Monday, August 20, 2012

Proper Attire: Safety First

Good mornafterning!  (That is the 21st century time zone-independent salutation we all agreed upon at the International Blogging Summit this past weekend in Piscataway, NJ.)

This is Fred racing:

And this is Frederick racing:

("On your markings, prepare thyselves, Frederick!")

Did you know that people still participate in Frederick racing today?  Well, it's true.  However, if you're a failed Fred who's flirting the notion of sandbagging in the high-wheeler class, you should keep two things in mind.  Firstly, there's no crabon in Frederick racing; and secondly, it's dangerous.  In fact, it's so dangerous that a reader informs me a woman was injured in Baltimore when she fell from her pennyfarthing during a Frederick race:

The good news is that, yes, she was wearing her helment.  The bad news is that she missed her helment but still hit her head

Police say 54-year-old Alison Torpey of Louisville hit her head just below her helmet in a fall from her "penny farthing" bicycle.

This injury defies the laws of cycling physics, which state that a bicycle helmet is a force field that will protect you from any form of injury--though I will concede that it's possible she wasn't wearing a helment specifically designed for pennyfarthing use:

This sort of helment is ideal for any sort of rigorous physical activity, whether it's riding a pre-safety bicycle or subjugating a continent.

In any case, I'm raising a period-correct recovery beverage in her honor and drinking to her speedy recovery:

All sporting Fredericks know that Bile is the source of Speed, and that a Robust Liver is the Wellspring of Victory.

Also, it could have been a lot worse.  For example, she could have collided with this custom "trail cutting bike," as forwarded by another reader:

Custom trail cutting bike (Auburn)
Date: 2012-07-25, 6:09AM EDT

I have for sale a custom trail cutter/ daily commuter. It is based on a folding bike frame so you can take it inside or get through a tough hole in a trail. The custom front chainsaw trail cutting tool is great for off road. it also has a dual use for commuting because it powers the front wheel making hills a breeze. It also comes with a sturdy rear rack to haul heavy loads on. 

The bearings have recently been serviced and the tires are good. it has a new chain on the bike but the saw chain should be replaced soon. 

I wish I could keep it but the wife says she is tired of the neighborhood kids wanting to ride it. No lowball offers i know what this thing is worth. 

I'm fairly certain that bike was stolen from Ketchikan, Alaska's bike share program.

Of course, if you're in the market for something a bit more modern to replace your pennyfarthing or chainsaw bike, you should look into the offerings of a company called "Stradalli:"

I'm assuming Stradalli is Italian for "straddle," and they also make components:

(Model displays plush forearm padding, as well as a pair of handlebars.)

Though keep in mind a typical Stradalli rider is less likely to be dressed like this:

And more likely to be dressed like this:

Nevertheless, it's a lot safer to fall off a Stradalli than a pennyfarthing--especially if you have ample bosoms to cushion the blow:

("Oops, I fell off my Stradalli again because it had no pedals and I was wearing heels.  Now sleep with me.")

By the way, the URL for the official Stradalli website is ""  This is very bad news for Bicycling, because they were actually planning to re-launch the magazine as "Carbon Road Bike Bicycle Cycling" in 2013.

Also, you may suspect that the Stradalli models aren't actual cyclists, but that's not true.  In fact, after the shoot they all went out for a group ride, and you can even see it on Strava, as forwarded by yet another reader:

I hope this person never, ever grows up.

Speaking of women in bikinis, still yet another reader informs me they're now stealing bikes in Brooklyn:

REWARD FOR BIKE STOLEN BY WOMEN IN BIKINIS!!!: Gray Women's Trek (Khim's Grocery, Myrtle Ave, Clinton Hill)
Date: 2012-08-15, 1:26AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

At 5:49 on Saturday, June 30, a group of women in yellow bikinis, black swimsuits, and white coverups were shooting a skateboarding video with a group of guys in front of the MetroPCS/Post Office on Myrtle Ave, between Grand Ave and Steuben St, near the Pratt Institute campus.

As they were walking past the Khim's Grocery Store on Myrtle Ave, an overweight African-American woman in her early 20s wearing a white cover-up dress stole a bike.

The video footage and photos of the entire group, including the face and body shots of the thief, have been turned over the police, who have begun their investigation.

