Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Relief Efforts: All You Haters Soothe My Discomfort

Many of you are no doubt familiar with the famous opening line of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," which reads thusly:

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.

The rest of the story is equally familiar: Comedy ensues as Gregor Samsa attempts to prepare cereal with his new insect legs; Gregor Samsa's girlfriend is no longer attracted to him; Gregor Samsa gets stuntwork in David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of "The Fly" starring Jeff Goldblum; and Gregor Samsa eventually settles down with a sexy Brazilian cockroach and has lots of adorable, writhing larvae.

Of course, part of the reason "The Metamorphosis" resonates with so many of us is that we've all had our "cockroach mornings"--those days in which we awake and feel, as Ian MacKaye once yelled repeatedly, "out of step with the world." On such mornings, I wish that I had a fully-equipped spa in my home, and that instead of once again entering the daily skirmish that is life in the big city I could simply spend the day luxuriating and replenishing body and soul. This longing is only underscored by a commercial that runs every morning on the local news for the Mermaid Spa in Brooklyn:

By far the most seductive moment of this ad occurs at 0:07 seconds, when a man with a unibrow emerges from a hot tub and lavishly splashes water all over himself:

Even more than the guys with the "man boobs" who precede him, Unibrow Man speaks to a longing for peace and relaxation that resides deep in my soul. He's also a sort of Slavic male Aphrodite, and the embodiment of two universal truths: Firstly, you can be transported beyond the tedium of the everyday by bliss; and secondly, the Mermaid Spa does not offer eyebrow grooming.

Speaking of needing to be soothed, it appears that the so-called "biological passport" system of doping detection may be flawed, inasmuch as it does not take into account fluctuations caused by the aching, itching, and burning of hemorrhoids:

(Rosendo manages a smile despite searing anal agony.)

As a cycling fan, it is at times like this when I feel betrayed--not because a rider may be cheating, but because the only sport I follow is so doping-obsessed that the journalists literally live up the riders' asses. Certainly in this case, the cure ("TMI") is worse than the disease (doping). While fans of "mainstream" sports get to sit around on the couch eating Doritos and drinking watery beer, we are treated to detailed accounts of rectal bleeding:

The statement says: "Between these dates the only blood test result that we can define as abnormal was the one taken on April 20, 2009, which showed haemoglobin and haematocrit levels were very low, suggesting anaemia as a result of bleeding that the rider had suffered on April 8, 2009, due to haemorrhoids (the UCI has a medical note confirming this bleeding). For this reason, the level of reticulocytes increased. As well as the medical note already mentioned, the rider also presented statements from haematology specialists who confirmed their confidence in the normality of this clinical data."

I don't even know what most of those words mean, and the ones I can understand are disgusting. Frankly, I don't think clean cycling is worth the price. Meanwhile, Oscar Freire may not ride the Giro d'Italia due to his allergies:

I'm sure the medications that would alleviate his symptoms are banned by the UCI, but at the very least Freire might consider visiting the Mermaid Spa, since their steam room could work wonders on his respiratory system:
Rosendo might want to join him for that matter; those birch and oak twigs could be just what he needs.

Of course, if I'm forced to abandon the sport of professional cycling I can still continue to follow the exciting world of non-competitive group rides. Arguably, the greatest non-competitive group ride "monument" is the Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City, which took place this past Sunday. Here's the massive field of over 30,000 riders lined up at the start:

(Freds as far as the eye can see.)

As usual, I attended the ride in a support capacity, and perhaps the most endearing aspect of working at a ride like this is the endless succession of "epic" flat tire stories. Obviously the flat tire is the most common bicycle malfunction, yet in the universe of the typical non-competitive organized ride non-competitor it is a shocking and mysterious occurrence. The typical flat tire account goes something like this: "It was crazy! I pumped up my tire last night and it was full of air. Then, I left my house this morning, and when I was almost here there was a loud 'hissing' noise and it was like all the air rushed out of the tire at once. It was crazy!" Then, they watch the mechanic change the tube in the same state of amazement in which a baby regards a game of "Peek-a-Boo." Really, it's all quite charming.

As far as the ride itself, I did not participate, but one rider who did sent me a number of compelling photos. Among the amazing things he witnessed were a pole dancer:

The rare lycra-half-shorts-and-chelsea-boot combo:

A man in an Iron Maiden jersey carrying a life-sized doll in a baby seat:

And an RRMK (or Rear Rack-Mounted Kennel):

It's the sort of cycling spectacle you only get to witness once a year in New York City, although in Portland it's simply called "rush hour."

