Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Take My Thanks, Please.

Well, it's American Thanksgiving tomorrow--otherwise known as The Day the Turkey Cried (not to be confused with the similarly-titled film):



This means two (2) things:

A) No post tomorrow or Friday but I'll be back on Monday, November 28th with regular updates

and 

2) This morning I headed out on the WorkCycles to run some pre-holiday errands like the wonderful host I am.  Yes, even a cynic like me can't help feeling a bit of holiday cheer when I roll out into the crisp morning in search of goodies, though I suppose a lot of that could be attributable to my morning vodka.  But whatever the reason for my high spirits, my first stop was Party City, where as always I cursed the developers who built this stupid shopping center without adding a single bike rack:


It's a soulless affair, even by shopping center standards, but you'd think they could have added at least one goddamn bike rack somewhere in that giant courtyard instead of making me walk all the way from the curb.  I mean come on, most places have at least one token bike rack, even if it's intentionally too close to a wall or something so you can't use it.  Meanwhile, the whole goddamn structure is basically a parking lot with some shitty stores on top of it--which you need of course when you're spitting distance from a subway.

Anyway, at Party City I got plates and stuff because fuck washing dishes.

Next, I went to get dessert:


Not just any dessert either, but UNQUESTIONABLY THE WORLD'S FINEST CREAM CHEESE CHEESECAKE!


If there's one thing I can't stand in a dessert it's ambiguity.

See, that's a dessert that makes itself known.  No ribbons and doilies there.  When you walk into a party and drop a DELUXE pizza box full of the world's balls-out best cheesecake onto the table (squashing six or seven cronuts in the process) everybody knows you mean business.

It's even Kosher.  The fucking thing is unstoppable.

(I might also have gotten a carrot cake at Lloyd's, but the line was already almost to the corner.)

Anyway, if you're a terminal Fred or Frederica, Thanksgiving also means fretting over those holiday pounds and spending the following day doing "guilt burpees"--or else lighting out for that #BlacktopFriday ride.  Yes, in today's fast-paced world it's all too rare that the whole family has the day off work and school, so why not take advantage of it by abandoning them and posting pictures of your lame-ass road ride on Instagram?  Who knows?  You might even get a "kudos" on Strava!


1. Have a great activity title

The title is one of the first things people will see in their feed. To come up with a good name, think about what stood out in your activity. Did you stop for donuts? Was it really hot? Maybe you got a new pair of shoes? Anything is better than “morning ride.”

I'd suggest "SuperFred BigMuff's Wank-Tastic Hill Repeat!," I can't see how you'd lose with that one.

In other news, as a reader pointed out yesterday, a coroner in Australia is calling for expiration dates on bike components:



The story behind it all is incredibly sad, but here's the upshot:

Coroner Lisbeth Campbell found Mr Stanton's riding, maintenance of the bike or previous minor prang had no bearing on the crash and instead pinned the failure of the carbon fork on a fatigue fracture in the aluminium steering tube.

The coroner determined the crack could not have been picked up by Mr Stanton or the technicians that had serviced his bike less than two months earlier and deemed it an "inclusion flaw" from the manufacturing process.

Now the coroner has recommended Standards Australia investigate a mandatory safe life for bicycles components such as the front steering fork, depending on the material and manufacturing process.

Upper safe life limits are routine in the aerospace industry, which uses many of the same materials found in high-end bicycles, Coroner Campbell said.

This is highly unrealistic for any number of reasons but it is rather sobering, and I couldn't help thinking that the alloy steerer on the victim's Trek sounds like it could be of the same vintage as the one that took George Hincapie out of Paris-Roubaix, since it sounds like his bike was going on 10 years old and this happened in 2006:


The article also mentions the victim had had a "previous minor prang" (which it discounts as a factor in the failure for some reason) and Hincapie had also crashed before this occurred.

Anyway, seems to me there's not much sense on imposing a "mandatory safe life" on bike parts, but there is probably sense in replacing your fork after a crash.

(And you can leave your smug comments about your 100% indestructible steel bicycle here.)

Somewhat less tragic is this story of a Chicago alderman who was felled by a squirrel, which a friend alerted me to yesterday:


Howard Brookins Jr., the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, had publicly spoken out about a toothy menace plaguing the city’s garbage carts: urban squirrels, which in Brookins’s view were “aggressive,” and aggressively damaging the trash cart lids.

