Friday, October 5, 2012

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

In the comments to yesterday's post, a reader included a link to this article in "Outside" magazine, the periodical that attempts to engage your sense of adventure while you're waiting for the dentist:

(Hey, look, it's Russel Brand in a kilt!)

We've seen people fund their adventure vacations via Kickstarter, and we've also seen artisanal Portland grifters, and this story combines the two in the most tremendously entertaining way.  Basically, Russel (a Portlander, as if it weren't obvious from the photo) raised a bunch of money to undertake an "epic" adventure on his "fatbike," and then he just sort of disappeared, like a boyfriend who gradually stops returning your calls instead of having the decency to break up with you:

Due to logistical challenges, he launched his expedition many weeks after his target departure. He made it up to a small town in north central British Columbia, roughly 830 miles from Bellingham. He holed up there for at least a couple of weeks, apparently trying to arrange for food and gear deliveries, but then turned back south sometime in mid-August, it appears. I do not have exact dates or specific details of his trip because Badenoch has never provided them to me, or to his 212 Kickstarter backers.

In fact, his Kickstarter backers have not heard from him since May 3.


Even more shocking is that the writer of the "Outside" article thinks this is noteworthy.  Expecting a Kickstarter campaigner to follow through is about as smart as lending a junkie your laptop--though in fairness to Mr. Brand, his expedition was fraught with problems:

According to his Twitter feed, on which he had been very active throughout the spring and summer and on which he told backers to watch for updates, he apparently hit the road in late May. The tweets that followed gave some snippets into the reality of expedition cycling: torrents of rain, stretches of hunger and fatigue, etc. But then in early June, if you go back and look, there are some real signs of stress, related not so much to the cycling but to his efforts to arrange shipments of wheat-free food, and arranging for money transfers. All along, he never gave specifics about where he was, nor did he post photos—but a few tweets linked to a mapping service that showed him to be in central B.C.

Back in the 15th century, Queen Isabella funded Christopher Columbus, whose bold expedition forever changed the course of human history.  Six centuries later, idiots are funding Portlanders to ride around on bikes with giant tires and eat shit without wheat in it in the vague hope that they one day might get to watch a documentary film about it.

Indeed, Russel Brand's aversion to wheat seems to have provided him with his greatest excuse:

"Yes, I met Andrew at the Pink Mountain Motor Inn," Figureida told me. "I had biked up from Death Valley and attempted to climb McKinley and when I met him I was headed south again. He was stuck there, waiting for supplies—camera and other gear that is really expensive and he didn’t want to go further without it. He was in the café, using Wi-Fi. He was eating what he could afford, but I guess he has a really restrictive diet. At night he was sneaking into empty cabins to sleep. He had been there for one or two weeks."

Sure, maybe he had a severe wheat allergy, but both Lewis and Clark were lactose intolerant and you never heard them complaining about it.

Still, the writer remains indignant:

It’s one thing to fail to quickly respond to a reporter. It’s another that Badenoch has not communicated his status to the 212 micro-investors who ponied up a collective $10,437 to support the fossil-fuel-free expedition. Even if he is planning a do-over next spring, doesn’t he owe his backers an explanation? According to Kickstarter, 41 backers paid $50 or more, 28 paid $100 or more and six of them exceeded $250. In return they’re expecting to receive incentives ranging from a film that Badenoch said he would be shooting from the trail, to a membership in "Hyperlithic," some kind of nature-based training and wellness system, tied to, a site that Badenoch owns but hasn’t launched.

So does Russel Brand owe his backers an explanation?  No, he owes you nothing!  The evangelist you donated to does not owe you a miracle.  The panhandler you gave to does not owe you a postcard telling you how your $.75 got him back on his feet again and now he has a house in White Plains and a good job as a teller in a bank all thanks to you.  And the Kickstarter grifter using you to fund his adventure vacation doesn't owe you the completion of his adventure vacation.  "Micro-investor" here is just a euphemism for "sucker."  You have, as they say on the streets, been "had."

He took them pretty good too:

Aside from Kickstarter money, Badenoch also attracted gear and food sponsorships, including Alpacka Raft, a gear shop called Nature Shop, and 9ZERO7, an Anchorage-based fatbike manufacturer that provided Badenoch with his trip steed. Badenoch tends to dutifully praise 9ZERO7 and his other sponsors on Twitter.

He even got a side gig collecting millipedes:

Badenoch was also recruited by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to search for diatoms and millipedes while he was on his trip, and to collect samples of them on behalf of a couple different research scientists. 

