Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hands Off: From "Do Me" to "Do It For Me"

Ever since Monday's post, I've been receiving criticism which basically amounts to, "What's so wrong with having a really expensive bicycle and not knowing how to change the inner tube?". The answer to this question is, of course, "Nothing at all." After all, this is America--Canada's star-spangled goatee--and dadgummit, it's our Lobster-given right to buy ourselves expensive toys and suck at playing with them. No, I'm not so much troubled by people who are baffled by their own crotch-candy as I am by what this portends for our culture as a whole.

Over the years, we've become increasingly tolerant of many things, and for the most part this is good. Revealing swimming costumes, nudity on television, borderline pornographic advertisements for underpants--pretty much all the nudity-related stuff is a boon for our society. However, we've also become tolerant of things that are not so good, and these things include obesity, prescription drug use, letting our pets take over the house, paying professional "dog whisperers" lots of money to teach us how to seize control of our houses back from our pets, the music of Billy Joel being played in public places, and just Generally Not Knowing How To Do Stuff. And it's that last item--Generally Not Knowing How To Do Stuff--that is exemplified by the person on the $10,000 bike who cannot fix a flat.

"So what?," you may ask. "This is America--Canada's red, white, and blue udder--and I don't have to know how to do anything I don't feel like doing." This is true. For example, I have no idea how to express a cat's anal glands, I have no intention of learning, and no self-important cat blogger is going to tell me otherwise. Furthermore, the guy I encountered on the road seemed to be having a lovely day despite his inability to fix his flat, whereas I, a person who can fix a flat with relative ease, was the person who was vexed. Is this because the clueless allow their problems to become the problems of others, or is it simply that I was the one with the problem to begin with, in that I'm too judgmental? Maybe neither, or maybe both. Plus, it's not like he made me express his cat's anal glands for him. But I still maintain that our laissez-faire attitude towards being laissez-faire has far-reaching implications.

For example, recently I was reading an article The New Yorker (in the bathroom of course, and I'm pleased to say I can now go to the bathroom all by myself) about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg and Facebook are now the subject of a feature film called "The Social Network," which was written by Aaron Sorkin. As it happens, Sorkin knew next to nothing about Zuckerberg or Facebook when embarking on the project, and here's what he had to say in the article:

Sorkin said that creating Zuckerberg's character was a challenge. He added that the college students were "the youngest people I've ever written about." Sorkin, who is forty-nine, says that he knew very little about social networking, and he professes extreme dislike of the blogosphere and social media. "I've heard of Facebook, in the same way I've heard of a carburetor," he told me. "But if I opened the hood of my car I wouldn't know how to find it."

First of all, unless Sorkin drives a '75 Dodge Dart his car almost certainly does not have a carburetor; it has a fuel injector. Still, I can forgive Sorkin for not knowing this, since his movie is not about cars; it's about Facebook. However, apparently Sorkin didn't know anything about that either, nor did he know anything about Zuckerberg--and what little he did know, he didn't like. "Creating Zuckerberg's character was a challenge," he explains. Of course, this would probably have been less of a challenge if he knew anything about his subject. Shouldn't you have to know a little about something before you write a movie about it? I'm not sure how fair it is to take somebody who never sought to be a public figure to begin with, basically pull their character out of your ass, place it on a pedestal of ignorance, and cement it into the popular consciousness. It short-changes the audience, the subject, and indeed everybody--except Sorkin, whose scripting fees will doubtless keep him in luxury vehicles of whose mechanical workings he can afford to be blissfully unaware.

Of course, maybe none of this matters, and it's possible the movie will be good anyway. After all, Shakespeare was probably not an expert on Danish politics, but he was a good writer, and so "Hamlet" turned out OK. This may be the case here too, and maybe when it comes to popular entertainment just knowing how to write is enough. At the same time, though, when power and cluelessness combine the results can be lame or disastrous, depending on who and what is involved. This certainly happens quite often here in America--or, if you prefer, Mexico's faux-hawk--where if you're successful enough people will let you do pretty much anything. There's simply a point at which we all end up paying for the whims of the clueless, whether it's in the form of stupid laws, crappy movies, idiotic products, or just dumb articles about the "bike culture" by people who haven't ridden since elementary school.

Of course, this isn't always the case. Consider hip-hop impresario Kanye West, who, as a reader informs me, makes "awesome decisions in bike stores!!!"

Unfortunately, Twitter's 140-character limit precludes West from sharing exactly what his latest awesome decision was, and so we have no way of knowing if it was about bikes, or if it was just an awesome decision about something else that he happened to make while browsing a bike store. For example, he could have decided to buy a brake for one of his fixed-gears, which would be awesome, or he could have decided to invent a pair of glasses that can reheat food just by looking at it, which would also be awesome. Either way, everybody wins--unless you're in the microwave business.

Actually, I suspect that West may have purchased a Rivendell or similar fop chariot, since gratuitous lugs and the canvas-and-buckles trappings of retro-grouchery would better complement his personal aesthetic. This might or might not be awesome, depending on your feelings about stem height. But what would not be awesome would be deciding to buy this "bike shelf," which a number of readers have forwarded to me:

It can hold your "fixie" and your pretentious library of eight books:

If I were to visit somebody's house and they had made something like this themselves, I'd probably think, "Huh, that's clever." However, we live in the era of Generally Not Knowing How To Do Stuff, which is why this summer day camp woodworking project sells for $300 in "Walnut" and $275 in "Ash." Of course, no overpriced shelf is complete without a backstory, and here it is:

After visiting friends in both New York and San Francisco, furniture maker Chris Brigham realized that there was very little effort going towards proper bike management and maintenance coast to coast.

