Monday, April 3, 2017

Bike Racing Fever: Catch It! (Then Recover From It and Develop a Lifelong Immunity)

So how about that Tour of Flanders?

Wasn't it exciting when what's-his-name made the race-winning move on the Muur de Whogivesafuck?  And how about that ZZZzzzzzzzzzz?  (Sorry, dozed off for a bit.)  And all the live-tweeting from people watching the race on their computers was so amusing and insightful!
It's funny because roadies are really into socks.

Not only that, but Peter Sagan did a wheelie!
Then he fell down!
It just doesn't get any more exciting than bicycle racing, because now that soccer has finally become mainstream in this country it's the only sport Americans have left to be pretentious about:

(Nearly 10 riders flock to the Rapha Cycle Club to pretend to watch a bike race and practice their guttural pronunciation.)

Speaking of Americans at Flanders, they had an impressive showing this year, with one rider almost within sight of the top 100:

107 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
121 Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data
DNF Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-Drapac

And oh yeah, there was that one other American rider who made history by winning the women's race:

As the pinnacle race of the women’s classics season – there is no women’s Paris-Roubaix — Flanders is the most highly contested and prestigious race of the spring. Rivera points to her team’s support as a major factor in her historic win. “When your team goes all out for you like that, you definitely have to do your job,” she said. “The pressure was on me, I got a little dropped on the Kwaremont. Ellen and I were on the back over the Paterberg but we kept fighting and kept going.”

Which was front page news in the American media:

Assuming you zoomed way out on your browser:

Now that Coryn Rivera is officially America's best professional cyclist by a pretty huge margin, you can expect an in-depth feature about that hot young prospect Taylor Phinney any day now.

Moving on to Kickstarter news, the world's most and least bike-friendly nations have met in the middle with two uniquely ridiculous bicycles.

From the Netherlands comes this crabon crotch wedge that accepts absolutely none of your cycling accessories and that looks like it should fold but doesn't:

Yes, it's the do-anything bike that doesn't do anything well:

Having mastered both competitive cycling and city cycling, it would appear the Dutch have decided to marry the least useful aspects of both with this rolling boomerang.

And speaking of boomerangs, here comes Australia with the most quintessentially Australian bike you've ever seen:

Not everyone has the baseline fitness required to get on a bike and ride 50-150km a day. With the Stealth P-7, riders can work hard when they want to, and cruise when they need to. You no longer need to be a finely tuned athlete to cover serious miles. Those who need to ease their way back into a regular exercise regime will have the opportunity to get their heart rate up without running out of steam half way through the trip. We just gave you one less excuse to take the car to work.  

Here's a crazy idea: if you don't have the fitness to ride 150km in a day, why ride 150km in a day?  Just ride a regular goddamn bike until you're tired and don't worry about how fucking far you went.  Yeah, I know, wishful thinking.  Why do that when you can conquer the trails in the morning and then Cat 6 the shit out of everybody in the afternoon?

Having been to Melbourne I recognized it immediately.  If you've never been, it's like pretty much every other intermediate-level city, though it does have the distinction of having the World's Narrowest Bike Lanes:

Hmmm, given the constant threat of pedal strike Melbournians face maybe motorized bikes aren't a bad idea.

Lastly, you'll be pleased to know that the fashion industry has singlehandedly revolutionized cycling:

Can you imagine if bicycles came in different sizes?  Well, now this dream is becoming a reality:

Mr. Jastrzebski said: “Nobody has arms exactly the same length. It’s not just the handlebars that are affected, the whole ensemble is changed.”

The measurements are used to make a digital model of the client that helps to adjust the bicycle’s dimensions for “comfort and efficiency, the perfect fit and ideal position for its new owner,” he said. “You notice the difference immediately.”

Amazing.  This could be big! Just think of the possibilities: frames, stems, handlebars, all in different sizes...  Imagine a future when a bike shop could help you put together a bike that fits you perfectly--or, even more amazingly, a person who would build you some sort of "custom" bicycle from scratch.

Nah, it'll never catch on.


Mike O. said...

Read the post first too.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Read it and I'm 2nd anyway. Whoa!

Ted K. said...

Note 36. (Paragraph 229) It is important to understand that we mean someone who sympathizes with these MOVEMENTS as they exist today in our society. One who believes that women, homosexuals, etc., should have equal rights is not necessary a leftist. The feminist, gay rights, etc., movements that exist in our society have the particular ideological tone that characterizes leftism, and if one believes, for example, that women should have equal rights it does not necessarily follow that one must sympathize with the feminist movement as it exists today.

Anonymous said...

Shit, could've won but I'm still recovering from reading the Sunday paper

Anonymous said...

holy scrot, top ten!!

Anonymous said...

Ted, did you even read today's post?

Frickus Rungus said...

Instead of NHABS, they should have NCRABS (National Custom-Tailored Revolution in American Bicycles Show) I think that the close association with the almighty Lob will help to make it a huge success. But some people might associate it with the other kind of crabs, so maybe it's not a great idea after all...

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top Ten Scranus!

Chazu said...


