Monday, October 16, 2017

Guilty Pleasures

Life can be overwhelming, and at one point or another we all feel ourselves buckling under the crushing weight of work and responsibility.  Add to that a few dispiriting news stories and it's enough to stop you dead in your tracks.  That's why it's important to indulge yourself in a guilty pleasure every now and again, and some of my favorites these days include eating ice cream and crying, crying, and watching TV while eating ice cream and crying.

But I'm extremely fortunate that my most favoritest of guilty pleasures is also part of my job as a semi-professional bike blogger, and it it this:

Riling up the readers of Outside magazine.

By the way, note that I said "riling up" and not "trolling," since it's an important distinction.  See, trolling implies saying something that has no redeeming value just for the sake of upsetting people, but what I write for Outside does in fact have redeeming value because it's expertly curated artisanal content and it will only upset you if you're full of shit or stupid or both.  Consider my last column:


It's clear to the thinking person from the title alone that some hyperbole is about to follow, and if you missed that then there's the subtitle to really drive it home:

Why it will destroy cycling, society, and the planet if we let it

It should also be doubly clear within the context of our time, because while both the title and the subtitle may be objectively true of, say, our president, they are obviously not true of, say, a squishy fork.  And of course, anybody with any sense could tell the point of the article is that rigid bikes can be lots of fun and that the prevailing notion that you need suspension at all times is simply not the case.  Nevertheless, just as I knew they would, the "adults who play with toys" demographic got all hurt in their butts on Outside's Facebook page and it was a joy to read:


Brian, you sound like kind of a putz, so by all means don't wait up.  And Mike, what's wrong with having a 1997 Gary Fisher?  Anybody still riding a 20 year-old bike is awesome.  Thanks for the tech advice on the lockout though, I'll totally get rid of my rigid bike and start riding a locked-out suspension bike isntead.

Another common type of angry bike commenter is the frustrated tech weenie:


You do realize Outside pick the photos, right?  Spoiler alert: I didn't choose the font either.

And then there's always the person who wants to dismiss everything as youthful folly:

Nope.  Wrong, Paul.

Also, you're the one using emojis.

In any case, all of this proves something I've always believed, which is that when it comes to being simpering gear weenies the Mountain Bike Freds (or "Barneys") are a thousand times worse than the roadies.

Speaking of everything that's wrong with society, you may have heard about that bike lane protest in Minneapolis, but if not you can read more about it over on the Bike Forecast:


You'll want to click here once you have.

Meanwhile, up in America's Ceremonial Head Covering, an Ottawa driver has some damning evidence indeed that cyclists are profoundly reckless.  Here's the description:

This was shot from my dashcam near Algonquin College and is why I believe fine for bicyclists should be twice that of an automobile driver.

And here's the shocking video:



Cover your eyes in horror, but peek through your fingers as at 28 seconds a cyclist with panniers rides slowly through an empty intersection:


Seems to me the most dangerous moment in the video was when the driver yelled at him.

49 comments:

  1. nooooooo... Podium?

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  2. And here I was thinking you were taking my birthday as a national holiday! Yay for BSNYC!

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  3. Talking about guilt... Am I the only one to find this advert incredibly showing AND offensive?
    Oh, and it´s for "Life´s adventurers"...

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

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  4. First, or just moderator's lag?

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  5. My 20+ year old Jetta Trek is ready for the dirt Fondon't, it may be my newest bike and it does have a squishy fork. However, I'm not awesome, I suck and am a douchbag. Thank you BSNYC for thoughtful, well-written advocacy : )

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  6. Mountain bikers worse than insufferable roadies?

    Best to stay away from downhillers altogether.

    If you ignore my advice, better show up with Maxxis tires and Five Ten shoes or the withering glares of disrespect will wilt you.

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  7. Not that it's relevant to me with all my rigid bikes, but suspension does lower the barrier to entry (skills wise, not money wise) to the sport and I think it causes people to stick with it. I think that's probably what led to the decline of mountain biking in the late 90s early 2000s: you had to really work at mountain biking if you wanted to get passed the frustration phase. What is perplexing is why the rise of super-plush bikes has led to trails being sanitized and bermified. Pinkbike is a way bigger problem than bike technology.

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  8. Bike forecast link is bad:

    when%20it%20comes%20to%20being%20simpering%20gear%20weenies’s server DNS address could not be found.

