Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Lifetime Achievement

Well, I must be about to retire or die, because CyclingTips have just run pretty much the entire story of my life:


Spare a thought, won't you, for my interviewer Peter Flax, who had to endure two (2) brutal hours on the phone with me:

His name is Eben Weiss, but most cyclists know him better as Bike Snob, a lacerating blogger and book author who has spent a decade taking aim at everything from the absurdity of fixie culture and the consumerist excess of roadies to the overearnest nature of racing fans and the slippery charm of Mario Cipollini. Contributor Peter Flax spent two hours on the phone with Weiss, discussing his early riding life, his emergence as a sort of cycling comedian, and his more recent pivot into advocacy. Here are highlights of that wide-ranging interview, presented in Weiss’ own words.

If you're on Twitter, here's his handle, so you might want to ask him #whatpressureyourunning when you're bored to death.

Anyway, many thanks to Peter and to Neal Rogers for making the best of what was clearly a very slow news day, and special thanks to my son Elliott who took that photo of me.  (Clearly he got his sick bike-handling skills from me, but the keen photographic eye must have come from his mom.)

Moving on, it's a beautiful day, and so in the spirt of being the very best cycling blogger I can be I said "Fuck that" and went out for a bike ride this morning--nothing special, just my usual 20-miler:


I'd have gotten out earlier but I decided to change the saddle on the wood bike.  See, it came with this Selle Italia job:


And while it wasn't causing me any scranial problems or anything like that I wasn't crazy about it, not least of all because it's got a cutout in it:


(If you read the CyclingTips feature you know I'm now a serious writer now, so I won't point out that this saddle looks a little bit like a vagina.)

Hey, what can I say?  When it comes to the road bikes I like my cleats fixed and my saddles solid, it's just the way I am.  So I switched it for this one, which in my opinion did at least as much for the bike's appearance as it did for my personal comfort:


See how the black and white colourwhey picks up the accents on the crabon fribé bar/stem combo?

Sure you do.

Of course changing a saddle is one of those things you always think is going to take five minutes but in reality ends up taking an hour because you've got to get everything just so, and that's what happened to me.  Otherwise I'd have been back earlier--or, more likely, ridden another ten miles.

Speaking of this bike, you'll recall that I'm allowed to ride it in accordance with the terms of my New Year's Resolution, and if you're wondering how that's been going here's your answer:


It also continues to be quite fun to ride, and with spring imminent I plan to really put this bike to the test and subject it to all manner of Feats of Fredness, for with its crabon wheels, lavish appearance and hefty price tag it is the wood-hewn embodiment of the mid-Fred crisis I'm currently experiencing.

So click on the crickets, read the CyclingTips article, and before you know it you'll be taking a refreshing nap.

You're welcome.

43 comments:

Unknown said...

Podium?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Podio? SCRANUS!

dcee604 said...

Top 5?

dcee604 said...

Woohoo..made it!

dcee604 said...

Top 5?

Feels like the first time - the very first time said...

Podium?

You are famous said...

Enjoyed the interview and the comments - now that you are a well-known and exposed advocate I hope your serious comments get the traction they deserve. There is no doubt that congestion pricing is a start.

Anonymous said...

Podiodium

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

# 6 ... so that means like a hundred, ... century !?!


vsk

ken e. said...



PACK
FILL

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Very nice interview. With Spring in the air, what are the odd of a 2018 Pre-Fondon't or an actual 2018 Fondon't? I know it is difficult to contemplate with all these balls in the air, but it would sure be great to ride on one again! No pressures though, I've got a lot of balls in the air myself so if it can't happen, I understand.

ken e. said...

sorry, my earlier comment was missing something.

BEST
KIND

Chazu said...

Crickets of Georgia? Next time, please hook us up with the nighttime sounds of The Bronx.

HDEB said...

Yes please to a 2018 Fondon't : )! Excellent article in Cycling Tips, especially resonant was the incompatibility of cycling with sprawl and sometimes getting despondent. Keep up the good work : )

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Snob your quoted, "Maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel that some people look to me in those situations. "

...Not your imagination. I actually do appreciate and look for your thoughts on screeds written by stupids. and least of all to have a good chuckle.

Olle Nilsson said...

I hope your obit writer has strict instructions to mention that you weren't wearing a helmet when you choked on that pastrami sandwich.

BMXSnobIn the Heart of Dixie said...

WCRM, it is time to return to the BMX track on Long Island of your youth. Your two boys are old enough and they deserve the chance to enjoy the same joy you experienced as a youngster that will be theirs when they get to roll down the start hill at their local BMX track.

The first time is free and most tracks have strider races, 20 inch, and cruiser. Your boys would have the time of their lives. . .

There is still an active track at Shoreham BMX I am not from anywhere near New York City, so there may be closer ones to you, but if not, it is a good place to start. And if you wish, you could even demonstrate to your boys how to perform the Scorpion.

N/A said...

Nice Cycling Tips article, very classy with the lack of references to scranuses and whatnot.



No Brooks saddle on ye olde Woodrow? Seems leather would be appropriate for the wooden sled, right? One imagines that The Snob household must have the things just scattered around all willy-nilly.

BikeSnobNYC said...

BMXSnob in the Heart of Dixie,

I'd love to get my kids into BMX but I don't think there's anything reasonably close. The track I raced at (Newbridge Road BMX if anyone cares) is gone and Shoreham's like 70 miles from me. As far as I know there's nothing closer to me than that. Seems to me that if one or both kids is interested in racing bikes the best option is to get them involved with mountain bikes (or, gasp, road bikes), since there are more avenues into that.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I guess if one needs to get back to despondency, there's this article adjacent to your interview for balance:

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/02/behind-the-wheel-rally-director-eric-wohlbergs-1964-buick-lesabre-estate-wagon/

Kids should be on bikes according to WCRM, but according to Eric Wohlberg, "“I think every man over age 50 should be driving a Buick of some sort,” he said. “It’s a rite of passage.”