Apparently, just because Chris Brigham's friends in New York and San Francisco don't practice "proper bike management" (whatever that is), he has concluded that, as a nation, we are woefully bereft of bike storage methods--this despite the fact that the Performance catalog alone features a bewildering array of hooks, hangers, and poles that will allow you to hang a bicycle at pretty much every conceivable angle and from every conceivable surface, whether it's your living room wall or the trunk of your minivan. (Minivans are also known as "charity ride team cars.") Or, for the "minimalist," you can even walk into the Container Store and buy a bike hook for less than that stupid MASH pencil case.

Still, in terms of functionality for your dollar, this is still a better deal than that $275 pretentious hitchin' post from way back in 2008:
In the world of pretentious bike management, that was definitely the "OG."

But the era of Generally Not Knowing How To Do Stuff isn't all bad, since it also saves you from the effort of thinking for yourself. For example, I don't even have to know how to feed myself anymore. Instead, I can visit VeloNews, where they'll tell me exactly what I should be eating, right down to the very morsel:

165-lb. male cyclocross racer

Meal Plan for 90 minutes of high-intensity training
Late afternoon training

Daily: 3,300 calories: 520 g carbohydrate, 130 g protein, 77 g fat

Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup
Wheat germ, 3 Tbsp.
Orange juice, 8 ounces
Raisins, 2 Tbsp.
Banana, 1 small
Yogurt, plain, 8 ounces

Apple, 1 medium
Almonds, 24

Turkey, 4 ounces
Low fat cheese, 1 ounce
Whole grain bread, 2 slices
Pasta salad, 1 cup
Vegetable salad, 1 cup

Pre-ride snack
Yogurt, 8 ounces
Granola, ½ cup (one-half)
Peach, 1 medium

Immediately before ride
Gel, 1 packet

During ride
Sports drink: 32 ounces per hour
3 Carbohydrate blocks at 45 minutes

Recovery snack
Energy bar, 1medium sized
Sports drink, 20 ounces

Salmon, 6 ounces
Wild rice, 1.5 cups
Steamed asparagus, 1 cup
Olive oil, 1 tbsp.
Berries, 1 cup

A 140-lb cyclocross racer could reduce this menu to 2,700 calories by:

reducing the breakfast juice from 8 ounces to 4 ounces
eliminating the pasta salad at lunch
reducing the granola at the afternoon snack from one-half to one- fourth of a cup
Reducing the salmon dinner portion from 6 ounces to 4 ounces
Reducing the wild rice portion from 1.5 cups to two-thirds of a cup
Consuming 24 ounces of a sports drink per hour.

This menus is intended as a general outline. Calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirements are individual to each cyclocross racer based on their current body weight and that day’s training.

I will admit though that I was puzzled by the "snack" section, which raises more questions than it answers. In particular, it calls for a "medium apple." But what if I can't find a medium apple? And just what is a medium apple anyway? What if I buy an apple that's too large or too small because my sense of apple perspective is skewed? Also, what kind of apple are we talking about? McIntosh? Granny Smith??? Crab?!? And what if I don't want to race cyclocross? What if I want to ride up the Stelvio on a "fixie" and skip-stop my way down it? What kind of apple should I be snacking on then?

I guess I'll just go back to eating Ho Hos and sobbing.


Rick Donkey said...

It's good to be here

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Top 4?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No Comment

thomas said...


mander said...

Top Ten

Anonymous said...


IAN! said...


PawnShop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PawnShop said...

Just meh.

Anonymous said...

That menu sounds so boring.

Anonymous said...

He bought a District Carbon.

Manny Fresh said...

i am rather enjoying my medium sized apple right now

Anonymous said...

Moin! Moin!

hillbilly said...

There's a tear in my Twinkie...

Pontius Pilate said...



Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who thinks people have forgotten how to do things for themselves. Investigate BBC UK's upcoming series "James May's Man Lab". In it he teaches blokes how to do "old fashioned" simple tasks again.

Anonymous said...

This hairy fixter is hating on all this hate... I take that back... I love the hate... and I hate needing to fix certain friends flats because if I don't, they'll flat again in five miles.

Anonymous said...

too late

Anonymous said...

Stop apologizing for being a being a hater, please continue to call it like you see it. Here's a video for your viewing pleasure:,3845/bturman,109

Dan in ATX said...

four barrell!

Jamie said...

There was a time when people who were entrusted with operating automobiles, were also assumed to know how to change their tire.

The advent of cellular phones has made that knowledge unnecessary, however. So I would expect that any cyclist who can't change his tire would also have a membership to the American Cyclists Association, where one call will cause a towtruck to be dispatched.

ringcycles said...

that can't be a cyclocross racers diet; there's no beer, frites, or cupcakes in that menu.

Anonymous said...