Anonymous said...

Finally, we get some spring classics coverage from Bike Snob this year! Look at the crowds in the first picture, the sport is now clean and blowing up like never before.

Pretty soon the big league corporate sponsors will be clawing their way back into the sport. I hear Fed Ex is looking to back an American-based team next year, let's hope so. Fed Ex drivers have a reputation for speed, so it would be a good natural arrangement. Imagine the snazzy Fed Ex kits and bikes! Imagine if they signed Cavendish!

Freddy Murcks said...

I like the "bum bars" on Maison Tamboite's bike. That's a slick look. Is it a fixie or a fauxie? (As evidenced by the dick breaks, I assume it's a fauxie. It's funny to me that some people still think bikes like that are fashionable and "hip".)

N/A said...

The French bike's frame reminds me of a cheap department store bike from teh 70s. I know GT has seat stays that attach like that on their frames, but there was another brand... the name escapes me at the moment, but it was total junk.

JLRB said...

I had the pleasure of drafting behind an e-Bike for a couple of miles this morning. And then watched another eBike cut through cross walks like they didn't exist.

I will wish I had the motor for the ride home ...

Bryan said...

We still have rugby to be pretentious over. And if that ever catches on, there's always Cricket to fall back on.
You could get a freakin Moots for the price of that (shitty) "tailored" bike. And the master frame builder is only 25?! Must have been building frames as a wee lad in a sweatshop.

Bryan said...

@N/A - I think I've seen some Shoguns with stays like that. I just assumed they were farmed out from GT.

Schisthead said...

I think pretty much all masters are under thirty.

They only realize how stupid they are much later on.

Repressed Desires said...

I dated a girl back I the eighties who did not talk about sex or even admit it existed. She would get offended if anyone mentioned it and would leave the room. Once every couple of weeks or so her natural desires would be too strong for her to represses and...(you know the rest.) The next day she would be back to her old stick up prude self.

Sort of like Wildcat and pro bike races.

Repressed Desires said...

(And no, I don't know why I dated her in the first place...)

McFly said...

I often run out of steam halfway through the trip.

The trip to Poundtown.

Freddy Murcks said...

Why are roadies so obsessed with fashion* (see, e.g., the black socks comment)? Anybody who thinks that anybody looks cool in bike clothes is a delusional idiot. Stretchy bike clothes look stupid on pretty much on everybody from pros down to fat weekend warriors. They are functional and comfortable for biking, but that's it. They are not flattering or cool.

*I do know the answer to my own question. Roadies are obsessed with fashion because they are stupid.

janinedm said...

@Freddy Murcks That hub is too big in the back. I thought it was an IGH, but I went to the website and it was of course an e-bike. This makes sense but in the opposite way from lazy folk e-bikes. If you're a true fashion person and subsist on a diet of honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper, you do not have the blood sugar reserves to get yourself to your colonic appointment under your own steam.

Anonymous said...

I think I have one of those tailored bike frames in my garage. It's a GT, and the ebay reserve is now $1000.

Anonymous said...

"...Hugo Canivenc, 25, a master frame maker and designer."
Right, he boaught a torch set, an now he's a master frame builder.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

A 51 year old former stockbroker and a 25 year old master frame bater named Maison Tambourine, Tapenade, Tamale, whatever. Bet they never heard or Rene Herse, Alex Singer, Grant Peterson or Jan Heine. 11,000 Euros for the non electric version and you get even get GT style seat stays. No storefront, meet them in the courtyard. Bring cash.

Anonymous said...

#petosagan would go down well in Italy. Look up "peto" on Google translate...

Fred from Milan said...

Forget Google translate - it's crap. "Peto" is Italian for "fart".

leroy said...

Well if I have explained this once to my dog, I've explained it a hundred times.

I wear dark socks with my white shoes because some of us have sun sensitive ankles.

Weird thing is, I do that while wearing a Gage + DeSoto jersey sometimes. No one has said anything yet.

I mean no one other than my dog and the folks he says I don't know about whom I've scandalized.

But that could be anybody for any number of reasons.

bieks said...

I was pretty excited to read today's post to find out why you were being a GIANT PERV today, but apparently my employer's network filters and blocks sites with too much bike racing content. Have to let the IT people know they're doing a good job.

show_me_the_punny said...

Not a word from USA Cycling about an American that previously collected a ridiculous number of national titles prior to winning a monument in what seems to be her first year at elite international level.

Great job USA Cycling. Again.

Spokey said...

prized 30 podi

Rapha Kramden said...

punny - If it doesn't have a dick, USA Cycling couldn't care less about it. Sad but true.

Spokey said...

i will admit that recently i took off my black socks and put on white socks before heading out. and when i got up today and heard it might be ok to head out, i started off with white socks.

i don't think of myself as a roadie although that is my preferred venue.

show_me_the_punny said...

Pretty soon the big league corporate sponsors will be clawing their way back into the sport

As long as there is a syringe and IV bag under the FedEx logo on the jersey, it is okay with me. Lance Armstrong as the DS would be best.