    Which is a shame, really.

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  9. Camembert teuton @1:49

    That is a fucked up ad from a fucked up company but sadly representative of a fucked up industry.



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  10. Really, you mean that squishy forks AREN'T actually going to destroy society? Who woulda thunk it?

    Problem is, we have someone else who says things that obviously aren't true either; for example, "I had the biggest inauguration crowds ever," or "there's no global warming." Somehow, all these claims seem more dangerous than squishy forks.

    I dunno...

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  11. Hee Haw the baristaOctober 16, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    I still can't believe Outside is still a thing.

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  12. Nuttin' wrong with a 17/18 year old 8 speed mountain bike. My old (Name who cannot be spoken, but can jump over tree stumps) seems to be able hold my increasing girth up. I can't understand why it doesn't assplode everytime I look at it because the wheels are 3 inches smaller than they should be. I have to admit that it does have a front boing-boing, but I can't take it off because I told my wife that I bought the bike because it was named after her.

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  13. A lot of the MTB folk worry too much what others think and take themselves way too seriously. Subtle way to illustrate it wildcat. You have to Strava a fixed suspension epic one these days.

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  14. I thought Minneapolis and St. Paul were supposed to be cool.

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  15. “You’d need suspension if you rode life hard.”

    Outside reader comments don’t disappoint, unless you want to read coherent thoughts.

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  16. Grump, your wife is named Rock Shox?

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  17. Lieutenant ObliviousOctober 16, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Top twenty? I survived Hurricane Ophelia today!

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  18. I went from my Kona Hei Hei (FS) to a Trek Stache with 3" tires and a nice fork twice in kind of like a back-to-back-to-back-to-back comparison yesterday.

    RESULTS: The full suspension is way nicer on my back.

    I HATE YOU SNOB RIDGID FRAME GIVES HAS BALL CANCER

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  19. Well imagine my surprise when I learned that "hard tail" wasn't a canine condition caused by scooting on concrete.

    And imagine my lack of surprise when I figured out who was calling "on your left" on my way home yesterday.

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  20. I've always found many Americans extremely upset by sarcasm and just don't get irony. Add your acid NY'er attitude to the mix and you are bound to elicit a stream of literal comments from the unenlightened. Thankfully most of your commentariat get it.

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  21. Outside Magazine is probably much like Hustler: a whole lot of images and commentary on that which its readers will never know.

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  22. Ride suspension or do not. BFD. Ride old bikes, new bikes, metal bikes or plastic bikes. Whatever turns you on.

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  23. I'll admit a guilty pleasure for me is riding across roads on red pedestrian lights when there are no cars in sight.

    Especially when they then go red and drivers have to look at an empty road for a few seconds.

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  24. Am I the only one that has ridden to the local trail on lockout, then been most of the way home before you realize you never bothered to unlock it?

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  25. Outside of this forum, I try to never use sarcasm when communicating with other cyclists online. I'm in a group on Facebook and once I commented "you can't stand next to a bike without your helmet!" and was taken 100% seriously by people. Another time, I was kvetching because some dummy with a thick ass gel saddle on a trek basically parked his bike ON my bike (find your own pole, dummy!) and I joked to the group that I was going to steal his (or her) un-secured quick release saddle and everyone was like, "do not do this thing! it is wrong!" So, yeah. Most bike people don't get jokes.

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  26. Wow Snobby....those comments are even funnier than your post (not dissing you btw, as your post was HILARIOUS!) A quote from Teddy Roosevelt comes to mind here (at least I believe it was from him): "the biggest argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with an average voter". Gads...those people are STU-PID not to realize you are making fun (of pretty much EVERYTHING). I'm sad for them.

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  27. Re a 1997 bicycle ... Mine is a vintage 1979 Dutch frame with Campy Nuovo Record components and skinny tires ... rides great even on dirt & squashed-in gravel paths [loose gravel not so great but thrilling!] ... so I can see BikeSnob's point about mountain bikes with suspension ... for most of us this just isn't necessary ... the same applies for nearly all bicycle technology ... simple is sometimes best

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  28. Today an Idaho stop. Tomorrow in a bell tower with an automatic weapon. Terrorist on wheels

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  29. bad boy of the southOctober 16, 2017 at 6:28 PM

    There's no crying in bikey riding! I guess there is whilst eating a frozen dessert,though.
    Hey Leroy,was that other dog attempting to pick up your dog?