You could easily fit a half-bushel of medium crab apples on that "bike shelf"...

er, if you're not a minimalist, i mean.

Anonymous said...

That shelf is awesome! Do you think they would build me a custom,that works with my compact frame?

Anonymous said...



Train said...

My budget only allows for 21 almonds, so I predict I'm gonna bonk on my very first dismount/mount this CX season.

I am the hairless engine said...

You are so right. People should not buy shit they can not use or maintain. That is just fucking common sense.

The ability to have common sense is unfortunately lost on many with expensive Crabon shit.

Too bad if they can not look into their dark stupid souls and laugh at themselves.

America is not Canada's goatee, it is Canada's soul patch. One that needs serious trimming

Anonymous said...

Wait, nevermind. I just did the research (all by myself) and learned a bushel is equal to 42lbs.

3 medium apples (crab or otherwise) is equal to 1lb.

A bushel therefore equals 126 medium apples.

A half-bushel (as I previously mentioned above) would be equivalent to 63 medium apples.

Yeah, I'm thinking the "bike shelf" could handle it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with snob about $10,000 bike guy. While I don't know how to replace the fuel injectors on my 15 year old Subaru, I do know how to overhaul a bike. Why? bike tools are far more accessible and I put more miles on my bike than on my car. I don't get angry at these people. They just look like idiots and make me laugh a little.

acquiesce808 said...

by "medium apple" i think they mean one that can forsee future events and witness past events. by eating these apples, that ability will pass on to you, and thus the ability to see if you will actually win the day's race, or if you should just stay in bed & save the entry fee to buy more medium apples (they're kinda pricy).

BA-dum-BUMP, CRASH! "aah yes, it's good to be back... you're a great crowd"

Anonymous said...

Kind of off topic, but regarding yesterday's column.
I go to Yoga to the People, the place where Mr. Minimalist is getting his Yoga certification. If he starts teaching there I'm going to have to walk out.

It's not just that he's a twit, it's that he is an egomaniac. His obsession with "changing the world," and "being remembered," is pretty bad. However, the way he talks about others -and its really not a good thing to speak ill of the dead, religious or not -betrays a narcissist.

Anyway, back to today's column.

Uhl said...

While New Yorkers ramp up the vitriol on whether it's "wrong" to have an expensive bike and not know how to change the inner tube of a tire, I thought it an appropriate time to forward an article published today in Detroit:

If you seek a great place to ride, look no further than Detroit. Happy riding.

Count chocula said...


Your post ends on an incorrect note. The snack cake hierarchy is as follows:

Coffin pie
Ring ding

Of course yr crying. Ho Hos are an awful choice

Anonymous said...

road apple

brother yam said...

Let's see:

Shellacked cotton bar wrap: check.
Brooks saddle: check.
Canvas bag with leather straps: check.
Rivendell Bleriot: check.
Handlebars above the seat: check.

Yup -- "Fop Chariot". And since I've moved the Surly Nice Rack to another bike, it's a real Dandy Horse now.

All I'm missing it the wool garb.

Carb U. Retor said...

Does a Zuckerberg have a presta or schraeder valve?

stiveaux said...

another thorough ass-kicking. love it

Anonymous said...

for some bikes represent the intersection of technology, fashion, and bling. and that's it. Just like the people who wait in the subway for hours until either they are led out to safety by someone 'official' or the power comes back on, many will wait with their flat tire until some solution comes along. it's just a matter of some mysterious technology giving out on them. it's just a another technological aspect of their life like all the rest - not something to understand, but just use if it works

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

no worries, Snobby... people buy tons of sh*t that they do not need, and do not know anything about. The people that are criticizing you are, no doubt, those people that try to fill their empty and bereft lives with "stuff" just to try to impress others... of my earliest memories of cycling; some 50 yr. old dude with a massive gut, full kit and very expensive (in 1991 dollars) road bike... he was on the side of the trail, wheezing, smokin' a butt.

All I could think was that his doctor told him he had to loose weight/get in shape/etc... so he went and bought the most expensive everything just b/c he could.

Me at 16 or 17, on my hand-me-down steel (and slightly rusted) Schwinn Varsity, was disgusted with that thought simply because I suspect that soon after that (what I suspect was his) first ride, that bike and kit proceeded to gather dust for the next several decades.

call me cynical...

Anonymous said...

I'm not so good working on cars, but I don't own one.
I will say,as someone that works at a bike shop, that anyone who rides should know how to change a tube, as it's inevitable you'll flat, and it's an easy thing to learn.
The analogy would be a motorist who doesn't know how to fuel up his car at a gas station.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, the situation is two fold: 1) I want a much more expensive bike that is cooler than the one I have now and, unlike the schmuck who can't fix his flat, I would be able to appreciate it. So I hate the schmuck. 2) If someone has a flat tire and they don't know how to fix it but I do, then I feel an obligation to help them (whether I actually help them or not). If they have an expensive bike and correlative cycle clothing, etc., and I help them, then I feel good about my 'good sam' status and I hate the schmuck.

Either way, I hate the schmuck.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

the guy came over to fix my dryer.

I used to consider myself quite an expert at drying my clothes. But now, I've never been more ashamed of myself.

WATE RLOO said...

A Trek District Carbon?
Where's the NJS love?