He now has another reason to dislike the rodents. One recently sent him to the hospital with a skull fracture in a “freak bicycle accident,” as the alderman wrote on Facebook.

Firstly, as many of you pointed out yesterday, the Washington Post's not mentioning whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet in the context of a bicycle crash (which resulted in a skull fracture no less) is unprecedented.  Indeed, it can only mean one of two things:

1) He was wearing a helmet but it didn't work and heaven forbid anybody impugn the Almighty Helmet (though the easy solution there is to add something about how the injury would have been much worse without it, "A helmet saved my life," yadda yadda yadda);

or

B) They're freeing themselves from the tyranny of helmet propaganda thanks to their brilliant contributors.

Secondly, the victim seems to be highly misinformed concerning the nature of squirrels:

Brookins was biking along Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13, when a squirrel darted into his path. The squirrel cut Brookins’s bike trip short by wrapping itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. The alderman flipped over the handlebars and landed with such a severe impact that he fractured his skull, broke his nose and knocked out a handful of teeth, the Chicago Tribune reported. A woman who passed by called 911. Brookins was only able to leave the hospital Thursday.

“I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” the alderman said to the Tribune on Monday. He told the newspaper a full recovery was expected to take months.

Really?  No other reason?  That's exactly what squirrels do!  If you're riding and a squirrel doesn't try to ensnare itself in your spokes then something is seriously wrong.  I have no doubt the very first pennyfarthing ride in history was ended prematurely by a squirrel:


("Holy shit, what's that giant round thing?  Some kinda hamster wheel???  I GOTTA GET IN THAT!!!)

Seriously, if you see a squirrel and he doesn't immediately try to dive bomb your front wheel then he's up to something far more insidious--like maybe he's about to signal to a friend in a tree to drop a sixteen-ton weight on your head:


("Wait for it...")

In any event, I wish him a speedy recovery, and he might wanna think about replacing that fork--though we're going to be stuck with "suicide bomber" squirrels at least until Trump unveils his new vetting policy.

And with that, I'm off.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving, or if you're not American enjoy pointing and laughing at us as we stuff our faces in the shadow of our inevitable doom, and I'll see you all here back on Monday.

Yours and so forth,


--Wildcat Rock Machine



94 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi

Anonymous said...

podi

N/A said...

Squirrels will kill you and anybody you love. Look at 'em with their beady little eyes!

N/A said...

What time should we be there tomorrow, Wildcat?

Watch and Camera Guy said...

Top ten?

Bryan Bracy said...

pot tenis

Fourhourerection said...

Made it.

N/A said...

Damnit, now I can't stop thinking about cheesecake. That one looks like some serious cheese cake and it ain't takin' no shit from some half-assed pumpkin pie.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top ten turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!

Freddy Murcks said...

"SuperFred Big Muff" is one of my favorite albums. (Way to bust out the Mudhoney reference, Snob. I always suspected that we might be kindred spirits, but now I know.)

Anonymous said...

Another death fork in a long line of death forks.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

12 speed.


vsk

neil winkelmann said...

It's "extreme vetting"

Chazu said...

Thirtointh

Anonymous said...

I had rabbit bounce off my crank, a bat thwap into my head, and a squirrel go through the spokes in my front wheels, which was good for both man and beast. Can this be counted as epic if Strava doesnt record near-death squirrel encounters?

Chazu said...

Nope, that was fourtointh. This is fifthtointh.

Chazu said...

dammit!

Anonymous said...

Snob, was the squirrel OK?

Drock said...

Wonder if a searing hot dick brake rotor could have sliced that nut eater in two before reaching the fork?? Not having dick brakes in my stable I use the yell loud method upon seeing fuzzy rats. It's sort of effective however people in their yards sometimes jump. And to thin skinned folks out there, yes we all got our criminal baggage even here in New Zealand. Now time to go check my steel, 3,2,1 blastoff.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

The mega bike companies like Trek, Specialized and Giant, etc., may like the idea of an expiration date on frames and forks, it will complement planned obsolescence and sell more new bikes! On the plus side, if the Trek Y Foil had an expiration date, you'd likely never see one on the road again!

A google search of Coroner Lisbeth Campbell did not turn up any professional qualifications in the areas of forensic engineering, materials analysis or failure or structural analysis or failure. But I'm sure she's qualified to make that call!

Fritz H said...

All of this over "PSD" (poor squirrel decision)?

Frickus Rungus said...