Really, it's the multitasking that's the most impressive part of the scam.  "Sure, I'll pick up some millipedes for you."  It's like telling 50 separate high school kids you'll go buy beer and pot and fireworks and switchblades for them and just never coming back.  To be honest though I kind of feel bad for the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation people, and I can't help thinking of ta otally sincere person with a completely ironic beard demurely asking, "Uh, find any millipedes yet?"

Still, all the backers deserved what they got.  I mean, who gives a guy like this ten grand?!?

Just read his "philosophy."  It pretty much tells you he's going to rip you off!

Meta-Philosophy: To my mind, it is impossible to achieve maximum wellbeing within the world of alarm clocks, architecture, and subjugation to emergent institutions. I don’t think this is merely a coincidence or vague yearning, but a very real facet of human nature. This insight and inspiration is drawn from the archaeological and anthropological record of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The life prescribed by sociocultural institutions will not provide the freedom it promises. In other other words, Go outside and play! And… maybe you should just keep doing that over and over… or even better…. just start playing and never stop.

If that doesn't scream "I'm going to take your money and fuck off" then you've never worked a day in your life.

Also, the FAQ makes it abundantly clear that he's a gigantic douche.


I reject the pervasive prodding of industrial age civilization, and its prescriptions. Homo economicus is a nefarious myth. Celebrate Homo ludens (ludens = play).

What's Latin for "douchebag?"

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you'll swell with pride, and if you're wrong you'll see mountain biking in Ontario.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and watch out for grifters.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) This portrait of Mario Cipollini hangs in:

2) How much for the stupid wood thing?

--Nine bucks (including 20oz container of termite spray)

"I'm basically saying, 'You're going to spend $5,600 on a bike and potentially that frame's going to last you forever'," he said. "Or you can spend less than that on something that's going to be creaky after a while and it's going to get rundown or it's going to chip – the whole replacement mentality."--Old Man Budnitz

3) What was the most noticeable ride characteristic of The Budnitz?

--It creaked
--It was too awesome
--It wasn't expensive enough
--It lasted forever (potentially)

4) Triathletes use clipless pedals because they're more efficient.


5) Fill in the blank: "Smugness ________"


6) Fill in the blank: "But at least I was wearing my ______."

--Astonishing steampunk monocle
--Magic underpants

(But they do draw the line at PB&J.)

7) Judging from blog comments, Portlanders are surprisingly cool with white separatism and Holocaust denial.


***Special Safety-Themed Bonus Question***

Fill in the blank: "But at least I was wearing my _____________."

--Helment with crash sensor that's connected to my smartphone which alerts family and loved ones to my location in the event of an accident or impact, and that presumably works in conjunction with the video camera I always use while riding, because you can never be too careful.


Anonymous said...


RB1 said...


Anonymous said...


Fred Clydesdale said...

crud. the haptic feedback in my smartphone must have failed or i'd be on the podium now.

JB said...

Woot Woot!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten again!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

top 10 - ish


Anonymous said...


douches. all douches.

Anonymous said...

"Sure, maybe he had a severe wheat allergy, but both Lewis and Clark were lactose intolerant and you never heard them complaining about it."

Snob, you missed the mark here. A serious allergy can be life threatening. Or, he could have celiac disease (aka "gluten intolerance), which is where the autoimmune system attacks the intestines when gluten - the main protein in wheat - is consumed. There's no acute risk of death like with a food allergy, but the health consequences can be dire. Back country cycling while suffering severe diarrhea, malnourishment, fatigue, anemia, and maybe swollen joints and mental confusion is not a good idea.

However, particular dietary requirements should have been addressed by advance planning and pre-shipping of food caches. No excuse for not doing that on this type of trip.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

mssd top 10

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 12:09, it is doubly tragic, as Badenoch was, as it turns out, a wheat farmer...

McFly said...

This armadillo EPO is not effective.

Anon 12:09 said...

Please stop being so crass and insensitive by poking fun at food allergies. They are no laughing matter. Please make fun of Blacks and Asians instead.

theEel said...


mikeweb said...

It's Friday the Sybianth.

Fred Nificent said...

Perhaps Brand pulled a "Crowhurst" and lepped overboard. We will just find his unmanned bike lying in a ditch and a note explaining the deception...nah, probably not.

Anonymous said...

What about people with food allergies to … BLACKS AND ASIANS!!

That's really tragicfunnyserious I can tell ya'.

JB said...

I collected $50,000 fund my epic speed-walk of the entire shoreline of Florida (America's wang). I was forced to give up the heroic battle in Shorewood, FL due to my severe sand allergy, but luckily my aunt and uncle have a place there.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for the quizmaster:

In question six (6), why are we not permitted to answer "helment"? Isn't that a pretty shabby way to treat a word you brought into the world and are legally responsible for?