TJ Eckleburg said...

Good Post Snobby, i feel you on this one brother.

Anonymous said...

Whilst on my steel steed with panniers I have blown by many a lycra clad fanci-foot to my great pleasure, then yesterday clad in my 'kit' on my crabonfibre I got smoked by a dude on a steel univega with druggie bars, too small shorts and an unfortunately un-ironic moustache. I have no idea what any of this means.

Frank Eeckman said...

We live in a time of smart gadgets and dumb people. Now there is even a Mercedes that will take care of you when you fall asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

I had a stupid rider with too much money incident on Monday.

There is a rail-trail by my house and I came across a despondent woman standing besides her $1200 Scott road bike she had recently bought from REI. She was upset because she had just pedalled a couple of miles in the hardest gear. Apparenly, her friend borrowed the bike and had shifted the gears on her.

Showing her how to shift gears, I saved her a trip to the well-versed bicycle mechanic at REI.

As a post-script, she had a very nice faux-cycling spandex outfit on.

Anonymous said...

Flat tires are a fact of life when it comes to cycling. Lacking the ability to change a flat tire is the same as lacking the ability to tie your shoelaces.

If one insists on spending a lot of money on cycling for fashion's sake, realize the people who really know the activity of cycling are going to laugh at you and your flat tire, even if they help fix it.

Anonymous said...

Adding to my above comment...
lacking the ability to fix a flat tire is the cycling equivalent of walking aroung with your zipper open.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Re:improvised flat kit.

As a teen I discovered that one of our dining forks, (stainless steel, smooth, very narrow with just a slight hook at the end), made a perfect tire iron.

Decades later, it's still in the toolbox, and is the tool of choice for tough tire/rim combos.

Fran said...

Book shelf bike holder looks like good minimalist gear; drop your total posession count by 1.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Sorry I'm late. I had a busy morning expressing my cat's anal glands and adjusting the float on my carburetor.

Thanks a lot, Snob. Just proir to reading this post, I consumed my 25th almond. I will now face the rest of the day wracked with shame.

Anonymous said...

On the roads I can see how someone could own a $12,000.00 bike and not know how to ride it or maintain it, but I see the same thing in the woods! I'd suggest that a person has no business taking 6ft. drops if they can't true their own wheels, even if they're riding a $4000.00 frame.

Anonymous said...

I love all this blog-o-groaning! Its just like the old agorapubes sprouting in sticky-pockets pants
before the fall Hairfeistyfeels Festyphile commences for wienter.

crosspalms said...

@anon 1:55
When I was a kid, I discovered that my rug made a perfect cleaner for my little brushes when I was painting ship models. Then my mother found out...
For her part, she discovered that a spoon can make a perfect hammer, if you don't mind dented spoons.
Lots of geography today, Snob, I can't decide whether to dig out my atlas or get a haircut.

Anonymous said...

Clearly there are those among us who don't believe in living a luxury lifestyle.

Jefe said...

I think your loyal fans are merely concerned that you have evolved from Bike Snob to Bike Curmudgeon. What else explains a description of a Rivendell bike as a "fop chariot" while simultaneously selling them space to advertise on your blog. Tarnation!

Anonymous said...

Last couple of months almost forget about this blog. But this one is quite good. Really. That's the kind of article, I put this blog on my favorits for. Good evening reading. Thanks.

me said...

Excellent posts this week Snobby. I'm really enjoying the discussions. And thanks for the Sorkin info. I think that I'll skip the movie and read the book by Mezrich who actually does know alot about his topics.

grog said...

Why would anyone advertise a bike rack book shelf without a certain gold-covered snobbish book ON the shelf? Could someone at least photoshop the book onto that shelf please?


Anonymous said...

everything's getting all complicated here. the issue is: are you a douche if you're 20+ lbs overweight riding the gram-lightest bicycle you can buy all while wobbling it around town like a Huffy?

yes. you still are.

as he said before it's not so much like dissing someone with a BMW who can't drive but more like dissing someone with a Ferrari who has no interest whatsoever in driving it well.

every crabon TT bike i see on the road is parked outside of a cafe and later mounted by a clydesdale of significant medial girth. it's just silly. and it is.

Unknown said...

first on the podium of ignorance!

shaun said...

My problem with clueless folks on pricey bikes is that they were duped by the salesperson. They were sold the most expensive bike because it was best for the store, not because it was best for the customer. It'd be like being sold a Saleen S7 for a cross-town commute through Chicago.

It is a beautiful car that is ideal for a day at the track, but would beat your ass up driving to work.

These folks would be best served by a high end commuter bike. Something bulletproof, maneuverable, and back friendly.

Anonymous said...

brilliant post. thankfully we can outsource all the stuff we can no longer do to india and china; while somehow not losing all of our jobs!! and why does sarah palin come to mind when i read this? she seems to be the Queen Bee of this movement to give good-for-nothing morons lots of power and influence.

mikeweb said...

Please don't misinterpret my lateness or absence from this discussion as meaning that I own a Serrotta with Dura Ace Di2 and don't realize that when I pump up my tires that there's actually an inner tube in there that the air is filling.

This whole thing reminds of when I'm chatting with people and might mention that I had a flat tire on my bike and the first words out of their mouths are "did you have to buy a new tire?", or better yet, "did you have to buy a new wheel?" At this point I usually mumble something and turn around and walk away.

