Monday, April 12, 2010

Fully Loaded: Excessive Packaging

As everybody knows by now, yesterday professional cyclist George Hincapie carved his name into the pavé of history by winning the [instert number here]th edition of the Paris-Roubaix bicycle race, also known as the "Spleen of the Classics:"

(Hincapie, resplendent in his size "M" USPRO Champion Stars-and-Stripes Hanes® Beefy-T®, savors his solo victory)

While few people saw Hincapie as a favorite, nobody could have possibly predicted the dramatic manner in which the race unfolded. As the peloton entered the famed Forest of Arenberg, Hincapie's BMC whatever-it-is bicycle crumbled beneath him as though it were made of Pringles. This, it would seem, was the end of Hincapie's 42nd participation in this storied race. However, spectators and commentators were amazed when, on the penultimate ("penultimate" means the one that hurts your penis the most) sector of cobblestones, Hincapie suddenly rejoined an elite chase group in pursuit of race leader Fabian Cancellara. Even more stunning than the superhuman effort was the fact that Hincapie was riding a period-correct pennyfarthing (or "p-far") bicycle, apparently proffered by a costumed bystander. Hincapie then rode through the chase group (which included riders like Tom Boonen and the preternaturally viscous Filippo Pozzato) like a brakeless "hipster" rides through a bunch of pedestrians at an intersection, overtook a rather nonplussed Cancellara, switched back to a team-issue bicycle upon entering the "Ruby Velodrome," and took the victory that has eluded him for the past 59 years.

Also, cycling fans got to witness another milestone yesterday, when Versus commentator Paul Sherwen uttered the words "around about" for the one millionth time during a Paris-Roubaix broadcast. This phrase will now be encased in a Lucite cobblestone, which will be laid in the Carrefour de l'Arbre pavé sector in an elaborate ceremony to be presided over by professional cyclist turned flax mogul Johan Museeuw, Roger De Vlaeminck, and renowned artistic cyclist Serge Huercio (who, in his previous incarnation as a Classics rider, won Liege-Bastogne-Liege five consecutive times).

Of course, we all know the real Paris-Roubaix story--so "sparctacular" is Fabian "Spartacus" Cancellara that he can humor his sponsors by riding famously brittle Zipp wheels, crack those wheels, and still win by like two and a half hours. Boonen, on the other hand, was not quite as sharp as his pointy sideburns would indicate. As for Hincapie, rather than carving his name into the cobbles of history, sadly he instead chose to write it in bubble letters on the dry erase board walls of the Halls of Meh.

In fact, considerably more exciting than Hincapie's performance (by which I mean slightly more than not at all) were the commercials during the Versus broadcast. I was particularly fascinated to learn about the "Sea-Doo," which is apparently the world's first personal watercraft with a brake:

With the advent of the on-water braking system, the road-going "tarck" bike is now officially the last machine in the world of "flambullient," DayGlo, color-coordinated, and mostly pointless transport (a flat-brim-capped realm which also includes vehicles such as chrome-laden crotch-rockets and custom Civics) for which brakes are still not acceptable. Then again, I'm not a part of "personal watercraft culture," and it may be that using an on-water braking system also means you have no "seaworthiness" (which is, of course, the nautical equivalent of "street cred") and marks you as a total "Nü-Landlubber"--or, worse yet, a complete "fakencaptain." Or, maybe the on-water brake makes this contraption even more like a "tarck" bike, since it essentially creates a reverse thrust, which is similar to the whole "leg braking" concept. Either way, even though designers are attempting to "coolify" the bicycle brake with ill-conceived novelties like the Blockhead stem and the handlebar-mounted clay-cutter, from what I see out there on the "streeetzzz" brakelessness is still the order of the day. Consider this typical specimen:

Apart from the lack of a brake, it also has other "Save the Track Bike" styling cues, my favorite of which is the popular "shoulder pad" grip setup:

This of course evokes the shoulder-pads-and-pushed-up-blazer--sleeves look of the 1980s, and it allows the rider to show off the anodization of his handlebars in the same way it allowed Don Johnson to show off his tanned and waxed forearms:

Another commerical I saw on Versus was one for "ExtenZe Male Enhancement," an annotated variant of which you can see here:

I'm not sure why so many men want to make their penises bigger. Really, having unwieldy genitalia seems like a major inconvenience, and if anything I think it would be more beneficial to make it more compact, easily portable, and less susceptible to damage. Plus, having ExtenZe in your medicine cabinet could be potentially embarrassing, but keeping a box of "male reducer" laying around in plain sight suggests you actually require mediation to reign in your endowment. Apparently, though, increased size isn't the only effect of ExtenZe--according to the Versus commercial, it also makes men "perform" better. By "perform" I assume they don't mean you'll be able to deliver a knockout monologue and land that speaking part at your local repertory theater, and that they're really talking about "s-e-x." Presumably, Extenze will impart upon you the potency of "five Japanese slow-drippers," which is helpful if you're currently only a "one-touch dripper:"

("All You Haters Touch My Dripper," spotted by a reader in Japan.)