Gilbert should have saved his performance for Easter weekend. It would have been more appropriate.

I heard elite international athletes typically go from nowhere near a podium to dominating the best athletes in the sport all the time when they aren't doping.

Spokey said...

Not everyone has the baseline fitness required to get on a bike and ride 50-150km a day

even i can go 31 miles in a day. and i don't know what my baseline is but i wouldn't be using fitness in the phrase.

will have the opportunity to get their heart rate up

i was figuring that you could do that best with a $70 walbike. curious as to what this p7 cost so i went to and got -

Error establishing a database connection

we are engineers by trade but riders at heart

think i'll pass based on their web enginneering.

1904 Cadardi said...


That's just crazy thinking that "bicycles" could be "customized" for riders. It's even more wacky, but what about some sort of "adjustable" doohickeys so that the saddle or handlebars could be moved a little bit without having to buy new parts? Feasible?

Anyway, back to reality.
(Reality, where people not clever enough to create something new instead try to separate less clever people from their money via marketing, e.g. Budnitz, Tamboite, etc.)

Hire a Pro Coach, Improve your Performance said...

Ralpha Kramden @ 317 "If it doesn't have a dick, USA Cycling couldn't care less about it. Sad but true."

If it doesn't have a snatch, tits and a mouth, USA Gymnastics couldn't care less about it. Sad but true.

The King of Park Slope said...

Happy aniversary Ted.

The King of Park Slope said...

I do so know rudimentary HTML

cdinvb said...

Lacrosse. We do lacrosse around here.

janinedm said...

That's not equivalent. It is, in fact, the opposite. In USA gymnastics, our women win, while the guys don't medal. At the last Olympics, our highest placing guy was 7th where the women brought home plenty of medals in the individual and all-around.

Gymnastics Fred said...


zinj said...

World's Narrowest Bike Lanes? Keep trying, Melbourne!

Ketch Me If You Can said...

Methinks that the type of sailing vessel @ 3:48 in the Stealth video is called a hermaphrodite brigantine.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone should tell the New York Times about Johnny Coast, Peter Weigle, Brian Chapman, and all the other craftsmen who show at the New England Builders Ball. Any of them can build a custom French bike better than a Frenchman.

Cat O' Nine Tails said...

If Leroy's dog were a sailor, I'm sure a barque would be the ship of choice.

Anonymous said...

8 Conclusions from Flanders, by Sean Kelly. Takes off right where Bike Snob left it on the floor.

I was reminiscing through old Bike Snob posts this morning, back when he respected and held the Spring Classics in esteem. What makes a former racer turn against the sport he once loved?
I talked to my psychologist about it, then also consulted an online sports psychologist. Theories:

1. Disappointment in one's own racing career.

2. A feeling of not getting out of it what you put into it.

3. Regret over investing in high end cycle racing gear Which quickly loses value.

4. Regret over not doping to get to the next level of success.

5. Jealousy of those who have succeeded resulting in a subsequent rejection of the sport as a whole.

6. Lance Armstrong blogger syndrome. Publicly embracing the one-time star, feeling disappointment and emembarrassment after his fall from grace; resulting in a rejection of the sport as a whole as a result.

7. To many kids to pay attention to the many details of cycle racing at its highest levels which are required to understand the sport at the highest level.

8. Feeling confused and internally frustrated now that their is no competitive outlet other than playing child's games with the kids.

9. Boredom with bicycle commuting with heavy bikes with fenders and complete denial regarding it.

10. Jealousy concerning Steve Tilford's blog.

11. Unhappy that today's racers are required to wear helmets.

12. Boredom with the sport now that doping has been eliminated.

13. Frustration over the success of Team Sky.

14. Carbon jealousy.

15. Internal anxiety over not being part of a team.

16. Unhappy that the audition to be Phil Ligett's cohost didn't go well.

17. Jealous of Bobke.

18. Frustration over being able to keep up with old lady bike commuters.

19. Doesn't have full internet coverage to enjoy the big gave.

20. Regret over not riding more challenging trail

Plonkers Inc said...

The only problem I can see with the Slealth P7 (apart from the lack of mudguards, racks and utility) is that it is illegal to ride the fast version in Australia - who'd a thunk? Much better to get a 250W Japanese or Dutch pedalec. Cheaper, same speed and actually designed for utility with the commuter in mind.

Riding the fast version in Australia will net the rider - unlicensed, unregistered and uninsured. It can't be insured as it can't registered and you can't be licenced so they got you on all counts. $6000 fine if you are lucky.

Cinimod said...

My triple triangle GT shopping bike has a nicer top tube/down tube junction than the fashion bike. And it's green. I just need some beechwood...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Australia, it seems that our beloved Duncan Gay and Mike "Casino" Baird have pulled their heads in about their cyclist id requirement so quietly that I didn't even realise for a few months -

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:14am,

I actually mentioned that awhile back. You should read this blog for all news of your homeland.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

art said...

If Phinney keeps this up, he can be the next Danielson.

Wesley Bellairs said...

Phinney is 6'3" and rides a 56cm bike. He crashes. Lots. Wtf?

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