Fortunately, the bizarre world of non-competitive cycling continues to evolve, and you never know which local grassroots ride will one day become the next Five Boro Bike Tour. Indeed, from the tiny seed doth grow the mighty tree, bearing sweet and juicy fruits of Fredliness. Consider for instance the "Burrito Project," which I included in last Friday's quiz:

Burrito Project from Jon Chou on Vimeo.

I had mixed feelings as I watched this. On one hand, it seems wrong to impugn a group of college students who use their spare time to cook burritos and then feed them to homeless people, especially when I consider that, during that stage of my life, I was expending most of my extracurricular efforts on devising the best possible way to make use of an LSD trip. (Setting and executing an 8-hour LSD agenda is an undertaking akin to putting on a USA cycling-sanctioned race or producing an independent short film, and in a more sensible world would be an essential part of everyone's curriculum vitae.) On the other hand, it's almost impossible not to laugh at the volatile combination of "tarck" bikes, sensitive piano music, and burritos--though admittedly that could be because I participated in way too many LSD agendas and consequently have a permanently distorted worldview. Anyway, no matter how you look at it, I'm sure you agree it's high time the words "Burrito" and "Project" came together as the title of a film:

If you want to start your own "burrito project," it's easy. First, get a bunch of friends together:

Next, cook a bunch of burritos:

Then, cue up the languid piano music and deliver them to hungry people:

I must admit that I was surprised by how much effort it took to mobilize the Burrito Distribution Force. Besides cooking the burritos, they also had to load a bunch of "fixies" into a pickup truck:

Even after this, they still had some "fixies" left over, which they loaded onto a trunk rack:

After which they engaged in the all-important "group cheer:"

Then, once they were in close proximity to the unfortunates, they distributed the "fixies." Here's one for you:

And you:

And you:

Then, finally, they embarked on their mission:

For me, this film raises more questions than it answers. Why does it take so many vehicles to distribute burritos? It seems to me that they could either just use the cars, or else ride to the unfortunates using bicycles that are more conducive to hauling burritos over long distances. Also, they say "The reason why there is no footage what so ever of Burrito Project communicating with the homeless is only because we want to respect their privacy and to not turn them into a showcase for the public," though if this is the reason then why even make the film at all? And do they listen to that lugubrious piano music during their planning meetings? Is it playing in the background when they're deciding whether or not to include sour cream or while they're mashing up the guacamole? Most importantly, are they inadvertently administering Pavlovian conditioning in the good people of Santa Ana, causing them to start salivating uncontrollably at the first appearance of an Aerospoke?

Then again, perhaps I'm being too cynical. As a great man once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but in the size and deliciousness of the burrito he distributes."


Anonymous said...

Hopefully crashing into the podium with nothing but my waxed moustache for safety.

dignan said...


theshepherdsdog said...


dignan said...

so close yet so far

Koba said...


Anonymous said...

Boo Yah

ringcycles said...

Top ten, man the podium is getting hard to wedge on to.

Fingerbang Assistant said...

Bang the top ten?

rezado said...


Anonymous said...

It says a lot about that crowd that not a single person other than the photographer is looking at the (presumably) hot girl writhing on a pole.

Nogocyclist said...

More Lexy

Unknown said...

top 15, even from flooded Nashville...

hillbilly said...


hillbilly said...

you ok, mike poole? love nashville, lived there awhile, heartbreaking seeing some of the pics. best of luck to you getting back from this!

Anonymous said...

dang lers

ben day's epic toilet day

ringcycles said...

"I can't keep up, I can't keep up, I can't keep up!..."

Thank you BSNYC, favorite memories of a favorite band.

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


erik k said...

My bike snob BRA write up for all of you who couldn't make it.

OBA said...

The juxtaposition of the straight-edge anthem and your LSD flasbacks is delicious, like a burrito full of irony.

innerlighter said...

Dang, I din't hear the bell on the last lap. That's I get for reading someone else's blog while I waith for your post.

CommieCanuck said...

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but in the size and deliciousness of the burrito he distributes."

Burrito is the ultimate sexual euphemism.

innerlighter said...

damn, can't spell either.


Unknown said...

thanks hillbilly- big effin mess down here, I'm good but lotsa folks not. Send burritos, epic or otherwise. Suggest geared bikes, we have hills. And water.

ant1 said...

so that cock tattoo is snobby's. nice cock snobby.

Frank said...

Free beer Mondays at the spa? You guys have all the luck in NY.

theshepherdsdog said...

i'm going to Chipotle after work

Anonymous said...