If you know the women in these photos, please be in contact through this email or call 911. You may remain anonymous. If the bicycle can be "found" and safely returned to its owner, charges will not be pressed against the young woman who stole the bike. 

BICYCLE IDENTIFICATION: The bike is a gray women's TREK 7000 model, with a white wire cup holder on the leg bar, and a black Kryptonite lock on the handlebar. A close-up photo of the bike is attached (note that neither the yellow extension bar nor the dog were on the bike at the time of the incident). 

Here's the bike that was stolen, complete with lock on handlebars, zany canine-portaging apparatus, and nonplussed dog:

Here it is on the sidewalk, with the lock still cunningly sitting on the handlebars:

And here's one of the Bikini Bandits simply helping herself to a bike:

It's enough to make you lose faith in humanity--assuming of course you're laughably naive.  Plus, while the thief certainly shouldn't have taken the bicycle, maybe she has dreams of becoming a model for Copenhagen Cycle Chic.  Sometimes you've got to seize those opportunities, even if you have to stomp on a few faces on the way to the top.  That's why I'm starting a new blog called North Korea Cycle Chic:

Yes, even still yet another reader tells me that women in North Korea are finally allowed to ride bikes again, so I figure now's the time to put on my Pith Helment of Opportunism and pounce:

By the way, if you're wondering why women weren't allowed to ride bikes in North Korea, it's because it "wasn't regarded as feminine:"

Perhaps another sign that North Korean society is changing, Chinese media is reporting that women are being allowed to ride bicycles for the first time for almost 20 years.

Cycling for women was banned in 1996 because it wasn't regarded as feminine by the male dominated North Korean regime.

Well, North Korea Cycle Chic is going to change that perception once and for all:

They'll be modeling Stradallis in no time.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

me again


Anonymous said...

Ken top ten!

Ed said...

Top Ten

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

I suck at this.

crosspalms said...

Wanted: models for bicycle photo shoot. Must bring own underwear and tattoos.

singlespeedwaster said...

Week hardly begun, but even the top ten is escaping me.

crosspalms said...

I think Stradalli needed the half-naked women so no one would look at just how ugly the bikes are.

Anonymous said...

wu tang is for the children

McFly said...

Damn fine posting.

pe said...

top eleven!!!

leroy said...

Okay, notwithstanding BSNYC's Brooklyn bike theft video --

I had one of those weekends that puts the lie to NYC as bike unfriendly. I painted the road arrows, marking part of the route of the New York City Century bike tour from the Brooklyn Bridge to Prospect Park to Astoria. Of course, watching paint dry is reward enough, but along the way -- with only one exception -- my fellow New Yorkers were just plain small town type friendly.


A traffic cop at the Brooklyn Bridge and I joked about me being too old to be a graffiti artist, I chatted with a woman riding with her small dog in her backpack near the Navy Yard, eager hipsters in Park Slope wanted to know when the "race" was, a guy in a Caribbean neighborhood proudly showed me his track back and told me about his other bike which he had built up as a replica of the bike Eddy Merckx used to break the world record, outside a mosque in Bed Stuy children leaving Eid al Fitr celebrations smiled and waved, a cop taking a cigarette break in front of his Long Island City precinct house knew all about the Century and couldn't have been friendlier, no cars buzzed me or cut me off anywhere and in Astoria, a couple of drivers even smiled and waved.

But there was one exception.

In Williamsburg along Bedford Avenue and then along Division Street, four separate Hasidim at four separate locations wanted to know what I was doing. I of course explained to each person what I was up to. The attitudes ran from curiosity to polite hostility, with at least one guy videotaping me on his cell phone and telling me from his car that marking the route was "against the law." (Funny -- I always thought driving while using your cell phone was frowned upon.)

Finally, on Division Street -- literally a block or two from where BSNYC missed a head on encounter with a Hasidic mini-van driver using the separated bike path to travel the wrong way down Kent Street -- I was stopped by a large SUV and a minivan from which sprang an Hasidic Starsky and Hutch; two members of the Williamsburg Shomrim (the local private civilian security patrol), who demanded to see my identification, wanted to know who I worked for, wanted to see my permit and wanted me to wait with them for "two minutes" for their supervisor.

I was polite, as were they, but after I told them what I was doing, showed them several impressive credentials -- I am nothing if not impressively credentialed -- and they wouldn't tell me their supervisor's last name, I figured they were just stalling to see if they could get the cops to show up. As I had a schedule to keep, I wasn't about to hang around all day waiting for that.