Because, yeah, the thing the SF Bay Area needs more than more cars is more cars that are grandfathered out of smog testing.

janinedm said...

Man, I wish I could ride my bike today, but 1) I found a new place to stay and 2) my bikes are behind a fort of packed boxes. I did not think this through. I briefly thought about borrowing a bike from a friend because it's so nice, but I don't have approximately 14 children to keep the unpacking train moving while I fuck off. But seriously, the Pharoahs' tombs would have been unmolested to this day if they had used book boxes. I hope to make enough progress to go to TransAlt's Bicyclist Ball/Pedestrian Prom this week.

janinedm said...

What about Mullaly Park? http://mullalybikepark.org/

Ze Cherman said...

Great article Snob. Is that a Bobike seat on the back? Great way to mount it on rack only. The front one - do you reckon that would fit over a regular top tube that has the cables routed on top of it, and still provide clearance for said cables? Still looking for a top tube seat that would do that. Thx

BikeSnobNYC said...

janinedm,

Was talking about racetracks. But yes, that is a great place.

--Wildcat Etc.

bad boy of the south said...

Yep,I am reading your interview and clicking on the crickets like you suggested.There's no way I'm going to nap.Very enlightening reading and...and..(yawn)...ZZzzzz.(jk)

Bryan Bracy said...

Snobby,
I had the same saddle on my 'legit' BMC. I hated it similarly.

Drock said...

All saddles should have cutouts, why it took so long for this to happen is beyond me. My friend calls cutouts quick fart excape slots.

Some guy from upstate said...

The wee snoblings are probably too young now, but if they exhibit strong BR+ tendencies and MTB potential when they get to middle school NICA is pretty active in the New Jersey/Catskills/Capital Region corridor.

leroy said...

My dog informs me that he knows a charming little course in Red Hook where you can put the Renovo through its paces.

Wood floats right?

(He thinks we were racing this weekend, but I was only tagging along for the Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam at the IKEA.)

Anonymous said...

that wasn't a selle italia trans-am; but the fizik is nice too.

Spokey said...

looks like you're not living up to your obligations. shouldn't that read

My red hook critter informs me that he knows a charming

JLRB said...

Will have to come back to finish the life story LUNCH IS OVER.

wle said...

so i'm confused - is that "one.bike.for.a.year" thing just totally out the window, or are all these other bikes covered under some obscure loophole?

wle said...

Change of subject - just noticed something on the pic of Snob at the Brompton Finals.... So.. I may be from Alabama.. but are tattoos.. well - you know - ...kosher...? I thought they were verboten.. Or kerflimt, or buzkaflatken, or something Yiddish...

Anonymous said...

Huge plane hits Bike-Fred WoooHooo Speed;

https://www.yahoo.com/news/watch-world-apos-largest-plane-110100019.html

wishiwasmerckx said...

WLE, there is a biblical prohibition on tattoos.

So strictly was this enforced that for years, there was a debate about whether a holocaust survivor could be buried in a Jewish cemetery even though their concentration camp tattoos were entirely involuntary.

I am not sure what happened in the interim, but tattoos are now extremely common in Israel. After hearing for so many years about how they are forbidden, it is still a shock to see tattoos in Hebrew lettering.

In my experience, even casually observant Jews largely avoid tattoos.

I have no desire for a tattoo, but if I were to get one, it would almost certainly be of Leviticus 19:28, the Bible verse forbidding tattoos.

wishiwasmerckx said...

P.S. In case you track these sorts of things, my gentle exhortations across the years in this comment section for Eben Weiss to be a more observant Jew have largely fallen on deaf ears.

Chazu said...

Irregular is the new regular. (posting schedule)

paulb said...

From the Strava squiggles it looks like you take the OCA (Hooray for the OCA!) for either the out- or homebound leg between Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry or HoH. But below Yonkers, those local streets are a mystery to me. I see there's a long side road called Hawthorne Ave. Is that a good route? Or Riverdale Ave? I'm ready to skip the OCA section along Tibbets Brook Park, the Yonkers traverse being a misery. Due to the time just getting to the north Bronx from Brooklyn, I put pressure on myself and never just hack around on the roads to find what's what.

Anonymous said...

"you've got to get everything just so"

There's something in Kipling's short stories about that, isn't there?

BikeSnobNYC said...

paulb,

Taking Hawthorne Avenue and then hopping over to Warburton Avenue is a pretty good route. From Warburton you can access the OCA in various spots (Shonnard Terrace and Odell Ave. are good spots ) or just stay on it to Hastings. Riverdale Avenue works (it becomes Warburton Avenue around Getty Square) but it's busy and unpleasant.

This Strava uploadmay be helpful, it shows one of the Hawthorne routes I like to use. (Though I don't remember if I used it going or coming that day.)

--Wildcat Etc.

paulb said...

WCRM, thank you for that route advice.

Jeremy Besch said...

I just want to say thanks for all of it. I run a school in a Buffalo suburb that isn't safely bike-accesible, and I identify with all you write about. I've also grown up from a self-centered roadie to a more-aware commuter and dad. So much of what you write about is right on. Peter Flax's bio of you was great. If you're ever near Buffalo and want to talk to kids about advocacy work (and bikes), I'll get you an audience. We coukd also go for a ride... Thanks again for all of it. JB