Thursday, June 13, 2019

New Outside Column! And Other Stuff Too!

Firstly, I've got a new Outside column, and it's all about how I've become one of those sniveling sidewalk cyclists:


Deal with it.

Secondly, I had an interesting final caller on my RADIO SHOW this past Monday, which made the digital pages of Gothamist:

Here's a more direct link to the show:
I'm still very much figuring this radio thing out, and I didn't respond at length to the caller because I thought I was out of time.  (My guest did however respond in a thoughtful and diplomatic manner.)  I suppose there's a certain type of person out there who gets off on making facile ethnic characterizations on a public forum (in fact one of them happens to be president), but even so I regret not pointing out to the caller that:

B. It's disturbing that, when a driver injures or kills a cyclist, this is the attitude of the person whose job it is to respond to the call and assess the situation.

Finally, when you're knee-deep in all this policy stuff it does start to weigh heavily on the soul, and so I do like to lose myself in the pure joy of bicycle cycling whenever possible.  One of my favorite tools for doing so is the Jones SWB Complete:


And I'm pleased to report that in the not-too-distant future I will be receiving another Jones bicycle, about which I am very, very excited, and about which I plan to type many words, and of which I plan to take many lousy photos.

I'm so excited I may even have to cut myself a new pair of jorts.

Monday, June 10, 2019

"Siri, set a reminder to listen to Bike Snob this morning at 10am. Also, how do you get red wine stains out of a bib short chamois?"

Hi!

Consider this a Post-it note on your forehead reminding you that they haven't canceled my radio show yet, and so I'll be on the air again this morning at 10am*:

And yes, you can listen online

And also yes, you can call in and ask questions.

Also also, I just happened to notice someone just left the following comment on a post that's like two years old:

Why yes I do!  A friend of mine has one of these:

You're welcome!

Sincerely,

Your's truley,

Best wishes and so forth,


--Tan Tenovo


*That's 10am my time, which is the time it is in New York City, USA.  I don't know or care what time zone you live in, so you figure it out.  It's not my problem and quite frankly I'm sick of all this hand-holding.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Oh Snap(ping Turtle)!

Yesterday I had a little rendez-vous with the Jones SWB:


Of all the moderate-length rides I keep in my hip pocket this one is perhaps my favorite:


Flat dirt for cruising, some singletrack, a little bucolic scenery...and best of all I don't have to cross any bridges inasmuch as I live in the mainland borough.

I did spend like a month's cellphone bill on two gluten-free brownies and an iced coffee though.

This morning I also headed out on an early morning jaunt through the suburbs upon my new-to-me vintage titanium Fred sled, and I was treated to wildlife sightings including deer:


When I first started riding regularly in Westchester I thought the deer were charming, but after a few months I figured out the things are basically big pests:


I imagine the people who move there from Park Slope because they read New York Times articles about how Hastings-on-Hudson is the new Brooklyn and find the deer beguiling when they drive up for open houses learn even more quickly.  Still, it's kind of fun to see them, even if they do scare the crap out of me sometimes when I'm on my mountain bike, and even if I do imagine I can see the ticks crawling all over them.

Then on the way home I happened upon this snapping turtle:


At first I was hesitant to approach it, thinking it might leap at me like the rabbit in "The Holy Grail," but then I realized if they did that I'd almost certainly have seen some hilarious YouTube videos of it by now.  Still, I did keep a safe distance, and I also refrained from scratching its head and cooing, "That's a good boy."

Finally, when I took a ride on the Ritte Rust Bucket last month, I didn't realize it would be my last:


But now that titanium has entered my life I have decided that it's time for the Ritte to embark upon the next chapter, and so I sent it off to its new home via Bike Flights, which I've had occasion to use twice now, and for which I'll offer an unsolicited plug since I've been very pleased with them.  In fact this time I used their cardboard box, which was very easy to assemble and pack, and I'm assuming the bike arrived in good condition since I haven't heard otherwise from the recipient.

Anyway, I'll let you know all about where the Ritte wound up in due course, but for now let's all join in bidding it adieu.  Here it is taking shape:


And here it is when I first received it:


I know its new curator will restore it to its former beauty--and more likely make it even more lovely than it was.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On The Air

Yesterday morning I made my radio debut and overall I think it went fairly well, all things considered:
As I mentioned, I had no plans at all to be on the radio until this past Thursday, when the station said, "Do you want a radio show?" and I said, "Yes."  Anyway, if you missed it you can listen now thanks to the miracle of streaming technology; just go to the archives and choose "Bike Snob" from the pull-down menu.  And if you don't have an hour to waste listening to me bloviate, just skip to 11:47, which is when I take a call from an "avid cyclist:"
I'm fairly sure it's the same person who left the comment above.

