Thursday, June 21, 2018

Golf Is The Old Cycling

Firstly, an important update to yesterday's art as suggested by a commenter:


Now if you look closely you'll see a "litter bike" by the flying cat's tail.

Also, if it's unclear what's going on here, basically I'm enjoying the Moon's low gravity by hurling cats.

There's a whole bag of 'em just out of frame.

Secondly, every few months we get a story from one of the white collar publications about how cycling is the new golf and how high-powered Freds are half-wheeling and dealing:


It's ironic that VeloNews, the golfiest of all the cycling publications, disagrees.

Anyway, here's the latest one from the Wall Street Journal:

Which starts off with a bit of a head-scratcher:


I see what the writer was getting at, but was there ever a time when you'd tell people you ride bikes and they'd respond: "Wait, you mean cycling?  That obscure sport for kids?"

But that's just nitpicky and I'll take a story like this over another anti-bike lane editorial any day.  In fact my only real problem with this story is that it made me anxious, because apparently I'd better get myself a cycling calendar right away if I ever want to get ahead:

“I have executives say, ‘Send me your cycling calendar.’ They’re using it to decide which conferences to attend,” says Ben Rabner, Adobe’s head of experiential marketing, who founded the bike program five years ago.

Okay, here you go!


Have your people call my people.

By the way, when I googled "Cycling Calendar," that was pretty much the only result that was safe for work.  So it's only a matter of time before some male executive desperate to pass himself off as a cyclist sends one of the NSFW ones and winds up out of a job.

I was also intrigued to learn that there are people who use Fred rides to choose high-powered law firms:

“When potential clients are choosing a law firm,” says Edwards, “chemistry is important. If we can get to know them in a more informal setting, like on a bike, it’s a good way to find out if you get along.”

That's interesting, because usually the way you meet lawyers while cycling is when they hand you their business card as you're being loaded into an ambulance.

I do take issue with this claim however:

It’s also an inherently social sport, thanks to drafting—following in a tight “pace line” formation where a lead cyclist (or two, side by side, in a double pace line) cut the wind for the cyclists behind them. 

I maintain that pacelines are inherently antisocial.  After all, how do you chat in a paceline?  Unless your idea of conversation is shouting into someone else's asshole then this doesn't make sense.

Then again, I'm a bike blogger who fires off wisecracks from the couch, so we should always keep in mind that when it comes to the corporate world I have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about.

Still, even I can see that this is an unfortunate bit of branding:



O’Neill quit his job to build out ICE, now 1,000 members strong. Sponsors (like Vodafone Global Enterprise and EY’s Data and Analytics Practice) get their brand on the club’s “kit” (cycling gear), website and social-media presence and have the chance to offer sessions at the breakfast that follows the rides. Sponsors can also seed the club with a couple of their own cycling employees. (O’Neill says sales talk is frowned upon by sponsors unless it springs up naturally.) There are ICE chapters in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.K., and there are plans for seven more cities by 2023, including at least two in the U.S.

Seriously, you're going to launch a company in the US called ICE now?


(Via here.)

Of course we are dealing with corporate America, so maybe it's perfect branding.

I guess it pays to know your customer.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podiating yo.

Jasper said...

Goodness, it's been a while.

N/A said...

Haha, I was feeling like a dick for my comment yesterday and had decided that I was going to delete it this morning. I load up the ol' webpage after my morning meeting and right there, front and center, is the very thing I suggested.

It's perfect now, and I think it really fits in with Tan Tenovo's oeuvre.

Microcord said...

I may look as ridiculous as a golfer, but at least the fairways along which I ride don't have to be pre-soaked with herbicides.

Joke Photo Fred said...

Need to photoshop half the footprints in the first photo so they look like they were made with SPD shoes.

JLRB said...

Yelling into assholes is definitely corporate conversation

NHcycler said...

N/A said:
"...my comment yesterday and had decided that I was going to delete it this morning...it's likely that I'm probably missing a perfectly cromulent reason..."

Thanks for not deleting it; you learned me a new word!

BamaPhred said...

If executive assholes are involved, count me out. Actually, assholes of any kind, count me out. I guess i won’t be able to ride with myself, however. Gotta think about that for awhile.

Brian said...

I guess they hadn't considered ISIS instead of ICE.

Anonymous said...

Business people are all about golf, not cycling. been that way forever.

Chazu said...

JLRB - thanks for that comment. Reading it is a great way to start the day in a corporate environment.

I'm attending a conference in Austin in October, and you are goddamn right I'm going to stop by Juan Pelota's place which is just around the corner from the conference venue. I may even rent a bike next door. I see the cafe's namesake has been scrubbed from the Juan Pelota website, and from that of the adjacent bike shop. That's a shrewd marketing move at this point.

Anonymous said...

Podi... doh*

Anonymous said...

WCRM and JLRB [at 9:57 AM] scored huge interwebs points today!

Hee Haw the barista said...


Jai alai is an obscure sport.

Methinks said "journalist" doesn't have much of a vocabulary.

HDEB said...

If one is breathing calmly enough to maintain a converstation, might being in a paceline (or on a Fred sled) be kind of pointless?
I suspect, for some, the gear is about the aesthetic.
The most fun I ever had in a paceline was the chain reaction from a wet, off-center railroad crossing at 20mph+ : )

enorme pelotas said...

yeah,right.

bad boy of the south said...

maybe if they went by "ices" would've worked.

leroy said...

Oh great.

You had to post a photo of a cycling emotions calendar.

Do you have any idea what it's like to spend a morning with a dog crooning Sweet Emotion at the top of his lungs?

("You talk about things that nobody cares ... Don't know baby where I'll be in a year.")

Can you at least recommend a lawyer to send him a seasoned desist letter? The saltier the language the better.