Or if you're a "Husband For Hire:"

I spotted the above vehicle in Brooklyn and immediately assumed the driver was some sort of male prostitute. Subsequently, I consulted a popular search engine and learned that he's actually just a contractor, though his website did include a drawing of a person with an enormous tool, which kindled my suspicions anew:

Speaking of large packages, I took the opportunity this past weekend to transport some items with the Surly Big Dummy I've been borrowing:

(The Wagon Queen Family Truckster)

As I must regularly visit the off-site storage area where I receive bulky parcels, house my ironic intern Spencer Madsen, and store canned foods and Snapple in preparation for the Apocalypse, the Big Dummy has already proved itself to be quite useful for what the pretentious mistakenly call "portaging" and what I prefer to call "shuttling crap." Of course, I also live in fear of the moment when, having discharged my load and carrying nothing, I will be spotted by some smug cargo cyclist who's hauling a hemp sofa and 400 pounds of compost and be branded a "fakenporter." In fact, in the event that the cargo bike becomes Fixed-Gear 2.0, I plan to market a line of color-coordinated and pre-distressed empty cardboard boxes that people can simply keep on their bikes at all times for instant "load cred." It's the "porteur" equivalent of ExtenZe.

The other fear I have is dropping my load all over the street (in the literal sense, not the "one-touch dripper sense"). Hopefully, though, if that were to happen then someone would help me--just like they helped this drunk guy who fell off his bike:

Saved me after falling off my bike - m4w (Midtown West)
Date: 2010-04-12, 12:19AM EDT

There is no way this is going to work but I hope it does. You helped me up and helped me fix my bike. It was around 3am I was tipsy and went over the handlebars of my bike; you came to the rescue and then ran off! Email me

Sounds like David Byrne is off the wagon again. Really, falling off your bike while drunk is even more embarrassing than riding around and high-fiving Rollerbladers:

central park today- high 5! (Gramercy)
Date: 2010-04-11, 7:02PM EDT

hey there, today we passed each other a couple times going around the park. you were rollerblading and I was riding my bike. I gave you a high 5 riding past one of the times. I should have stopped. I thought your were quite the rollerblader and definitely looked good doing it. Maybe we can go for a rollerblade together sometime. I would love to get to know you. Hope you see this.

Obviously, the above poster is a "troll," since nobody looks good Rollerblading. And speaking of "portaging," it seems that some sort of "bicycle guru" is walking around the East Village while "portaging" a frame:

To the bicycle guru. - m4w (East Village)
Date: 2010-04-10, 1:51AM EDT

You had your Soma bike frame slung over your shoulder on 14th and A. I said you were missing something. You took out your ear buds to hear what I was saying.

The conversation ended when you had to take a picture of a church.
I think you are a bodhisattva in disguise. I felt good just being me around you. Thanks for that.

I find it difficult to believe that a Bodhisattva would be walking around with a Soma and listening to earbuds, though in these Apocalyptic times anything is possible. Perhaps she's the same person who helped that drunk fix his bike. Hopefully if I do drop my cargo, the Bicycle Guru will materialize like some sort of "hipster" version of Simon and help me "portage" my burden.


ant1 said...

full podium?

ant1 said...

damn, where are you people?

ant1 said...


ant1 said...

i can go all day.

Dr. Feel Good said...


ant1 said...

alrighty then

ant1 said...

thanks doc

ant1 said...

9 out of 10 ain't bad

le constructeur said...

Top ten!

Dr. Feel Good said...

Hey, Ant1, one per customer. Unless you suffer from multiple personality disorder. Then, I take back my comment; I would never pick a fight with all of you.

Fred said...

Fredian Cancellara!

dignan said...

Top Ramen

Anonymous said...



-R.M. Frye P.