McFly said...

You really threw me for a loop with "ta otally", I read it like 6 times before I could get passed it. Hence the poor GC result.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

wait a minute... are there more panhandlers than flickstarter can handle that there's another site now... one that sounds like the name of an exotic dancer from hawaii?

Anonymous said...

so how much did you kick in for the grifter?

Le Pétomane said...

Badenoch - homo-magister

Badenoch was lost playing “Safety,” a farting game, also called “Touch Wood.” Basically, he who farts must say “Safety” or touch wood before a scientist says "Millipede Diatom!" If not, the scientist is allowed to punch him in the pants yabbies.

Badenoch's whereabouts remain unknown.

le Correcteur said...

Is it a generational thing, this being willing to ask other people to fund your fun hog activities? I'm just not able to do that. And to think I probably missed 6 months of bike touring in Europe in my 20s because I lacked the audacity of douchieness to do just that; and what's even more tragic, I still lack it.

Is there therapy for this state? Help me, snobsters! Help!

babble on said...

Heh heh. He said America's wang. I love wangs. :)

This job is interfering with podiuming. And with slacking off in general. I'm going to start a kickstarter campaign so that I can finally win.

mikeweb said...

That's not Russel Brand, it's Aldous Snow.

Just look at the background of his up-kilt shot.

BTW, just after that picture was taken, he probably 'penned' the following in the fresh snow:

Bite me Suckazzzz!!

He probably drank a LOT of coffee that morning...

Anonymous said...

le Correcteur 12:32pm:

I can help you … for $500.

McFly said...

What's your new position Babs?

thegock said...

OK, Snobby,

You’re doing the Fredfest in Trexlertown. Can I give you some money so you can pick me up some bike stuff cheap at the swap meet on Saturday? I don’t want to support my LBS, ya know.

Let’s check the forecast for Sunday. 45 degrees at clip in time, 28% chance of rain. Warming to a balmy 52 degrees with a 54% chance of rain by 2pm. Good time to use that expensive Shower Pass Elite rain jacket. More likely the sponsoring magazine’s target audience will be sitting on the couch flipping the remote between NFL games and eating chips and salsa…cuz that’s the way they roll.

Meanwhile, Hillier Than Thou clips in in Long Valley, NJ for 12,000 feet of climbing over 100 miles in the rain.


Anonymous said...

Offensive non sequitur!


Comment deleted said...

"both Lewis and Clark were lactose intolerant and you never heard them complaining about it"

Yeah, but Sacajawea wasn't too happy about their nasty hot-box tent farts.

Dave said...

But I wasn't wearing a helment

mikeweb said...

That Hillier than thou looks like fun.

I would do it, but not sure that Hunnee coo-coo would appreciate me being gone from before the crack of dawn all day, and I'm pretty sure I'd like to rock the coo-coo a few times next week.

And rain.

BikeSnobNYC said...


It might rain!?!

I think I feel a wheat allergy attack coming on...

--Wildcat Rock Machine

ken e. said...

i saw the real russell at a crib's show back there a ways, and that other dude is not him.

thegock said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for fodding on that fodder.

My favorite text juxtaposition on Badenoch's website:

"Moving Beyond the Self-Aggrandizing Age of Adventure"

"For my quest to explore more of planet earth than anyone in history using only human, wind, and solar power to be successful, I need a variety of skills."

crosspalms said...

Mr. Kilt is hastily self-justifying at his site. "I’d love to be able to divulge my subsequent plans. However, as of yet, they are undetermined because of variables beyond my immediate control such as gap funding, and rumors that I’ve taken the Kickstarter money to live out some island fantasy — making attempts to obtain such funding more difficult."

Comment deleted said...

Just goes to show that there is a difference between living off the grid and living off the sweat of other people's brows.

At least he gets to avoid "subjugation to emergent institutions".

JB said...

Mr. Kilt, you blaming the Canada Post's delivery incompetance for sabotaging your "zero fuel expedition" is as ironic, unless you paid extra for delivery via dog sled.

velobotomy said...

I was looking for the part where Mr. Badenoch took some responsibility for his plight. It must be in there somewhere.

JB said...

Also, where did you find bike tires that aren't petroleum-based? I don't know if you understand what "zero" means. Douchebag of the highest order.

Anonymous said...

Aced the quiz for the first time ever. Should I be gleeful or sad?

babble on said...