Anonymous said...

okay, that's it! I'm learning to fix a flat tire, or find someone who can.

Visegripmikey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I am the reminiscing engine said...

I had a 1976 dodge dart, it had a carborator. but I bet that police special had fuel injection.

Great reliable rustbucket.

Visegripmikey said...

I'm not sure if there's enough hipster cyclists in Canada to warrant that we wear the U.S. as a goatee, but ok, so long as we can wear Mexico as our pleather pants.

Anonymous said...

I think that the US is the tramp stamp of canada.

Anonymous said...

I pride myself on pretty much knowing how to do most things, learning what I don't know, or faking it until I'm making it.

I renovated my house this year, putting in a furnace and ductwork, plumbing, complete rewiring, tiling, etc. All for the first time. My dad was helping me. I said, "I can't imagine being a person who doesn't know how to do stuff". He said, "Yeah well, people who don't know how to do so many things probably end up making more money". Hence rich bastards bringing their Di2 Colnagos back to the shop with a "bent" wheel when it's just a misaligned skewer.

Anyways, rich people tend to know how to leverage their money, focus on a specialty, and manage their time. Learning how to do stuff is a waste of time if you can pay someone to do it and focus your efforts on higher value activities.

Jefe said...

mikeweb, with that set-up you are probably running tubulars, so do not worry about an inner tube. If you flat, use your cell phone (the only essential bike tool), and call for a ride home. I am sure you will have an extra set of Reynolds wheels waiting and ready there.

Shakespeare's Nads said...

Oh, Bike Snob, how I do heart thou.

The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Anonymous said...

When assisting somebody with a flat I make an effort to instruct them how to do it and critique when necessary, rather than doing the work myself. Yes it takes longer but much more satisfying...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Almonds, 24.
Tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Isolation Helmet said...

I believe that the minimalists are responsible. Since they can't own many things they own no tools or spare parts etc. so they can't fix things. It's all part of the minimalist lifestyle.

That being said, not being able to fix a flat on a bike is just ignorant.

Futon said...

I'm interested in the bike shelf, but am wondering: Is it OK to hang a bike by the top tube?

The article on Detroit that someone linked to was pretty cool...I bet those kids are learning how to change flats. Hopefully they are aligning the valve with the tire pressure rating.

Anonymous said...

Coastiedouche here:As usuall your right on the money.We live in a society of extremes.The widespread universal corporate adoption of ineptness and incompetence. Like banks that screw up your balance or the cashier at target that doesnt know how to reverse a charge on your credit card.Corporations have given up on besting their competition and have all decided that everyones customer service sucks so why compete.Its the age of globalism w low pay and poor service.On the other hand we have specialization for the few that can afford it.Like hiring Sorkin to write the screenplay about an issue he knows or cares about.His track record stands as someone that whip up a script even tripping balls on acid.Some people are really good at what they do and get paid handsomely for it. As they should.So some people that have no clue how to navigate a 180 degree turn on a $5000.00 bike probably suck at turning or even pedaling a bike but probably makes $500.00 an hour as a therapist for another genius at business yet cant get a date If his life depended on it.The genius/ineptness factor.

Anonymous said...

i was just having a conversation with someone this weekend where we agreed there should be some sort of "how do do normal shit" classes as part of high school. something to teach people general bike maintenance, car maintenance, home maintenance, cooking, woodworking, etc.

something like an expanded metal/wood shop without the stigma.

hell, i'd take the class now. i'm fairly handy and it's pathetic some of the things i don't know how to do.

Robert Baden-Powell said...

Be prepared! Or whatever!

Well, back to the grave.


Anonymous said...

Not, I think, completely off-topic; anyone else find this extraordinarily amusing?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah anonymous that guy on the steel schwinn w the druggie bars that blew past you was probably tweaking on chrystal meth.Doping isnt just for bike racers.Im sure if competitive cyclists could get away with it they'd be doing meth too.Talk about power to weight ratio!Those tweeker scumbags w the flashlights taped to their bars are ripped.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, keep calling it how you see it regarding people on expensive bikes who don't know how to do sh*t. And when did it become okay to turn up to a cat.4-5 race on a $10k bike anyway?

I rebuilt my rear hub and freewheel recently and it runs so super sweet; doing your own maintenance brings an extra pleasure to cycling that is well underrated. Forgot to grease the jockey wheels on the derailleur, though, and they are squeaking like crazy at the moment...

Shu-Sin said...

"...borderline pornographic advertisements for underpants--pretty much all the nudity-related stuff is a boon for our society." really?!? i put that above "Generally Not Knowing How To Do Stuff" as a woe for our society. in mho, not any better than in a society that punishes transgressors for showing certain parts of their body.

Anonymous said...

Well I work in IT (Information Technology) and I hate it when friends and family call me up to setup their router or remove malware. Those idiots should know how to do it themselves instead of calling me or going to best buy and paying 80 bucks an hour for some teenagers to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Hey I don't read this blog to get a bunch of feel-good, children-of-the-hippies, everybody's-fancy-everybody's-fine, can't-we-all-just-get-along, hearts-and-flowers, claptrap! I read it because I like to see you MOCK STUFF. And certain stuff does need to be mocked. Those who don't like it are simply reading the wrong blog.