Is the pole affixed to the bike of the fat dude in the red shirt? If so, I can't see how that's not the greatest bike ever.

It seems to even be equipped with blowers of some type (pun intended).

Weird no one's looking at it, though.

innerlighter said...

Rosendo might try a little of this for what ails him. I wonder if the makers came up with the name while on an LSD Agenda.

Anonymous said...

Okay Sno, I bought your book last night. I figure I owe you since I've been reading your column for years now.
Listen, "Quicksilver" is not the only messenger movies. There's also the Canadian film "2 Seconds." (Deux Zeconds in Quebicoise?)

Koba said...

RTMS, are the shirts going to be available for wider consumption or are they reserved for the hipsterbelt tour. What if we scrub a seal caught in an oil spill?

debichan1a said...

top 30?

yophilly said...

"which showed haemoglobin and haematocrit levels were very low, suggesting anaemia as a result of bleeding that the rider had suffered on April 8, 2009, due to haemorrhoids..."

This can also be the result of too many burritos. Watch out, Santa Ana.

Anonymous said...

as annoyingly gay (sorry wanda sykes) as the piano music is in the burrito project video, the kids are at least doing a nice thing with thier fixies versus the annoying trustafarian fixie kids here in nyc who just ride around passing judgement on everyone like smug aholes. Pretty much the opposite of these kids. so I would have to disagree, this one time, that these kids shouldn't be mocked. The russian spa in brooklyn looks pretty good and the free beer Mondays pretty much puts it on my must go list.

waxmouth said...


If the Burrito Project people were to manage bringing along the piano to their deliveries -- which would entail finding space for the piano among the fixies on the truck, and finding a pianist to play moody music to homeless people eating lugubrious burritos -- well, I bet you wouldn't have so much of a problem with that. Would you?

Nogocyclist said...

Corticosteroids are used for allergies.

They are a prohibited substance but can be used as an inhalant in some sports with prior approval.

"For example, corticosteroids may be given topically (i.e. nasal, ophthalmic, aural, anal, dermatological) and via inhalation and intraarticular injection, but only with prior written notification to the appropriate authority"

Oscar Freire could treat his allergies with this prohibited substance and yet if done correctly he could still race.

g said...

I have to admit, free is my favorite kind of beer. I also have to admit that there is no way I will be risking a blackout in a place like that. Waking up with a crappy beer hangover is bad enough, but covered in what you hope is your own sweat, back hair and welts from having the crap beaten out of you with twigs, is too much. Especially for a Monday.
And, Thanks to Eric K for the BRA coverage and photos. Good stuff.

I am Teriffic Man said...

My burrito, which is exclusively distributed to hungry ladies, is definitely large, spicy, and generally recognized as causative of severe gastro-intestinal distress.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Got the 'roids from that ridiculous wedge thing stuck on top of your seatpost? Wrist, elbow, shoulder or neck pain from that unatural hunched over riding position?

Oh forget it.

grog said...

:) sweet and juicy fruits of Fredliness
Thanks BSNYC, you soothe my discomfort

mikeweb said...

These lunchtime CP rides are adversely affecting my BSNYC podium season points standings.


Pontius Pilate said...



mikeweb said...

More info on the pole dance bicycle phenomenon

Anonymous said...

these fixed gear riders are becoming bigger twats at alarming rates

Anonymous said...

2 Seconds trailer:

Anonymous said...

"Our mission is to promote bicycle safety, raise awareness of the immense potential of pedal power and to bring pole dancing to the streets where dancing belongs. "

Press comments are pretty good too...

Anonymous said...

I wish I had made LSD "agendas". The only planning I every did was to plan to eat that tab that guy just gave me...

Anonymous said...

Snob, wtf on the hair?!?

Cute tube socks.

Mobile Exotic Dancer said...

After a grueling 5 borough bike tour, with what do you recommend cleaning the pole? Windex? Simichrome? Formula 409?

Anonymous said...

The Burrito Project kids made multipel references to "missions." That, and the fact that they all seemed pretty clean and well-behaved makes me think that they might be a breed of "Extreme" Christians, the kind who in the past would have been rock climbing or skateboarding for Christ.

fierce panties said...

You're making me hungry.

Anonymous said...


Why oh why did you have to go hatin' on the sweet community-caring AZN guys? You cynical cynical semitical-heritage middle aged man...

At least Gregor Samsa didn't find himself transformed into a gigantic duck. My burrito could certainly enjoy a Russian spa massage right now, too much sour cream in the filling, it's gonna find its way out one way or the other.

Andrew said...