Nothing new... just a craptastically busy week this week. Tomorrow, I'll start my she-douche kickstarter campaign so that I can retire to the wheat-free Wyoming wilderness where I'll reject the pervasive prodding of industrial age civilization, and its prescriptions, and ride, fuck, and giggle over babblelogs forever more.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Well maybe not maximum wellbeing but I gotta say the world of alarm clocks, architecture, and subjugation to emergent institutions has treated me fair.

Have fun riding in the rain this weekend wildcat. I'll be on the couch with the chips and salsa.

Comment deleted said...

I like your world view, Babs (and your legs). Teddy Geisel rules.

However, your damn blog won't let me post comments over there.

grog said...

You can rock your little racing thingy on the bus, right?
Take the Colum bus.


babble on said...

Oh! Bit slow on the uptake this morning!

My new position this week is from the Kama sutra. It's called the chair. It's good. You should try it.

I'm working on expanding the Kama sutra so you can look forward to the new and improved 'chair' position soon. It's called the saddle, and it's the best way to keep her holeyness happy.

I prefer picture books, as you will have noted if you clicked on this week's babblelog, so I need to find a good photographer for the newest edition of an old tome.

babble on said...

Comment deleted... Thank you!

re: comments - you're not the first person to tell me so... Huh. Now I need a photographer AND a geek.

McFly said...

I was actually being sincere. Even when I am sincere I still sound like a bad perv joke. I am a sad case.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Badenoch frozen scranus in a kilt.

Anonymous said...

re JB @ 1:39
And what's lubricating his bottom bracket? Lard would make it quite beefy - and avoid disturbing the souls of millions of dead plankton.

Anonymous said...

Costco Cannondale shut off < The_CraigslistNews > 10/05 10:36:25

Some Costco outlets are offering a "limited amount" of Cannondale bikes, according to a letter that the bike company's Dave Manchester sent to U.S. retailers on Tuesday. Manchester is senior vice president of North American sales and marketing for Dorel Industries' Cycling Sports Group, which includes Cannondale.

"We’ve identified a distributor outside of the United States who conducted the unauthorized sale of their supply to this mass retailer. Action has been taken against this distributor and they are no longer part of our distributor network. Additionally, the bikes will not be covered under any warranty," Manchester said in the letter.

Manchester did not identify the distributor in the letter. On Thursday, Michael De Leon, a senior manager of global public relations for the Cycling Sports Group, said the company would have no further public comment on the issue.

Manchester's letter also referenced a letter that one of Cannondale's competitors has been sending to its dealers.

"One of our competitors is emailing our dealers right now telling them that we’re selling Cannondale bikes in the mass channel," Manchester wrote. The sales were unplanned and Cannondale remains committed to the IBD channel, he said. He said Cannondale's recent purchase of the Guru bike fit system and its support of the Cannondale Pro Cycling team show its commitment.

"Cycling Sports Group is deeply committed to the IBD channel. Others in the industry would have you believe otherwise, but I trust that those who know us and work with us know better. We will continue to be focused on earning your business, not counterproductive propaganda campaigns," Manchester stated.

Manchester was apparently referring to a letter sent by Specialized's Mike Sinyard, which urges retailers to chose suppliers who do not sell to mass merchants. Aside from the recent Cannondale appearance in Costco, Sinyard refers to bikes that Giant Bicycle manufactures for the retailer under the Northrock brand. Sinyard's letter does not mention Specialized's Full Force brand, which was sold to mass merchants briefly in the 1990s.

Participants in a thread on the forum have been discussing the Costco Cannondales, which they said include the Cannondale Trail Sl29er being offered for $749 at the Redwood City, California, Costco outlet. The Trail Sl29er has an MSRP of $890.

velobotomy said...

Did you consider posting a link?

Anonymous said...

Strong finish this week, Snobby.

Fuckin' douchy celebs and bikes.

Anonymous said...

"Meta-Philosophy: To my mind, it is impossible to achieve maximum wellbeing within the world of alarm clocks, architecture, and subjugation to emergent institutions."

However, the thief will utilize the "emergent institution" of crowdfunding to steal or beg - depending upon the depth of your progressiveness - your money.

Subjugation has never been more lucrative - SUCKERS.

Unknown said...

BikeSnob asks:

What's Latin for "douchebag?"

According to Google Translate, it's

cataclysmos sacculi

Keep rockin' the machine, wildcat.

Frank Lloyd Wright said...

Fuck you, Badenoch.

Moose and Squirrel said...

Isn't that Boris Badenoch?

Dooth said...


It's a savory mix
on a sandwich
don't bitch
it kicks
put it on wheat
you're in for a treat

babble on said...


The best bit about hacky sack is that there are only two rules. They're good ones:

1. Never serve yourself.
2. Never apologize. Specially for being a perv.

Mehjor Taylor said...