The rich have always been ignorant of practical things, and yes, others always end up doing those for them. They're helpless. Which is why gangs of roving bandits always dream of finding Little Lord Fauntleroy away from his carriage and attendants.

If I read this right, the resentment probably comes from a) the person's already rich enough and doesn't actually need/deserve charity, and b) normally people who help this person are paid, and c) what a waste of a good bike.

Is this "wrong?" What's "wrong" with this? Whoever's even asking, needs too much approval already. Don't get hung up on the whole right/wrong crap... think for yourself.

crosspalms said...

I like working on my bike, but the last time I trued a wheel I almost threw the thing across the room. Sometimes it's worth it to pay for someone else's experience and ability. And patience.

Anonymous said...

People not knowing how to do stuff goes all the way to the top, and it has devistaing effects for all of us... remember, "heck-ova-job Brownie" ?
And no, I don't think it's our God-given-right to buy the biggest and baddest shit we can get our hands on. This is exactly what's wrong with our country....a toxic overdose of self-entitlement.

PawnShop said...

185-lb male ex-roadie

Meal Plan for 10 minutes medium-intensity foffing

Daily: 3,300 calories: 500g carb, 30g protein, 200g fat

Espresso, Sumatra Mandehling, 33oz.
Half & Half, 3oz.
Marlboro Red Label, 3 cigarettes

Morning dump
Cake, German Chocolate, 8oz.
Espresso, Sumatra Mandehling, 11oz.
Half & Half, 1oz.
Marijuana, Sativa, 4 pinch-hits

Pancakes, buttermilk, 6
Butter, 1tsp.
Syrup, Mrs. Butterworth's, 2oz.
Banana, 1 medium
Ice cream, Edy's Mud Pie, 24oz.
Chocolate syrup, Hershey's, 1oz.

Pizza, DiGiorno supreme deep-dish, entire pizza
Beer, Bass Ale, 2 pints

Mocha, Starbucks, triple venti
Cookie, chocolate chunk, 1

Immediately before foffing
Chewing gum, Juicy Fruit, 2 sticks

Recovery snack
Ho-hos, 3 pack
Marijuana, Sativa, 1 medium joint
Gin & tonics, 2 medium

Filet mignon, bacon-wrapped, 16oz.
Potato, baked, 1 large, w/sour cream & butter
Broccoli florets, 1 cup
Whiskey, single malt, 4oz.

A 150-lb ex-roadie could reduce this menu, but that would be a shame. Eat up, you'll be old before you know it - might as well enjoy the ride.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

"I think that the US is the tramp stamp of canada."

- that's not very fair to Mexico, is it?

bikesgonewild said...

...too many carbs with not enough riding & well, gosh, you know the results...

...just sayin'...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

it just might be time to start reading Rols Rants

Tourist said...

I shouldn't laugh out loud at work. I have to stop reading these blogs. I read your book in the bathroom at home. The family is concerned about my locking myself in the john and chortling like a crone.

Anonymous said...

For the chunky guys huffing on a smoke beside the road with their expensive road bike, it might be a matter of committing to getting in shape. They may reason that if they only spend $150 on a bike, they might not be motivated to ride but if they spend $5000, they will feel bad about not riding and hit the road more often. Going whole hog helps motivate people sometimes.

ant1 said...


would that make mexico canada's prince albert?

Better than you... said...

Question for BSNYC: do you believe in the collary - that if one rides a really crappy bike but is an exceptionially strong rider then he or she is a superior being worthy cultural admiration? I kinda think so.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

now you're confusing me...

...and making me feel uncomfortable

Aaron said...

Any riding advice for someone hanging in Brooklyn? I've been getting around a bit, but would like some local input on best time to ride and where (I have all day, and AM has seemed busy)? I've got a skinny tire bike along and I'm good for several hrs.

Any thoughts on the NYCC, I was thinking of going to their Escape NY this Sat. I'd be showing solo and hoping to hop in with some smooth rollers for 100 miles? Will it be all mega-buck bike bores or will there be some characters that would welcome an additional freak into the gang for the day?


Anonymous said...

Get away with murder, just hit a bicyclist?????

Anonymous said...

The ENTIRE POINT of great amounts of material wealth is to avoid having to do things with your hands that involves anything more than tapping at a keyboard. That's why all those Wall St. tycoons have baby soft hands. It's been a status symbol for millenia. A pricey car will include roadside service etc., and hey - who can be expected to service a $90k BMW themselves, right? So no shame there. The priciest Di2-equipped bike is still easily worked on with simple hand no such excuse there.

Come to think of it, there's a business opportunity. Hire yourself out as a mechanic to follow groups of Goldman-Sachs douchebags on their Pinarello Dogmas for their 4 mile, 12 mph Sunday morning training ride. Wear neat coveralls and a well trimmed beard and charge $150/hour.

Snob: next time just yell "you should learn to change a tire you worthless waste of oxygen" and squirt some water at him as you pass.

Anonymous said...