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...


ant1 said...

nice awesome highlight snobby

mikeweb said...

Spartacus!!... er, I mean George!!!

Jefe said...

BSNYC, good race Saturday. A bit windy. Did you also chop wood?

hillbilly said...

ant1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hells to the yeah! oh wait, I can't pull that off. oh well, nice job.

what do you mean "apocalypse?" I know "snowpocalypse", is it anything like that?

Paul Bowen said...

Top twennee?

Paul Bowen said...


rezado said...


wishiwasmerckx said...

Society has not always been obsessed with big schlongs. In Roman times, "dainty" penises were preferred, and a large pecker was considered a mark of the lower and working classes, and thus evidence of inferior breeding.

Along those same lines, I could never comfortably wear my Pearlazumi bibs because they were designed by and for Japanese men, and thus are too tight in the crotchal area.

Curtis Chorizali said...

a storage space along the hipster silk route? a bit risky no?

sufferist said...

Way to be Mr. Ant1. It's a bit ostentatious, but given the chance I think we would all do the same.

Sad to hear about poor Georgy...Luckily at 87 he's still in his prime.

ken e. said...

damn you ant1 !!!
i was disgruntled/somewhat plussed when i saw 20 comments, but it looks like 19.5 of them are you.

leroy said...

My understanding is that personal watercraft culture is not for sale.

Nonetheless, those of us who have braved the waters of Lake Prospect Park by paddleboat know, it can be rented by the hour.

sufferist said... PI shorts fit just fine...

OBA said...

if fakenger:tarck, then fakenporter:cgaro?

leroy said...

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that you never see just one ant at a picnic?

George Not Hincapie said...

2 weeks in Florida. This is their version of the ride to Nyack, except FLAT!

Jim said...


Guy carrying bike = Bhoddavista,


Why do I feel ****ing awful on the runups in 'cross?

Helen said...

"discharged my load," eh?

CommieCanuck said...

My favorite quote from the Spleen of the Classics was from David Miller who said that P-R was "best left to the experts".

or, "gee, I really do owe my entire cycling career to massive amounts of EPO".

Dunno about you guys, but I get tons of solicitations encouraging me to grow the size of my pen15 or p3nis. I have no idea what those are, but it sounds too technical.

As wishiwasmerckx mentions, in Canada, like ancient Rome, we put the tiniest peckers in highest regard, and chose the male with the tiniest penis to run the country. The idea was that we need to preserve the beaver, our national animal.

That explains why Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.

Udder said...

Those Extenze pills really work. I took some and my standard size mountain bike became a 29er!

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling that Wednesday weed isn't just for Wednesdays, anymore.

JTK said...

does the Surly Big Dummy come in Antartic Blue?

CommieCanuck said...

In case you're wondering what's in those "male Reducer"'s this ground up photo of Kirsti Alley .

If lack of erection lasts more than four years, please consult your doctor.

Anonymous said...

34th! I beat George!

Cognorant said...

Wait, I still need a review of what I learned on Friday about how to go faster downhill.

Was that push down harder on the pedals?

Really, how do they expect one to take that all in at once?

Billy Reid said...

i feel like the PWC, prior to the "brake", was more like a freewheel bike with no brakes but tires that rubbed on the frame and fork. You could slow down, but it took a while and you would likely run into children playing in the street/water before actually coming to a stop.

Now to the question of whether the handbrake on the PWC makes it more like a tarck bike, coastie, or single speed. It's similar to the tarck bike because it is still difficult to stop and playing children may still get flattened (something inherent with most water-borne vehicles). Additionally, the mode of application of the brake is in the same location as the accelerator (the cross-braced riser bars), but it's different because, when you coast on the PWC, your fingers are not forced to continue moving. It's similar to the coastie in that the braking mechanism appears to be its own unit but mystically hidden within the drivetrain, and, while acceleration and braking are physically in the same area, they are two distinct units. Finally, the PWC brake is similar to the singlespeed in that the brake is activated with a lever.
Despite the fact that I never wanted to hear anything more about "Coasties", the evidence clearly suggests that the brake-equipped PWC is most similar to a "Coastie."

TJ Eckleburg said...

Poor ole Boonen.

saccade said...

I love how the tire clearance on these bikes is described:

Not "plenty" or "gobs" of clearance, but just "enough."

In back, the tire clearance is merely "adequate."

Anonymous said... case y'all missed it:

Suzee said...