Of course, the real reason I agreed to do a radio show was that it provides me with a ready-made excuse to take a long ride on a Monday morning, even if that ride is through the heart of the city at rush hour.  If you'd like to see some of the highlights, I shared them on this morning's Bike Forecast:


Not only that, but this morning I ended up cutting a swath through Manhattan yet again, for I headed out early to take a bucolic ride on so-called "River Road" in New Jersey, only to find it closed:
River Road is often "closed" and I usually ignore the signs, though I figured I might as well take the "pesticide spraying" warning seriously--even though I suspect it was a ploy like in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when the government says there's toxic nerve gas in the area in order to deter people from the alien landing sight.  In fact, I highly suspect there was an alien landing this morning on the New Jersey Palisades, and I'm going to start riding with a handlebar-mounted canary so that I can test the veracity of these so-called "pesticide sprayings" in the future.

This time however I just said "fuck it," hopped back on the Greenway, and did a little slingshot around Central Park and back home.

Finally, you may recall that I got a sweet new fixie:


Well, the reason I got it was because Bicycling asked me to write about it in the context of cycling subcultures:

The headline is Bicycling's, and everybody knows the epitome of cycling's rebellion is the recumbent:


(Photo: Grant Petersen)

Otherwise, I stand by it.

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Outside Column, Plus Exciting Announcement!

Firstly, I've got a new column on the Outside web presence, and it's all about how those ultra-loud bicycle horns totally blow:


The other day I managed to get the phrase "rats fucking" onto the virtual pages of that esteemed publication, and this time I worked in the concept of cars that anally electrocute their drivers.  Between that and getting my bike into a museum I couldn't possibly ascend any higher...

...or could I?  Because on Monday--that's this coming Monday, June 3rd, at 10:00am in whatever time zone New York City is in, my RADIO SHOW makes it's debut!

(They really should be wearing their listening helmets.)

Yep, that's right, I'm going to have my very own radio show on WBAI here in New York City, and I assume that even if you're not in New York you'll be able to listen thanks to the miracle of the Internet.  (Also, I think afterwards you'll be able to download it.)  As for how I wound up with a radio show, I'd like to say it's the result of lots of planning on my part.  However, the truth is that WBAI contacted me yesterday and asked me if I wanted to do a radio show, I told them I would, and they said "Great, you start on Monday."  And here we are.

So this blog, a bunch of books, the Outside column, the Bike Forecast, and now the terrestrial airwaves.

All that's left is a Bike Snob handwritten newsletter.  Just send a SASE and wait 6-8 weeks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Outside Column!

I have a new column for Outside and it's all about "Bike-Outs," which aren't even a thing:


And yes, "rideouts" are a thing, but "bike-outs" where you go around harassing old people aren't.

As for me, after last week's bout of one-speeding, yesterday I opted for a bicycle with high-volume tires and a wide range of gear ratios:


I also did something I rarely do these days, which was to transport my bicycle to the trail by using THE CAR THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK in conjunction with the Saris SuperClamp EX hitch-mounted bicycle rack:


I don't particularly enjoy driving to rides, and the Trails Behind The Mall are so close that it doesn't even really save me much time.  However, I did so simply because my time was limited, the forecast called for thunderstorms at any given moment, and I figured this way I could ride until the skies opened up and then retreat to the car in case of severe weather as opposed to being stuck in a downpour 10 miles from home.  Also, slapping the Saris on the car takes like two minutes,

Of course, as it turned out, it never rained too heavily after all, and riding there and back would have been perfectly fine.  Moreover, the forest canopy provided sufficient shelter from the rain we did receive and the trails stayed reasonably dry the whole time.  Nevertheless, the process of unloading the car afterwards did inspire me to take advantage of this exotic device:


And give the Jones a quick rinse, which is something that rarely happens:


As of July it will be one year with the Jones SWB Complete, and my love for this bike is undiminished.  Moreover, all of the components have held up extremely well under heavy use, and it's one of those rare bikes you can buy relatively cheaply and yet not have to change a thing--except possibly your lifestyle.  In fact, this bike is so capable it almost makes me want to sleep outside.

Almost.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hey, Wood You Look At That!

Every so often, if you're lucky, you experience a moment in your life where you step outside of yourself, take a look, and think, "Wow, you really made it!"

I'm luckier than most, and my career as a semi-professional bike blogger has been replete with such moments.  Publishing my first book, accidentally fooling the literary world into thinking George Plimpton rode a Trek Y-Foil, and, uh, other stuff too.  But perhaps my greatest accomplishment is having one of my former bicycles on display in an actual museum.

Yes, that's right, you can now see this artifact with your own eyes at the Classic Cycles bicycle museum on Bainbridge Island, WA:


Classic Cycles is just a ferry ride away from Seattle, and I highly recommend visiting if you haven't already.  Also, I will neither confirm or deny that laying hands upon the Renovo will heal your saddle sores, choppy pedal strroke, or other cycling-related maladies, though the curators will gladly let you touch it for $20, which they and I will then split 50/50.

Speaking of curating, note how they've classed up the bike by changing components to complement the woody goodness.  Because here's how it looked under my tenure:


In case you're wondering, the saddle bag contained a bottle of wood glue.

Anyway, go visit Classic Cycles, and tell them I sent you.  Then duck, because they might chuck a water bottle at you if you mention me.