Those are speakers not blowers on the pole trike and I'm not fat I'm large boned. More amazing shots on the Team PoleRiders Blog.

Shaun said...

I'm foregoing the T-shirt and holding out on ordering the book until the BSNYC ball gag "drops".

innerlighter said...

Thanks for the link. Good stuff. Amazing to find out that there is a Pole Dancers Federation and they have a World Championships.

Formulate your own jokes about the "Rainbow Bars"

Salty and Sore said...

I don't have the ability to look past an easy opportunity like this.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but in the size and deliciousness of the burrito he distributes."

No, I'm pretty sure it was a woman who said that.

Anonymous said...


I believe she is deserving of a full profile by BSNYC.

(in b4 not your private army etc)

Anonymous said...


Salty and Sore said...


That's what Petacchi was busted for a couple years ago. His, "I don't know how many sprays I had," didn't fly with the UCI vampires.

mikeweb said...

innerlighter, no problemo.

The guy who drives the bike/pole (hmmm, that doesn't sound right...) is a friend of a friend.

Anonymous said...

Recently lost my job. Where do I get one of them burritos?

I am the engine said...

"haemoglobin and haematocrit levels were very low"

Cycling is the only sport, where being sickly could be considered an advantage over the competitors, except for maybe being an anorexic supermodel.

Is this the best that cycling journalists can come up with?

Epic burritos and hemorrhoids, have to be a very painful combination.

Not enough hydrocortisone cream in the world to make cycling fun.

Shaun said...

Is it fair to say that being endowed with a spicy taquito is sometimes a good thing? Purely hypothetical of course...

leroy said...

Talk about a cockroach morning.

I was all set to palp my official 5 Boro Bike Tour hat I received for marshalling, but when I tried it on, my dog growled at me.

It wasn't a threatening growl. It was more like muttering under his breath about a consolation prize for missing the podium yet again.

He can mutter all he wants. Next year, he's riding stoker. It's about time he earned his kibbles and bits.

Anonymous said...

Isn't anyone who doesn't ride a bike professionally (racer not pedicab) technically a Fred? It's just that some are more obsessive about what is basically a child's hobby than others. Does calling non-obsessive weekend joy riders Freds make these people feel more special?

Anonymous said...

No doubt Leroy. After seeing the RRMK, I'm trying to figure out how to rig a cat carrier onto the Dolce. At least one or two of those little ingrates could keep me company on long rides.

Yep, I usually end up alone--the curse of being a mediocre rider. Too slow for the fasties, too fast for the cruisers.

M. Ryan said...

Can a hipster be a Republican?

I was just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Those burrito guys are a bunch of wankers. How masturbatory can you be to make a film about preparing to hand out burritos to homeless? (as if they need handouts already, those jerks) Isn't it the real point to film everyone riding around on their fashion accessories? If you ask me, i think it's just an attempt for them to try and get laid.

Fergie said...

Hold on a moment. You can't mention cycling films without adding the pinnacle of the art form - American Flyers. That's right, Kevin Costner. Yeah.

And there is also some movie with "cutters" in it, but most folks probably know that one.

And RAD. Nothing (except PeeWee's Big Adventure) beats RAD!

Salty and Sore said...


I'm with ya on the 'American Flyers'. Though, in truth, it's more for the soundtrack, than the cycling.


Must be something about the Dolce, then. I have one, too, and find myself in that 'no-mans-land' area often.

Oh wait.

Salty and Sore said...

Anon 5:23-

You answered your own question.

Snobbish in Denver said...

I have to admit your last few posts have been hilarious. When I first saw that you were publishing a book and had released your identity to the wilds, I found the next few posts boring and thought maybe you'd lost your edge, much like Sports Guy Bill Simmons who got boring once the Red Sox won a World Series, but nope you've been outstanding lately.

And now you can say, "AYHCRMB" (All You Haters Can Read My Book).

Andrew said...

I spoke to Ariel and she said she would be happy to do an interview for Bike Snob but only while pole dancing for him on the back of the trike on a ride through the city.

Anonymous said...

Praise be unto snob
This keeps getting better and better

Should I go to church said...

I feel guilty the pole dancer caused a dandy woody. I mean its just innocent and all and gosh its the 5 boro! Does that make me a bad person?

I am the engine. said...

Anon 5:23 pussy.

"Those burrito guys are a bunch of wankers. How masturbatory can you be to make a film about preparing to hand out burritos to homeless?"

Imagine that, giving people who have nothing something to eat. What kind of assholes must they be?