Pertaining to the fixter on the mountain yesterday:

Good job wearing out a $40 tire on ONE RIDE and then showing it off for the camera like a badge of honor. What a freakin' idiot. If dolts like these and the williamsburg/downtownbrooklyn hipster sect go through a couple of $40 tires a week or even month, then criticize guys who have real jobs and buy $5000 bikes....They could pretty much afford one in a couple of years by not being so wasteful.

So much for minimalism and simplicity: I have to change out my non-quick release tire multiple times a week b/c of my pointless, unnecessary, and ridiculous skidding: Save the planet with a wasting of rubber and plastic being thrown out prematurely.

Comment deleted said...

I stopped to help someone fix a flat the other day, and forgot to unclip. Smooth move, exlax.

c murder said...

'... "Hamlet" turned out OK.'

Technically flawless joke right there.

lanterne rouge!

cg morrison said...

fuck prima donna pussies!

mikeweb said...


I'll be on the EFNY ride.

Do you know how to fix a flat? I plan on flatting early and often.

le correcteur said...

Anonymous, 3:59:

Well, knowing how to do stuff includes knowing how to spell "devastating," does it not?

Better than you... at 4:12: you too with the incompetent spelling: ever heard of a corollary? No? Don't use words you don't know how to spell. It makes your comments confusing; and they make you look bad!

And BS, if you can use the term douche as often as you do, why worry about being negative about douches? It's funny; we're (mostly) all laughing; except for Better than, that is.

Anonymous said...

i also have a sort of expensive car even though I live in nyc and only drive it on weekends and the only repair I can perform on it is filling it with gas. And yes, I'm still a douche.

However, I have a $200 bike that I ride to work everyday and I know how to change the tires and do most basic repairs, yet I'm still a douche.

Point being, I'm a douche but at least I realize it.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:33,

yes, but all of oregon can't fill up their on their own .

Target Demographic said...

All my expensive gear is to make me 'urban' so none of this shit affects me right?

Velocodger said...

Pawnshop,Good job on the menu! Cut out the broccoli florets, though, they pussify the whole thing.
And Mr BS', ya could have said 'going back to eating Ho Hos and snobbing', no?

Anonymous said...

Great post, don't let the haters hate on your hating. Someone needs to say what you do, Snob.


Bonjour mes amis said...

My docteur said something about my corollary artery, but I didn't have the heart to ask what he meant. Anyway, as Clouseau said, "There is a time for laughing and a time for not laughing, and this is not one of them."

Anonymous said...

Tolerant of obese people??? I'm a fat man living in NYC and I find this statement to be absolutely false. I may be a lardo but you all are the real pigs. It's also my experience that shallow attractive people are never any good at anything and have absoluely nothing to offer.

brooklynbikefanatic said...

people with$10k bikes who don't know how to fix a flat should give me their bikes and go away to hide in shame.

Anonymous said...

Again, no one is "worthy" of a ten-thousand-dollar bike. It's a scam. If you've built a few wheels and/or raced in a few races -- that doesn't make an overpriced bike with a fancy name on it somehow magically make sense. Pros are *paid* to ride stupid expensive bikes to persuade you that what they're riding is worth it. If you fall for that, regardless of how fast you can ride or what your bikedouche credentials are, you're a fool.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the fop chariot comment. Extra points for the location next to the Riv ad. I would have felt left out if you had not made fun of us, too. This week, I mean. Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

one of these days i'm gonna get me a $10k car and run over every $10k bike i see.

just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Here's the minimum I try to give a customer when selling a bike.

1). When I send them out for a test ride I make sure they understand how to operate the shifters. I try to give them an understanding of chain line, especially on a bike with a triple chain ring. I try not to be too technical to avoid iverwhelming the customer.

2). I explain the quick release system, on wheels as well as on brakes and seat post.

3). I try to convince them to buy a seat bag, spare tube and mini-pump, (in addition to a helmet). I give a brief explanation of how to change a tube, and recommend they go online and familiar themselves with the process for the inevitable flat. They pass on tube and pump about 50% of the time.

Anonymous said...

How would these nutrient-rich meals translate for a wannabe cyclo-X-dresser who's closing in on 210lbs for 5ft8in height, out of shape, and bordeline alcoholic?

I demand a meal plan for real people, not world class athletes dammit!

Tous les cyclistes maigres suce mes couilles

Anonymous said...

Although people will often replace a flat tire on their car with the spare - though much of the time they call or wait for assistance - they very rarely ever fix the flat itself. Fixing a flat tire is not part of the mental map or the skill set of most people in the U.S. at least. They almost always take it in to a shop to get it repaired and put back on the car. Since bikes are usually secondary vehicles at best for most riders - and especially for those who buy expensive bikes to impress their investment banker friends and feel a kinship with Mr. Armstrong - they "naturally" would not consider fixing their own flat unless it was as a last resort. And if you have lots of $$ it's never really a last resort, so why even bother, or even learn? Just get someone to help you because that's what being a part of the great cycling camaraderie thing is all about anyway, right? And then take it to the shop and let the man fix it when it stops doing that 'go-round and round' thing it used to do.

sarliaee said...

is the shelf only made for fixies that aren't palping a rear brake or is it made for high end vintage frames that are rocking inner cable routing across the top tube? Because NO other bike with a cable would fit down that slender HOLE!

Anonymous said...