I would have waited in line for the carrot cake.

And now for something timely that is both bicycle and election related: article

#13 - Deport all non-native squirrels from Oregon and put the rest of them to work in nut butter factories so they are not causing havoc on the streets.

boys on the hoods said...

I'd suggest "SuperFred BigMuff's Wank-Tastic Hill Repeat!," I can't see how you'd lose with that one.

Damn near blew soup out my nose on that one.

JLRB said...

First bike couplers, now cheesecake? Interesting choice of diversified product lines

Dooth said...

Squirrel Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head

JLRB said...

Squirrels,squirrels, squirrels
Trick or treat, sweet to eat
On Halloween and New Year's Eve
Yankee squirrels you just can't be beat
But you're the best when you're off your feet

Jon Webb said...

I have found that the best strategy for dealing with squirrels is to steer right at them. If you try to avoid them and steer to one side or the other there's a 50/50 chance that they'll dart that way when they finally go for it. While if you steer right them they'll definitely not be there any more when you reach that point.

JLRB said...

I've twice had near misses with squirrels falling out of trees and landing near me as I pedaled along

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"Lewis plays a washed-up German circus clown named Helmut Doork"

What a great name.

Blunchbelly said...

Dear Mr. Snob this year as every year I'm most thankful for your wit and wisdom. Someone with a brain, a heart, a wicked sense of humor and finely tuned bullshit detector is my kinda guy. The wife and I are no syncophants but curiously we both agree with you 97.23% of the time though not necessarily on the same issues. Enjoy the holiday.

Joe said...

Another reason to be a retrogrouch and an "unracer" as Grant would say. With 36 spoke wheels, 3-laced, it's much harder for squirrels to get into the spokes. Very easy on Fred wheels with just 24 radial spokes...

Anonymous said...

Steel is supreme, killercarbon to the black hole, infinite crushing is all it deserves!

R2D2

Hot Karl Marx said...

I had not heard of the movie. Thanks for edifying me. Jerry Lewis was ashamed of "The Day the Clown Cried." Said it was "bad Work." Now that is saying something. Sounds like a depressing film. I wonder if the Frenchies liked it. Gotta respect his charity work, his "comedy" not so much.

Anonymous said...

I heard he had one of those new paper helmet hats on, it worked as designed

Idiot who thought "The Hangover II" was funny said...

I would nominate Pauly Shore to star in a re-make of "The Day the Clown Cried." Other choices could be Jonah Hill or Seth Rogen and they could make one of their modern, raunchy "comedies" where they talk about masturbating and poop. It couldn't be worse than any of their other "work."

McFly said...

Do not I repeat do not type BIGMUFF'S WANK TASTIC into the G**GLE search bar.

Frickus Rungus said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh.
They should try implementing a stop and be frisky program to reduce squirrel on Fred violence.

Deno said...

Hey, at least Jerry gave the world Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

leroy said...

Well this is weird. I knew exactly where the Day the Turkey Cried bon mot was going before clicking on the link.

But I'm a little sensitive these days.

Oh well, I should get home early today. I put my dog in charge of our holiday gathering and he's been texting me that our gooses are already cooked.

Personally, I think he's just worried that this is the year I recoup past losses on our annual bet as to who wins the Kennel Club of Philadelphia dog show tomorrow. He's offered me double or nothing on what I owe him.

Ride thankfully all!

Helmut Doork said...

SuperFred BigMuff's Wank-Tastic Hill Repeat
We're all Bozos on this bus.

1904 Cadardi said...

Had a snake jump into my front wheel. Three solid thawping revolutions later and it darted out. No doubt off into the weeds to preach redemption to all his snake friends. "REPENT I SAY OR THE GIANT WHEELED GOD WILL SMITE THEE!!!!"

Everyone, eat till you're done and then ride if you want to!

Frickus Rungus said...

I nearly ran over a porcupine once. They smell really funky and musky up close. [Insert Cipo joke here...]

SuperFred BigMuff said...

disappointed that Starav doesn't allow a global area search for activities called SuperFred BigMuff's Wank-Tastic Hill Repeat! to see how many exist now. There is at least one round my way now.

Visegripmikey said...

Cutting up expensive crabon bikes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZbg5hCRyvs

clyde said...

I believe if you sign up for the premium Strava, they have a metric for "near death experiences". It's a new feature.

Anonymous said...

Problem: squirrels

Solution: bladed spokes

Nutty the squirrel said...