I showed them the route on my cue sheet where their "supervisor" could catch up to me. (I was about to make a right and head about two miles without a turn. Given my slow pace and the arrows I was leaving in my wake, I would be easy to find.)

At that point, one told me "you don't want to run away." After a little more polite, but firm discussion, I convinced them that I was not someone with whom it would be a good idea to explore the legal constraints under which civilian patrols operate.

Their immediate -- and possibly pretend -- phone call to their anonymous supervisor seemed to confirm that and we said our goodbyes. Of course, I invited them to join the ride on September 9.

Some may perceive me as shtick goy, but I still have a yiddishe kopf.

master_bike_mechanic said...

The guy behind Stradelli is on course for an epic fail.

It's not 1988. He needed to use a dutch sounding name like Ritte for the stickers on his OEM carbon product. That's worth a few hundred bucks per frame!

Snobby, how about using your Time Square refrain of "Me love you long time" on some Hong Fu carbon product?

Spokey said...

Damn that wildcat!

I should have known he was responsible for that traffic jam this weekend on 287 in Piscataway when I was going to pick up Peachy in Bed-Sty.

The stop and go on Staten Is Expr and the BQE was probably his fault too!

Devo said...

Top 20! Ultimate Fred result!

JD0g said...

Is that even kosher??

McFly said...

I blew up the image of the model laying in front of the lime green Stardelli and her trampstamp says "In Case of Emergency Use this Exit".

Anonymous said...


hartworming story. gee whiz. but a bit boring.


le Correcteur said...

Top twenty; where is everyone? AND I read it!

El Gringo Mas Blanco said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that trail cutting bike was stolen from the set of the new movie Austin, Texas Chain Saw Massacre...

BikeSnobNYC said...


You should have told them you were spraypainting an eruv. I was interrogated when I photographed that Segal in Boro Park, but nothing like that.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

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Buffalo Bill said...

That stradalli model is huge!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

When I invent the 360 degree impact absorbing force field emitting helment I'll be a rich man and finally be able to afford the budnitz of my dreams.

Spokey said...

followed wcrm's link to the Stardelli site and went to their customer's page:

You might not be able to get to the podium on this blog, but you can still have yellow in their customer list.

Le Bonkuer said...

I'll be back to comment later... I just realized that I need to check my leg bar. I think it's probably where I left my helment.

Anonymous said...

Contador killed me on that mtn.

mid-pack XXX

babble on said...

Man, we gotta talk.

What do you mean, she fell off cause she was wearing heels?? Those are SAFETY SHOES!

The North Koreans banned women on bikes cause they didn't want a whole lot of sexually awakened women on their hands. Honestly! What kind of damned fool country has a problem with half naked, fully aroused women sprawling all over the place?

And yet they're all for nuclear prolilferation... No wonder the planet is such a mess.

Anonymous said...

I like my bikes the same way I like my women: to be cheap and dirty.

Unknown said...

How many hookers does it take to sell a bicycle?

Unknown said...

Had the woman who fell off the penny farthing been wearing this invisable helmet perhaps she might have been safe and looked more period correct.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Cat 6 bikesaw massacre.

Ln Wf said...

suk my p p

La Cosa Nostradamus said...

In the year 2099 a full carbon dura-ace Pinheaderello will only set you back $917,343,201.99 plus 97% sales taxes.

And yes. Boomberg will stil be mayor!

Anonymous said...

The model in the first Stradalli picture is either really tall or that is a really small bike. The top tube barely comes to her knees.

Jimboner said...


lady mtbiker said...

Hey Leroy-- thanks for doing the schleppy job of arrowing for the NYC Century; those of us about to ride it salute you.

I know, I know Snobby-- the New York City Century is World Fred Headquarters. But it is also fun, esp. for us out-of-towners looking for excuses to crash with NYC friends, ride the slowest-speed century ever in your fine city, and enjoy yummy treats at the myriad rest stops-- last time I did it they had Krispy Kreme Donuts in Prospect Park. I worried that it might be the first time in history that a century-riding cyclist would actually gain weight...

africansingle said...


Johann Rissik said...

@anon 2.17 It's the new kneel over height (I think)

leroy said...