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  30. bad boy of the southOctober 16, 2017 at 6:43 PM

    I might attempt to bikey ride the c&o canal on a rigid twenty-five year old pine mountain tomorrow.do I need a styrofoam cranial guard device?

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  31. I'm firmly in the "I'm old and my back hurts less" camp with regards to mountaining bikecycles with full suspension. I'm also a member of the "multiple gears are good, single speed is dumb" club. But please note that this only applies to me, you should ride whatever you want and have fun. We all know it's really the e-bikes that are going to destroy the Earth.

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  32. bad boy of the southOctober 16, 2017 at 6:50 PM

    That's in Washington DC for the most part for the uninitiated.

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  33. bad boy of the southOctober 16, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    POG? What?

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  34. Professionals Rile - Hanger-on-commentators Troll

    I hate explaining sarcasm

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  35. I like how Alex thinks you were picked at random to write for Outside.

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  36. Anonymous 8:12pm,

    Alex also says pretty much the same thing I did in the column, which is that suspension has certain advantages in certain situations but rigid bikes and fat tires also work well and are lots of fun.

    A lot of the internet is people saying the same thing back at you, but more indignantly. I know I've done plenty of that myself.

    --Wildcat Etc.

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  37. It's a tree falling in the forest thing. If you run lights when there are no cars around, who knows if it happened. If there's a car sitting there, just wait for the stupid light to change.

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  38. The good thing about dockless bikeshare is riders can leave them wherever they want. The bad thing about dockless bikeshare is riders can leave them wherever they want plus human nature being what it is = fodder for more Bike haters. I saw a couple of them left in the middle of a narrow stretch of sidewalk, with pedestrians struggling to get Past the green and orange bikes...

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  39. @ badboy (whachagonnado)

    Enjoy the c&o - I'll be on it for a short stretch as part of my commute this morning. There are some fun non-alps men-biek trails that run around between the tow path and the river if you want a change of pace - but they might be a little wet from the rains (c&o drains/dries much quicker)

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  40. My commuter is none other than a 1997 Gary Fisher Marlin. In addition to being my year-round commuter, it also gets used occasionally rail trails and singletrack. I wonder if Brian Wilkin has been following me...

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  41. Who the hell dash-cams their commute? Or their drive anywhere, ever? Do they want to re-live the thrilling time they spent in their Hyundai once they arrive at their destination? I mean, while I really enjoy my bike rides (sometimes I even feel like a smug bad-ass, riding my cx bike or my rigid singlespeed mtb where other people rock their full sus rigs), I couldn't possibly be less interested in a recording of my ride. But I don't even want to experience my commute IRL, let alone watch it on my phone afterward! Is it really just to have the camera rolling just in case something freaky--or something to be indignant about--happens? I must be way too lazy to win at internet, 'cause I am *not* doin' that.

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  42. bad boy of the southOctober 17, 2017 at 12:14 PM

    Thanks JLRB.well, I survived the c&o canal as well as the custis trail without breaking glass and putting on a styrofoam party hat.saw army helicopter flyovers but I'm sure they weren't looking for me.

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  43. Stand up drivers and be heardOctober 17, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    When will society demand that the police stop giving tickets to cars, trucks, etc, and start paying attention to bicyclists?

    Maybe, mandatory cycling education classes?

    Maybe the confiscation of the steeds they ride on.

    Maybe making the offender disappear (Commie Canuck and Babble seem to have disappeared).

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  44. vsk said ...

    Moderate THIS !

    I'd be happy with the sunsetting of use of the word Technical to describe some kind of bumpy bikeway pathway.

    Would be also thrilled never to hear the word Dope unless used to describe a stupid person.

    That would just be so lit bro.

    I am old. (Just in case you didn't figure it out). 3 speed Schwinn Corvette just shreds the awesome technical gnar.

    vsk

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  45. I'm 50 years old and ride a BMX bike. Some how the lack of suspension hasn't stopped me yet! I've also noticed that my handling skills are better because of the little, rigid bike.

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  46. You know what you call a 2009 Rockhooper with a blown shock? Landfill. The cost of fixing suspension is always more than the sale price of said bike on the used market.
    Rigid Gary Fisher from 1994? Collector's item.

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