"accident" sure. Don't fuck with us, asshole.

CommieCanuck said...

I had problems with squirrels in the spokes, eventually traced it to peanut oil lubricants. Who knew.
Switched to fossil oils, now Dick Cheney's dick keeps getting stuck in the spokes.

Thank you, try the veal.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Once had to swerve to avoid crashing into a burro in the roadway as I sped through a hairpin on a descent. Thank Lob that bikes are nimble. Were I in a car, I would have had a real situation on my hands. I would have had to call in Harvey Keitel, just like in Pulp Fiction.

Hee Haw the Barista's cousin from Regina said...

Thanksgiving was over a month ago ... slacker.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, an official Cycling Blog, Trump was mentioned.

Anonymous said...

If I can be serious for a femptosecond, good point Jon Webb (2pm) re: aiming right at the buggers...

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I had a squirrel bounce off my front wheel once. I never replaced the fork. Am I living on borrowed time?

Caddy Shack in a Tree said...

There's going to be a squirrel in the White House starting January 20th. Whole family of squirrels actually. Add in Rudy, Newt and Gov. CC (last one is a long shot admittedly) and it's an entire genealogy chart of squirrels.

Anonymous said...

Hey Helmut Doork said...

We're all Bozos on this bus. November 23, 2016 at 2:51 PM

I liked "Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand me the Pliers" title better, but still nothing beat's Side 2 of "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All".

I once dialed a wrong number when ordering a pizza and the stranger on the other line started quoting Nick Danger, so I replied back as Rocky Rococo. We both had a good laugh.

Boss Boss said...

I finally have Moose and Squirrel!

Bats in the Belfry, Squirrels in the White House said...

About a month after he was attacked by a swimming rabbi, I mean rabbit, Preident Carter had a squirrel jump out of a tree and onto his head, Secret Service drilled the baby full of lead once he jumped off the President.

If one jumps onto Trump's head he'll disappear into the dop-wop'er The Trumper wears up on top.

Vegas has odds on 2017 Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon, that the turkey will rip Trump's gizard out once Trump hands it it's pardon.

One of the cities that hosted World Cup games last time had a problem with snakes falling out of trees on to sidewalks, place was way out in the jungle. Has nothing to do with squirrels but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

It a'int over til the scranus sings said...

https://medium.com/@jhalderm/want-to-know-if-the-election-was-hacked-look-at-the-ballots-c61a6113b0ba#.xb32n444z




http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jill-stein-pushes-for-recount-in-3-swing-states-over-hacking-concerns-2016-11-23

ClevelandYeah said...

Malcolm X John Lennon come in and dig your mother.
But mom I'm not hungry.

Anonymous said...

even sadder, the report in the Sydney Morning Herald on the death of Richard Stanton has a video feature about a report that shows wearing helmets while cycling reduces the risk of serious injury and death. I pointed out to the paper how insensitive this video placement is. They haven't replied.

Anonymous said...

fuckin squirrels

RU Nuts said...

If one were to have those solid wheel covers like bike polo players, or as the Lone Wolf rocks on his ride, then any squirrel projectiles would just harmlessly bounce off.

Clarkey said...

Hey Snob, love the blog. I enjoy the smug window you provide into cycling culture I now scoff at with a more appreciative eye. An example: I saw Mr. and Mrs. Fred return to the trailhead as I returned from a nice day hike at the local mountain park. When Fred asked her how she liked the ride, the missus replied, "I didn't. My brakes aren't set up for such a long descent." What the hell does that mean!" Now mind you, I was hiking but my trusty steel mount was in the back of my pickup so I know a little something about brakes and how they stop a bike. But can they be "set up" for something else that would lead to such a complaint? I'm probably better off not knowing.

Bod said...

That last squirrel pic is of a bastardised squirrel from England. You can tell because your yank grey squirrels came over and fucked our red squirrels almost out of existence so thanks for that. You can tell because they're still a bit ginger which only serves to remind us that Americans ruin everything so thanks for that. Enjoy celebrating ruining the First Nation Americans lives today!

bad boy of the north said...

holiday cheer,huh?well,everyone,enjoy your turkey day!remember to eat safely,all.

8carlisle said...

Bike Polo wheel and mallet should take care of the squirrel.
Me thinks those aluminum steerers were inadvertently scored below the proper length but then used anyway.

'Merica said...