WRM --

In Brooklyn, all the world's an eruv.

And all the men and women merely playuhs.

Anonymous said...

But what about your dog?

JB said...

Stradalli: we use the same font as Ferrari

leroy said...

lady mtbiker -- yes! Krispy Kremes in Prospect Park was always a highlight for me!

I've seen riders in Coney Island lining up for Nathan's hot dogs in the early morning, but that's too hard core for me.

This year, my cue sheet indicates that there are food deals with a lot of local places along the route.

JB said...

Also, that Trek 7000 deserved to be stolen. Not using the lock, or the front brake.

leroy said...

Anon 2:37 PM --

My dog?

He's my dawg, of course.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows sex smells.

Anonymous said...

I mean sells.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The arm bar is an efficient takedown technique, but I believe that the leg bar is in violation of the Marquess de Queensberry rules.

mikeweb said...


Hopefully in the next few weeks there won't be any emergency or non-emergency street construction needed that eliminates your painterly handiwork. One year when I did the NYC century, a few blocks of the route had been milled and we zigged instead of zagging and ended up at a dead end over looking the Grand Central Parkway. I quickly consulted the cue sheet though and got us back track.


Dooth said...

She's a bike mamma jamma
she's as bad as she can be...

Salty and Sore said...

And in an Exit-Through-the-Gift-Shop moment, another reader has informed me that the Stradalli models are not actually from Portland.

I can confirm this is true, as they are not displaying any leg hair. Trim levels may vary, however.

Salty and Sore said...


Don't be mistaken. You're still my favorite mensch.

@babble on-"Honestly! What kind of damned fool country has a problem with half naked, fully aroused women sprawling all over the place?"
One that wants to stay pissed off enough to feel a need to own lethal weapons.




(*fingers missing, after too much foffing.)

Anonymous said...

That Fredrick ride is certainly proud of itself:
"The race bills itself as the only competition in the United States "

I am a confused engine said...

What a great post, so many confusing things.

Chain saw bike has me somewhat worried, the mind that came up with that could not have any idea what it is truly worth.

Stradouches have nothing on Specialized, new stickers creates a brand.

Oh well.

crosspalms said...

Snob, I just noticed that the reclining Stradalli model has nails painted in the color I think of as Bikesnob Arrow Green. What's going on here?

Redneckked Cipo said...

podium pootie tangs

Anonymous said...

hey Aston,
howzit Hangleton?

McFly said...

The Vulva A Espanka is lookin like it may be pretty dang good.

(I bet thats not the first time bike model/slut #2 has had 4 tubes pointed at her head at once, I guess she goes right to left)

Anonymous said...

Seems Legit....

Jeff Dahmer said...

Can I get that Stradalli in Soylent Green?

wishiwasmerckx said...

The Judge in the Armstrong case basically rips USADA a new one. He dismissed because Federal Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, but was quite vocal and critical of the USADA charges and the way the arbitration case has been handled.

I betcha USADA issues a press release crowing about the victory, burying the scathing criticism and claiming that the decision validates their claims against Armstrong.

A curious note? The claims can proceed against Armstrong because he is an "amateur athlete." I kid you not.

JDH said...

Now, if that chain-saw-trail-cutter had a lawn mower on the back...

babble on said...

A writer's mantra is revise revise revise. A rider's mantra is customize customize customize...

Go on then. You know you want it.

Anonymous said...

While you are busy promoting Italian ladies of the night Tilford is pushing Armstrong Tri Porn.

Anonymous said...

To Thomas Hughes - how many hookers do you have?


Anonymous said...

What happened to "problem?"

grog said...

thank you, snobbie!

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

In the last Stradalli picture they should have used the model lady's butt cheeks as the bike rack.

Anonymous said...

Ain't got the pics, but one of the high wheelers had a carbon fork and possibly frame.

McFly said...

ce +08

Unknown said...

I just started riding a bike in NYC. This is gonna be fun.

ringcycles said...

Is there a market for Strava Erotica now? I'm working on "50 Shades of Titanium"

Anonymous said...

That Fred ride sounds grueling. Rest stops every 12 miles!

Anonymous said...

I "stradalli'd" twice while reading this!!!!

Anonymous said...

Helmentth? I thay, thir, you appear to be taking the pith....

hey nonny mouse

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all stylish images are really wonderful.

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