Once I found a barely used low end but servicable city/trail bike from the early '90s (retail value @ $375 back in the day) in the dumpster at work accompanied by two brand new tires, the front wheel was off and the old tire (rotting sidewalls but no tread wear) was half dismounted. The rear wheel showed signs of someone with no clue trying to remove it, but fortunately it was undamaged.

I took it home and spent a few dollars on new cables all around and about 40 minutes to make sure the wheels were true and put everything together, and my daughter had a much better bike than she had before.

EdmundWilson said...

This is the best article on
conspicuous consumption I have read. And Amurican lifestyle!
Would almost think it was written by an alien. Keep it up SNOB!
65 year old bike geek

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 8:19pm... a word (or two)...nice story...

Anonymous said...

"How would these nutrient-rich meals translate for a wannabe cyclo-X-dresser who's closing in on 210lbs for 5ft8in height, out of shape, and bordeline alcoholic?"

Dude you are following the wrong blog. I hear that some southern old lady named Paula has a whole series of shows all about the way you want to eat.

MMMM. Lets cook with cheeze-wizz.

Unknown said...

The people who say "So what?" to that story must be exactly that sort of person. You cannot call yourself a cyclist (and if you own a very expensive bike you most certainly do) and not be able to change a flat. It is just ridiculous. It's like not being able to do laundry.

Anonymous said...

D00d, u r 2 freakin' funny. Being funny occasionally is one thing, but being funny every freakin' day is teh roolz.

Anonymous said...

Okay, after three days of listening to this I have to say the obvious thing.

We all know what the "S" stands for in BSNYC, right? So why the hell are people complaining that he's being a snob? If you don't want to read his occasionally holier-than-thou comments, or if you're upset when they target YOU, don't read the effing blog.

Anonymous said...

Changing your tires.

I knew a messenger in the 80s (an actual messenger who paid his rent delivering packages) who took it as a point of pride to never touch a single bolt on his bike -- even took his bike into a shop to get an inner tube changed. He was eccentric, a prima dona, and definitely didn't give a shit when people gave him a hard time for not wanting to get grease on his hands. Basically, different strokes for different folks.

cheva said...

Dodge Dart!

Faster than a Pinarello, and cheaper too.
Plus I can change the flat on my Dart. And adjust the carb. Feckin Pinarello doesn't even have one.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 5:52

"Tolerant of obese people??? I'm a fat man living in NYC and I find this statement to be absolutely false. I may be a lardo but you all are the real pigs. It's also my experience that shallow attractive people are never any good at anything and have absolutely nothing to offer."

Hey Fatty, your comment (above), makes you sound a bit intolerant. Do you have anything besides obesity to recommend yourself.

Anonymous said...

I taught a newbie friend to patch and change a tube She had a blowout at Burning Man and was able to do both out there in the desert. She rocks.

cyclotourist said...


cyclotourist said...


escalante blogger said...

I also like that snacks. :-)

Ronh Ronh said...

The bass player in my band takes his bass into the shop to have the strings changed. WTF?

Ax(e) to grind said...

Tolerant of fakerjacks??? I'm a fakerjack (and I'm ok...) living in NYC and I find this statement to be absolutely false. I may be a faker when it comes to clear cutting forests but you all are the real environmental catastrophes. It's also my experience that blue collar type people are never any good at anything and have absoluely nothing to offer.

Ralphy said...

Snob is right, that is all. (now how do I work blog? where to press butan, maybe pay someone do this for me)

Anonymous said...

imho. cyclist = someone who can change a flat, and somewhat competently wield a multi-tool.

Those who cannot = "bikers"

IBS said...

This meh-nu is intended as a general outline

Anonymous said...

"Tolerant of obese people??? I'm a fat man living in NYC and I find this statement to be absolutely false. I may be a lardo but you all are the real pigs. It's also my experience that shallow attractive people are never any good at anything and have absolutely nothing to offer."

Hey Fatty, your comment (above), makes you sound a bit intolerant. Do you have anything besides obesity to recommend yourself.

Kiss my fat ass you fucking smarm monger.

Anonymous said...

That's just what Hitler said.

Anonymous said...

Unless it's a really sweet go-kart, it has injector(s). Or fuel injection.

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Very funny

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work so we in europe can still have some confidence in the USA.
Afer Bush robbed me from my pension money and I hear again about Palin and Tea Parties I am just as afraid of the biggest porn producer in the world as of lets say Iran.

mikroenjeksiyon said...

Was a beautiful page. Thanks to the designers and managers.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Anonymous said...

Does anybody love BMW's just like me?
This past May, I purchased a pre-owned BMW Z3 roadster, and entirely love it. BMW is actually the most impressive brand vehicles you can buy. I will always buy BMW's from now on, but I must still say I like the old design much better than the newer designs. The old designs (really anything from 03,04 in some models back) look pure german born. The newer models look similar to japanese makes, but nevertheless, they are simply remarkable.

Anonymous said...

Well. No worries about baking bread, fixing flats, sharpening knives, growing raspberries or changing the oil in my car. But I'd be in trouble if my Rohloff sneezed ... which makes me somewhat nervous I admit.

Thanks for your blog ... I enjoy it muchly.

Anonymous said...

Time was....

fixie bikes said...

Kanye has the most ridiculous twitter.

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