As for Hincapie, rather than carving his name into the cobbles of history, sadly he instead chose to write it in bubble letters on the dry erase board walls of the Halls of Meh...
The Snobster has long curated an appreciation for the works of Mike Giant...didn't know he had actually visited the man's studio.


Anonymous said...

The ancient Romans considered a large male member to be a source of ridicule and an embarrassment to its owner.

Sigurd said...

It's midnight in NYC. Downtown, a Nude Critical-Mass Alleycat Food Collabo is in progress. The streets are overrun by hordes of naked, body-painted Fixters on the hunt for cockles and slow-dripped coffee. Worse, they've formed an unlikely and impromptu alliance with the genteel and tweed-clad Dutch Citybikemen. Brakeless "whips" and ironclad Dutch dreadnoughts vie for space in the cyclodelic Hell that was once the Big Apple. The clouds above are suddenly lit up with a huge RTMS spotlight. The powers that be call on their only hope ... the BikeSnob!

red neckerson said...

dont know shit about no racing

me and rikim gots the computer in the pubic libary and listened to yankkee snobs interview by one of them smart ass johnnie fellers

we agrees with him on some things

bikes is good for flushing out game except we dont mount no horns on the handlebars we just gives a hoodeehoo and it works real good

also there aint no reason nohow to eat no white casstles when you can go up to the hardees and gets one of them bacon cheeseburgers

Fierce Panties said...

Perhaps the poster meant to say,
"I thought you where the bodi... except for the ear buds and tarcky bike."

Fierce Panties said...

ur a freek

Fierce Panties said...

it must've been a lonely feeling going 9 out of 10. Like when you walk outside just after the rapture and there's no one there but you...and a vault of Snapple.

Salty and Sore said...


Tom Booner said...

Hookers and blow do not a sound training regime make. I wish my last rhymed with "carbonara".

Salty and Sore said...

entering the "Ruby Velodrome," ..

Thank you, Oh Great One.

A welcome, new term for the female anatomy. It still sounds kinda gay if I use it, though. Oh well. Still better than Vajay-jay.

Does this mean that Moose Knuckle Culture is up for sale?

OMG! I just remembered hearing something about this. IT IS!

Dr. Feel Good said...

Hey Snob,
Personal water craft with a brake? Sounds strangely similar to the Bugs Bunny cartoon where the plane had an air brake!
And why didn't David Byrne get a DUI for his bicycle stunt?! Was it out of respect for his Roman inspired small pen15?

Dr. Feel Good said...

Hey Fierce Panties,
No one calls me a "vault of Snapple" and gets away with it! Oh wait, you just did!
Well, I'll just take it as a compliment seeing that Snapple is made of the "best stuff on earth".

Goose said...

I guess since water was mentioned in today's post the flood gates have been opened for duck jokes..

Q: How many ducks with ADD does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Lets go ride bikes!

Anything but Sky said...

Boonen clearly hates Sky and especially Flecha. If he just sat on the wheel of that Swiss guy, Sky and possibly Cervelo would have had the numbers to send attacks up the road and perhaps steal a win. Instead, he tried to get rid of those guys himself, setting up his own defeat at the hands of Cancellera.

Eric said...

Regarding Sherwen Ligget quotes: Here's a little ditty I wrote last Summer during TDF:

Twas the night before Ventoux when all through the crib, not a "curly bit" (Liggett tm) was stirring except in my bib.

The TIVO was set on the Plasma with care, in hopes that Stage 20 would soon be there.

The Cat 5's were nestled all snug in their beds
while visions of pedals all danced in their heads.

The Ventoux lay naked in a deciduous pose, about to be humped by mAnorexics in tight clothes.

At 7:00 am I awoke with some porridge, while Sherwen told Liggett of "Suitcases with courage" (Sherwen tm)

Inhaling my caffeine with Cavendish flash, I skipped all the commercials in search of a crash.

The Sun''s heat on the Moon Col. shimmered like flame, Columbia, Silence and Rabo needing someone to blame.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear a 62kg Spaniard and 8 others in fear.

With his Humpty Hump dance, so live and so fast, Lemond was freaking out at his VO2 max!

More rapid then eagles his competitors and "teammates" tried, Alberto just laughed, danced and "Finger-banged" on the Verbier with pride.

Now Lancer, now Schlecks, Kloeden,Bawwm chick a bawm bawm Franco, Wiggo and Sastre?

Cadel's chances as good as Auge.