Am I the only person who forces himself to watch the entire video each time I get a question wrong?

also - the smugness flotilla has a fluid grubber assist on the back. How ironic.

Cipo said...

eating pussy

JB said...


Wiggo said...

eating cunt, fucking cunt

mikeweb said...

I hear through my record company contacts that Wiggo will issuing his own version of the seminal U2 track, to be titled 'Cunt, Bloody Cunt'.

The album cover art has yet to be decided upon.

McFly said...

I'm like the Dos Eqius Guy:

"I do not say I'm sorry much,
but when I do her eye is usually stinging and burning."

Anonymous said...

yeap, that's fucking right, thanks snob, "portland is totally okay with holocaust deniers," that's exactly the attention these RCA cowards need.

Anonymous said...


The armadillo EPO does little for performance, but it works wonders when you crash.

JDH said...

That kicksy-starter douche should run for President.

leroy said...

My dog claims that on Kickstarter, no one knows you're a dog.

Ride safe all!

And if it rains, you can always take the SAG bus.

McFly said...

I drink a whiskey drink,
I drink a lager drink,
I drink a vodka drink,
I drink some cooking wine,

I sing a song that reminds me of the good times,
I sing a song because I'm drunk from the cooking wine.

Bogusboy said...

Crimony!!!!! A Kickstarter panhandler rips off his "investors".

Stop the presses.

mungibli said...

So that's why the bunditz creaks,

its candy powered

babble on said...

skittle power

ce said...

Kick it in the guts, Badenoch.

ce said...

Oh yeah! I'm under babble on. Though I suppose a lot of commenters have been under babble on.

Anonymous said...

McFly said...

Let's hear it for Oscar Friere. I read an article where a team manager said on a scale of 1 to 10 as a person he is a 2 and as a racer he is a 12. Nice.

Jeffery Dahmer II Cipo said...

eat'in pussy ...


dR. sIGMUND fRIED said...

If you were to lose your short term memory how could you possibly know?

That'll be $400.00.

leroy said...

My dog wishes to point out that Mr. Badenoch was able to finance his vacation on kickstarter because he billed it as a kilt trip.

He has his doubts about Mr Badenoch's Scottish bona fides because the kilt's House of Stewart plaid is Martha Stewart Home Furnishings. He says he's seen it as a tablecloth at Macy's.

Anonymous said...

Ok McFly. I tried to get the skittles action going using your method but all I am getting is chocolate M & M's. What am I doing wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Brand is aspiring to be a county employee.

Dave said...

Update to my investors: have been out of touch due to aurora borealis activity. Am now a mere 30 miles from the Pole. Luckily I was able to trade the rusting Budnitz for a very cool thing made all of beechwood. If I run out of hot air and lentils I can burn the beechwood to keep warm. Please mail more cash not earned behind some desk(to my Portland address), and when I get to the Pole I will make sure your name is on the Banner with the strange device Excelsior! signed, Burt Bacharach.

Flammer said...

Oh, aye, it was a kilt trip that squeezed the shillings from the shrewd inverters. It's not just the wee Jewish mithers that whip their bairns with kilt.

babble on said...

Random question of the day:

Do you s'pose they call it carnal knowledge cause it's carnivorous by nature?

McFly said...

No it's because it happens in RV's at carnivals. Alot.

Anonymous said...

Dude... oy veh.

P.T. Barnum didn't say, "There's a sucker born every minute," but it IS something of a truism for a very good reason: there are lots of naive people in the world- and lots of grifters only too happy to take full advantage of them. That said, condemning Kickstarter without looking at it's success rate is just being a cynical fuck.

I dig your blog, but sometimes, man... I swear living in Brooklyn makes you more bitter than winter in Michigan.

babble on said...

Satire... funny...ha ha...?

McFly said...

Let's please have a moment of silence for Coulmbus. Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Russell Brand starring in "White Plains Grifter"

Anonymous said...

Doesn't hyperlithic mean 'very stoned?'

If 'hyper' as a prefix is 'above' or 'beyond' and 'lithic' has to do with rocks and stones it stands to reason, right?

As for living off the grid, doesn't fund raising on the internet more or less blow the whole thing out of the water before it gets started (which, it seems, it never did)?


Anonymous said...

Andrew Badenoch's real name is Andrew MacPherson. He invented the last name Badenoch to facilitate his well thought out scam and insulate himself from repercussions.

Unknown said...

Nice cycle but it should be $700.

Patent Lawyer

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Anonymous said...

It's next spring. Whatever happened to Andrew Badenoch's fatbiking expedition?