Anonymous said...

Cycling calendar?

Get your Jobst Brandt Tour de Alps cycling calendar here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1313286

Schisthead said...

A thought occurs:

You're on the moon with cats.
Would a litter bike be useful, or would it be 'overspecializing'?

janinedm said...

I am happy to report that I have just returned my hearing for my red light ticket and was found not guilty.

leroy said...

Justice for janinedm!!

(Did the cop not show after multiple adjournments or was this on the merits?)

Anonymous said...

From The Atlantic, a different sort of anti-bike article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/cargo-bike-moms-are-gentrifying-the-netherlands/562475/

"‘Cargo-Bike Moms’ Are Gentrifying the Netherlands
In Rotterdam, the bakfiets utility bike has become a symbol—and a tool—of urban displacement."

"To achieve that goal, Rotterdam has invested heavily in attracting middle-class residents, especially families with children and money to spend. Since it’s more expensive than other bikes, the bakfiets has become a symbol of reaching that goal."

makes a nice change from the more usual crabon "racing" bike.

But it's not all rosy:

"For this reason, the heavy, unwieldy cargo bike has also become a symbol of the impossibility of work-life balance—the Dutch version of “having it all.”"

janinedm said...

The cop did show and, while politeness didn't get me out of the ticket, i think it made him be super nice in the hearing. He basically said he thought about the ticket and the number of cars parked in the bike lane at the intersection and surmised i was so focused on getting around the cars, that I did not notice the light and recommended it be treated as a mistake rather than a infraction. This was the cop who was so polite, I thought about not fighting the ticket but was universally advised to fight all tickets. I'd now say it was sound advice.

bad boy of the south said...

Good for you,janinedm.congrats!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

janinedm, how long did the court appearance take?

the last ticket I got for red light was issued by a cop that i know hates cyclists (i know because he gave me a ticket just a month before the red light one for going against traffic, and i spoke with him at length). I tried to tell him that the light turned green before i even put both feet on the pedals, and he wasn't having it. I paid because taking time off from work to be in court for a full day is worth more to me than paying the close to $200. But, i ask you because i've never considered fighting a ticket... and i hate courts as much as i hate emergency rooms in hospitals.

SR

Haywood Jablome said...

Absolutely.Always fight tickets.And,where I live all lanes are bike Lanes. (Small flyover country town). Drafting tractors and combines is a passion.

Fred Frediksen said...

The term “litter bike” reminds me of the Tom Waits song “Broken Bicycles.” But I suspect he is using it as a metaphor.
I’ve been enjoying the regular posts lately, thank you.
What happened to Babble On?

Charlie said...

As an "obscure commuter"(?) I do enjoy getting around by bike. At work, I often meet people for business conversation. I have never thought that what would make the conversation better would be buying a bunch of expensive gear, spending a bunch of time going to an inconvenient location, and trying to talk while winded.

I don't understand these people. I would deign to meet at a cycle-themed cafe, but only if it were located on my block.

livingjetlag said...

According to my wife, a cycling calendar is what you use to figure out when to bring tampons to work.

pbatman has no clue what the date is said...

Tan Tenova grabbing all the pussys.

i need to get a cycling calendar...the gals are hot.

Nathan Johnson said...

I thought ICE were initials for “In Case of Emergency”. I guess the other thing is having a moment right now too (though has nothing to do with cycling). I’m not against cycling becoming a substitute for golf. Maybe we can get better roads out of the deal.

1904 Cadardi said...

A former CEO of my company took up cycling and the next year during the annual "fitness challenge" meant to encourage employees to be healthy, and theoretically lower our insurance premiums, jerseys were offered as prizes for riding a certain number of miles.

That he still lived on a golf course and his vacation house in Maui was on a golf course as was his house in Vancouver probably doesn't mean much.

Horny McPre-Vert said...

"...when I googled "Cycling Calendar," that was pretty much the only result that was safe for work.

Man, when I googled that I did not get anything close to NSFW. Not even when added "one cup."

Either my Google is broken or other people's work is way more uptight then mine.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Mondo Mike's cat swimming lesson skit? If tossing cats is your thing you gotta see it. By the way Mike grew up one town over from where Brooklyn Summer Ale is brewed. Chadwicks, NY.

Phill Cloke said...

Have you seen who is in charge of the UK branch. Non other than the son of Pat McQuaid ex head of UCI. Enough said

Jan! said...

“Unless your idea of conversation is shouting into someone else's asshole then this doesn't make sense.”

Am I too puerile or are you getting old? From the quoted paragraph right before that one: “a lead cyclist (or two, side by side, in a double pace line) cut the wind for the cyclists behind them”.

I mean, “cutting wind” and “shouting assholes”: too easy?

janinedm said...

@Serial Retrogrouch, It took about 90 minutes total. I don't know how other cities do it, but here's what happened at the Northern Manhattan Traffic Court: we were scheduled to show up at a set time. For me it was 10:30. I saw on the sign in board that there was an 8:30, 10:30, 1:30 and 3:30 block, so i assume that the longest it could take is 2 hours. The hearings were 5-10 minutes and you can leave as soon as it's done. So if your last name is, like, Adams, you could be in and out in 20 mins. I was at the office by 12:30.

1904 Cadardi said...

Nice article in Outside Mr. Tenovo,

But regarding your closing line "I mean hey, baseball’s great and all, but besides showing off at the dunking booth now and again, what do you do with it?" Two words: college scholarships. When I entered college the first collegiate cycling league was only in it's second year, so maybe there are cycling scholarships now. If I was raising a micro-human (thankfully for me, them and society I'm not) interested in bikecycle racing I would certainly encourage that, but I would also encourage them to run a bit and carry that cycling fitness onto the Cross Country team and turn it into tuition.