Bod - You are welcome. And if you think your ginger squirrels got fucked, wait til you see our ginger president.

Name said...

I was thinking of what to listen next on Spotify and you gave me a great suggestion - Mudhoney it was.

Anonymous said...

I was unaware of the existence of from its. Until, entirely coincidentally, I read this https://www.somethingawful.com/news/cronut-world-without/

I did not realize they played such an important role.
(Pun intended)

commie said...

You can tell because they're still a bit ginger which only serves to remind us that Americans ruin everything so thanks for that.

In the next 5 years, they will be blonder with a slight orange tinge.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I know that there is a lot of readership overlap, so in case you missed it, today was the final post ever at Fatcyclist.com.

Squirrels to the Left of Me, Squirrels to the Right of Me said...

This is the last year for the Presidential Pardon of a Turkey. Next year Trump is going to stab a turkey to death. Live coverage on The Fair and Balanced Network.

ken e. said...

let's talk turkey! not.
@clarkey, when you're not used to being on the brakes all the time, or just whimpy like me, it's nice to set the break levers really close to the bar. makes for easier steering through those 'oh shit' moments...

SQUI RREL
DZRD BRKS

Disco Duck said...

After Mudhoney try A Taste of Honey.

bieks said...

That newspaper headline was worthy of a spit take. Awesome.

Again, I learn more non-bikey things here. Thanks Bod; I always blamed your country for those fluffy tailed rats being in Vancouver. Huh, they're from slightly less far away. Our red squirrels are about half their size, so too fast to be caught by those lard-ass grey squirrels.

Spokey said...

sorry i'm late, but frankly zagat doesn't know their azz from a hole in the ground.

late because i was busy on wed in fact making the world's best cheesecake. and then of course the cranberry relish, and then . . .

dancesonpedals said...

Without their fluffy tails, the squirrels would just be tree rats

Dave said...

Many a time I've played Squirrel Roulette. My policy is to neither brake nor swerve, so that the squirrel's "calculations" will not be made more complex. Have only killed one so far (over past five decades) and have not been knocked down, at least not by a squirrel.

Squirrelly Stuff said...

Interesting story in today's NY Times on how the soon to be Squirrel in Chief put the screws to people in Scotland who wouldn't sell their houses for the development his golf course.

And then there was the development itself. He sold the project based on it being a 1.25 billion dollar project, about 50-125 million was spent. Creating 6,000 jobs, about 95-150 were created. Build two golf courses, one was built. Build a 450 room luxury hotel, never built. Build 950 time share residential units, never built.

He did build a wall though, and tried to get a home owner to pay for it. A 16 foot spite wall of earth was put up to block one owners property of it's view of the coast line. Trump sent the bill for building the wall to them, they threw it away.

Two degrees said...

I believe,and apparently it's turning out this way,that the squirrel elect's term will be nothing more than a trump l'oeil.

Two degrees said...

Or is it that way?

Cat Gut said...

Who will play the fiddle while America burns?

Nero said...

Jon Stewart?

dop said...

Florence Henderson & Fidel Castro..who's next? these things come in threes..

(Gerald ford james brown peter boyle)

(jim backus lawrence olivier mel blanc)

Anonymous said...

If you didn't die in 2016, you were nobody.

Real person, not an actor said...

Those insane TV ads for cars. WTF!!! Cars in fantasy environments: deserted city streets; foreign deserts; vast empty highways; salt flats?! All drivers pictured are…smiling. Really? Mostly all the drivers I observe are wearing expressions of grim determination, or clueless vacuity. (Or, texting on their cell phones.) What boneheads create those jackass car ads? And, who are they for?

Momma Mia Poppy Mia said...

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day.
Oh, Monday morning you gave me no warning
that there would be no blog post today.
Oh, Monday, Monday, How could you not post for me.

bad boy of the north said...

dop...number three:ron glass..RIP ron.not many left from "barney miller".

JLRB said...

Turkeys have two drumsticks, bikes have two wheels - coincidence?

Spokey said...


well i've never seen ron glass & a turkey & a bike in the same room.

yall may think it co-inky-dink but i be putting me aluminum foil hat on and that's inside me faraday cage. btw where the hell do you get tin foil these days? just for hats of course. i wouldn't bake with it. i count on the al leaching in to my food. soothes the brain cells.

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Penelope Sanchez said...

Nice to hear. Hope you had a great time eating turkey. Happy thanksgiving.

Penelope
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