The hot Tarmac crouched as the Yellow bird flies he barely takes notice where Tom Simpson dies.

Up to the top the "Pinto Bean" hopped.
To cycling's "Roof" prancing and pawing on each little hoof.

I strained my neck to view his VAM up close, "What's that boy on?, It ain't glucose!"

He turned over the chain with the 28 teeth
His aura encircled his helmet, a wreath
He had a thin face with a hipster "Flavor Saver"
much like that of your douchebag-y, "fixie" ex-neighbor.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, looked back at the pretenders (already dead)

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.
Behind him is "Livestrong" who thinks he's a jerk
And pointing his finger out in front of his nose
his Pistolero goes off bustin' caps in those wheel hoes!

He sprang to the podium as the reporters all whistled they all jumped on him like Toto on gristle.

"How is it possible?" All the cynics decried, thinking something definitely ain't right.

With a cheshire grin on his face bubbling with delight

Aberto exclaimed:

Fuck all of you haters


and to all a good-night!

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

ant 2nd!

& etc

Unknown said...

Also, cycling fans got to witness another milestone today, when BSNYC commentator Eben Oliver Weiss typed the word "nonplussed" for the one millionth time during his daily blog.

Test Tickle said...

I knew you'd be a little disappointed, BSNY. I was too, but I'm just glad you can laugh about it and put Georgie in a



wishiwasmerckx said...

If you think I was kidding, take a look at the schwantz on Michelangelo's "David."

wishiwasmerckx said...

Now, as to why statues never have pubic hair, that's a different matter altogether.

Like we give a flax said...

Museeuw bikes have indicated that the development of their current frameways -into various crabon/texticular collabos - forms the hubris of their contemporary mission statement.
"Linen woven into the basal crabon strands gives a wonderfully relaxed ride whereas hemp, according to our most recent tests, should perform well on those frames destined for the high mountains..." a spokesperson offered.

Suzee said...

In my experience a drunken bike is best avoided.

Unless one is prepared to personally supervise one's bike's liquid intake - especially when visiting the bars of one's locale - one should never trust the bike's initial response to the obvious question. I've learned the hard way. The buggers always lie. Of course they're not fit to get you home - invariably they cannot even stand upright without leaning against something.

Anonymous said...

PhilboydStunge said...

No no Snobbie, you got it all wrong. Its not embarassing to fall off your bike because you're drunk. Its embarrasing never to have fallen off your bike because you're drunk. Check out Rule #9 from Cycleliciousness.

Captain Hairdo said...

Speaking of falling off your bike drunk... Here in Portland we have PBR-equipped dandycross bikes! You know, in case you just can't wait til you get to the hipster/yupster/messenger bar for that first cold can of- uh, well, whatever the hell they put in- PBR.

Goose said...

Glad that was a little ditty, if it was a long one I'd have been mildly non-plussed.

Christopher said...

Raymour and Flanigan ads? Really Snobby? Is that because of your new Surly couch moving company?

Unknown said...

You've probably stopped reading these by now, Snobby, but did you notice in that URL that Cancellara was described as going "full gas"

Interestingly he said he was going something along the lines of "full gas" but with a bit left in reserve. I.e. not full gas.

Anyway, he obviously reads your blog and caught onto Hincapie's strategy, hence why it didn't work for him (I'm sure it had nothing to do with him being a senior citizen)

Ryan said...

Hey Snob,

Just read that our bike-tech friend, good ol' Lenard at Velonews tells you that he "wouldn’t recommend riding in active volcanoes, reactor containment buildings or too close to the sun"

CommieCanuck said...

Ryan, Zinn has to respond to the plethora of emails from Bike4ums readers who simply have to find the hidden truth behind crabon fiber frames. They cannot accept that something so scientifical actually works, and doesn't melt, blow up, etc. Science is the work of the devil, and when you mix science with cycling, you got the devil right there between your legs, sniffing your crotch.

Pat Robertson would ride a steel bike, if he didn't find that bible passage in the New Testament, the the letter to the Corinthians (makers of Chrysler interiors): "yea, ye shall moveth upon large steel wheels driven by the power of dead lizards, which exist, not."

Anonymous said...

What's the hardest part about roller blading?

Anonymous said...

Telling your parents your gay

Anonymous said...

ant1--Report to WADA immediately! Holy smokes.

Eric--Nicely done.

Anybody else hearing the rumblings Fab C might be juiced?

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