early." Some days, they arrive "late." Come on Snob, I've been procrastinating in my cubicle all day. The fact that I'm forced to concentrate on building "PowerPoint Deck" about arcane federal regulations is entirely your fault. (no, I don't work for the government)

Anonymous said...

New Balance shoes have been the official shoes of neo-Nazis for years in the UK - it's finally made it's way to the states I guess. They also run the bike-share here in Boston - does that mean we'll see Klan rallies on Hubway bikes?

Hope there's a quiz today, need to get my average up before the semester's over.

N/A said...

I'm assuming that Wildcat is at the mall buying new shoes, on account of y'all making him feel self-conscious about his old-man shoes. Maybe he'll get some fresh new Jordans!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Anonymous @ 1:00 PM, unless that PowerPoint deck is about how those arcane federal regulations might be changing, I would say keep procrastinating. This suggestion is not a comment on whether change would be good or bad, would just hate to see you spinning your wheels!

I am ready for a quiz today!

Anonymous said...


Y-foil returns (and built by the fine folks at HED)

https://www.cervelo.com/en/triathlon/p-series/p5x

N/A said...

Maybe Wildcat is getting a new tire for the School Bus Bike. I think the Husky Marin is too much bike for that trip. Perhaps this is a job for the Ol' Milwaukee? What kind of pressure do you think you should run for a tire-portaging trip? We'll have to ask to see his pressure log, I guess.

N/A said...

I've never asked to see another man's pressure log. I'm a little embarrassed, looking back on it.

Anonymous said...

Is that a pressure log in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Toots Maytal said...

Pressure gonna drop on you

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Lots of space for a motor in the Cervix,I mean Cervelo P5x.

Where is WCRM today? I hope he didn't break another thumb!

Anonymous said...

It's National Vichyssoise Day, y'all. Maybe WCRM had to stay at home with his 17 (18?) kids and forgot to notify us.

N/A said...

Yesterday was Beaujolais Nouveau day, according to the peeps over at Velo Orange. Perhaps Mr. Snobby was quaffing bottles with the Missus last night? Now he's too hungover to put pen to paper and curate Friday's posting.

Pencil Pusher said...

Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.
Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.
Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.
Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.
Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.
Write a few lines.
Click the refresh.

Anonymous said...

Snob is alive. He tweeted less than 10 minutes ago about a Nissan Rogue driver listening to death metal.

New Yorkers and their Twitter accounts are a sure sign of the end times. That, and the hot weather the arctic circle is currently experiencing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting an end to our impotent speculation. We should probably should stop being luddites and get one of those social medias.

boys on the hoods said...

I have always liked Cervelo but that P5X is a sad sad version of a bicycle. Is micro and macro adjustable the new laterally stiff and vertically compliant??

CommieCanuck said...

Relax people, he bought a Y-Foil on Craiglist last night and now gives no fucks.

These are the Day's of Our Lives said...

Anom218: He's hard at work on the quiz.

1. WHO WAS ELECTED LAST TUESDAY:
A. Silvio Berlusconi
B. Kim Jong-un
C. Rodrigo Duterte
D. Vlad Putin
E. The Ayatollah of Trump Tower.

The 64,000 Dollar Question said...

Another example:

What do the first five nominations by the Thumper have in common.
1. Old
2. Male
3. White
4. All of the above.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing he's gone with smugness.

Anonymous said...

It was a dark and stormy night...

Putin on the Ritz said...

Bet rubles that Putin hacked the site and the Snob is sitting there hitting enter over and over again while in Moscow Putin is sitting there going Bhaw-ha-ha every time he does.

Anonymous said...

It is nearly 4PM on the East Coast.

He's too good for us now.

Anonymous said...

IMAGETTNREADYALEAVE!

Anonymous said...

Yes, he belongs to the ages now.

Spokey said...

figured today might be the lastest nice day so went out early afternoon.

also figured i'd be lucky to make the top 66 podi but great, no post-it yet.

Toll Bridges are so Slow said...

Bet he's he's stuck in traffic on the GWB as a sulking Gov. CC (not the Canadian CC) fumes "I'll show that Trump not to fuck with the Jesus".

Anonymous said...

Hell hath no fury like a fat man denied his Oreos.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

I heard that Duck Dynasty has been cancelled. Is it at all possible because it has been said that the Groper in Chief Elect has duck lips?

Governor Christie Kreme's speech yesterday was The POTUS Apprentice equivalent to the limo ride exit interview on The Apprentice

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Friday Pre Ted Podio !!

oh wait ...


vsk

Frickus Rungus said...

I saw the picture on twitter, where he said he would post after his ride... Looked like a nice day for a ride, but it was over 5 hours ago. It doesn't look like his chubby bike has leaf specific geometry... I'll make an offering of melted butter to the almighty lob, praying that he makes it home safe.

Anonymous said...

That's it. I'm booking a flight to New York and taking the train(s) to Snob's neighborhood. I'll demand that he either refund my money, or curate a personalized blog entry, just for me.

Maybe he's just stuck in Midtown traffic. Thanks, Donald.

sloe-hand luke said...


I'm a little slow to get my ruffles feathered but even I'm getting a bit worried.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Did Snobby move to Canaxia with all the other glitterati?

Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of a N.J native:

"Good night, good luck
One, two, power shift!"

Leaving now...

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

bad boy heading south said...

Cricket cricket.

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