"(as if they need handouts already, those jerks) Isn't it the real point to film everyone riding around on their fashion accessories? "

Lots of free handouts for the homeless, I see they all have rolex's and retirement accounts.
How dare you question anybody's motives if they do something good.

"If you ask me, i think it's just an attempt for them to try and get laid."

Dude, you are the douchebag of the century. Keep your small mind to your self.

jimmy bob said...

free beer on mondays?

Anonymous said...

Nonplussed dog in RRMK.

Anonymous said...

"The Eternal Dilemma" - my rule. If you ask advice or shop the LBS's, by from an LBS - they were there to service you. If you know what you want and pay less than 20% (include shipping) online, go ahead and buy online.

cyclotourist said...


Anonymous said...

You gotta stop hating and start loving at some point, I hope.

Andrew said...

Traditionally in performances and competitions dancers don't clean their own poles; That's a job for the "pole tech" which usually ends up being me after a ride. Most techs find rubbing alcohol works great at removing the various sticky substances the dancers use to prevent slipping. These include rosin, Dry Hands, Mighty Grip, and our own specially blended brand called PoleRiders PoleCream. Other cleaners like Windex, Formula 409 and chrome polish leave an unfavorable slippery residue.

Odile Lee said...

Euphenism, eh?
Well, Im originally from South Cali.
We know how to make good burritos.

(But here in Oz,qas they say ... you call that a burrito?
now THATS a burrito!)

Odile Lee said...

too bad your too far, cos Girl, I ride about the same. Cant keep up with the hammerheads and too fast for the grannies...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

All you haters suck my haematocrit!!!

yikesbikes said...

This is great...

Anonymous said...

in response to the earlier anonymous comment re: the burrito-hand-out-wankers, basically anything that any man utters (or does as a performative act) can & should be construed as an attempt to get laid (& any woman with two neurons to rub together knows this). even this blog is all about bike snob wanting to attract a fine bird into his bower / nest. I'd fly there now myself.... 'cause his bike-bird song utterances are a decorative confection without equal.

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Anonymous said...

Dear online handbag merchant,
I am considering purchasing one of your bags but had several questions that I was hoping you could answer for me.

In which of your many fine handbags could I fit the most burritos?

If as you say handbags do indeed "like emphasize the the importance of the largeness-by-association as they can know well your social status", could I perhaps substitute ownership and display of a fancy bicycle for the subconscious purpose of attracting and impregnating as many females as possible with the much cheaper option of ownership and display one of your fancy handbags and expect to have equal or greater success in broadcasting my genetic information? Or, are the status embiggening qualities of your handbags gender selective in favour of females? If so have you considered the issues of gender inequality associated with this? If you have not considered these gender issues would you be open to discussing them at some sort of handbag culture forum?

Are your Louiss Vuitton replica bags seam sealed and will they contain burrito juices and sauces without leakage?

Do you have any extra long handbags for the purposes of serious cargo haulage, advertisement of one's superior green credentials and any increases in reproductive frequency that might possibly flow on from that?

In your range would you happen to have a bag that features both a couple smallish external pockets for things like a U lock and video camera in addition to many large internal pockets for things like drugs?

If say I were to try and squeeze into one of your handbags a really epic burrito for a particularly hungry person living on the street in order to increase my chances of mating with onlooking females and as a result the handbag strap were to break, do you have a ridiculously slack return policy that would enable me to give up on the handbag idea and swap it for a Mongoose Cachet?

Do you have any handbags like the ones bike messengers use?

Thanks for your help, CE

ecreativeweb said...

its lot of rush

Anonymous said...

i'm a "cynic" and i don't ride a fixie but have nothing but admiration for the buritto project. we need more good in the world right now

Anonymous said...

In Burrito Project Video Is it me or does he say "Burger Project" at 2:13

Zack said...

Wow. Check out 0:45 of Burrito Project video:

"...and the following day, we go bike out to Santa Anna, and hand them out".

[Cut to: kids loading bicycles into a pickup truck.]

AMAZING! It's like the filmmaker went out of his way to highlight the inconsistency (I won't say "lie").

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Anonymous said...

From the OC and worked in Santa Ana, so here is my take.

I am the engine was quite strong in his condemning of those who criticize the burrito project.

A few points:
1. Give a man a fish. . .
2. Claims of burrito fixie kid that they were forming "relationships"
3. Project is a part of a christian group where they run an endless loop of christian rock and rehashed "i love the lord" sentiments.
4. Christian youth groups serve to create networks so they all can get married/laid before the age of 24. . .and to have good, clean "fun" in the process.

In summary: good job but don't give up just quite yet, burrito project folks

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