Friday, December 16, 2016

Your Friday Post on Friday for your Friday Enjoyment

It's Friday and it's cold.


("YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT COLD IS!!!!")

Whatever.

Anyway, the smart move on a cold day is to grab a rugged all-terrain bicycle, seek shelter amongst the trees, and engage in some determinedly slow-speed riding.  So that's exactly what I did today:


Of course, you can't employ this tactic if you must orient your bicycle towards a specific workplace-type environment and such terrain does not exist between your abode and working hole, in which case that totally sucks for you.

Hey, it's not like I don't work.  I am, after all, a semi-professional bike blogger whose artisanally-hewn cycling-themed content delights thousands of bots and at best dozens of actual humans on a daily basis.  (Apart from weekends, and holidays, and vacations, and trips for the purposes of self-promotion, and crippling bouts of dehydration--though I did sneak that one in under the wire, so technically I'm not in breach of contract.)  And being a semi-professional blogger, it occurred to me as I rode that I was at that very moment using various products simultaneously had that found their way to me because every now and again some unfortunate company or marketing person mistakes me for an "influencer."  One of the many, many, many sucky things about the Bikey Internet is that nobody ever seems to follow up after mentioning a product, so I figured this was at least a chance to check in on some stuff I've been using awhile:

Marin Pine Mountain 1

It's the bike you're looking at in the above picture.  I really like this bike.  I vibe hella and it's my classic peep during Art History.  I think the equivalent bike for 2017 is now just called the Pine Mountain and the Pine Mountain 1 has a bouncy fork and some other stuff.  Whatever.  It's a rigid bike with wide tires and wide gearing and it's become my grab-and-go bike for when I'm not sure exactly what kind of ride I want to do and figure I'll just make it up along the way.  I also have a special affinity for cheap-but-good bikes, which this is, and I like it so much that I bought it from them with actual American money.  It's only going on its second winter now so I can hardly claim to have put it through its paces, but apart from replacing the bottom bracket due to wear and replacing some other stuff entirely for personal reasons (grips, saddle, the usual) it's been solid.  Even the tires still have plenty of life, and they see much more pavement than I'd like.

Outlier Winterweight OG Pant

Before Levi's got into the urban cycling market, Outlier were one of the first companies to do the whole hip on-the-bike, off-the-bike clothing thing.  The idea was that the cool Brooklyn proto-alt-bros could ride around on their sweet NJS fixies, do the over-the-leg dismount thing without blowing out their crotch seams, and then sit in front of giant monitors designing minimalist websites.  Adorably, the good people at Outlier must have been laboring under the misapprehension that I spoke to this demographic, because they sent me the aforementioned pants for review.  (They also sent me shorts, which I slathered in mayo.)  Particularly noteworthy is that I assigned this review to Spencer Madsen, my ironic intern at the time, who also tested the then-groundbreaking Mongoose Cachet, which was the world's first department store fixie.  Having foolishly figured he'd just "scored," Spencer pretty much made off with both the bike and the pants.  He has since become a poet and publishing impresario of some note, for which I of course take full credit.  As for the pants, it's been six years now and they've held up quite well.  (My pants, that is.  No idea what Spencer did with his.)  Granted, I don't wear them incredibly often, but they are in fact warm, comfortable, and durable to the point that on a cold day I will ride singletrack in them for an hour or two on the way home from my "office" and not mind them at all.  In fact their only real weak spot is that they're overly susceptible to cat claws, and when the cat jumps in your lap and does that back-arching-claw-flexing thing they get stuck in the fabric and are liable to pull a thread or two.  The solution to this is not to own a cat, which is something I wish I'd known before I got mine.


Giro New Road Winter Jacket

Back in 2013 Giro went heavy into this whole "new road" concept.  Basically, the idea wasn't all that dissimilar from the Outlier concept, except in this case it wasn't aimed at East Cost alt-bros; it was aimed at their West Coast counterparts who do mixed-terrain rides and then bro down in cool hangout spots with epic burritos.  Someone representing Giro sent me a whole suit of this stuff, even though I have even less in common with the West Coast bike bros than I do with the East Coast ones.

Basically the stuff wasn't too far removed from regular Lycra stretchy clothes, but the lynchpin of the whole concept was that you wore baggy shorts over your bibs for no good reason, and your bibs had a fly so it was easier to whip out your dongle:


Now I do wear shorts over my cycling shorts from time to time, specifically when I'm doing a longish ride but also want to carry stuff in my pockets like a normal human.  The Giro shorts however had no pocket to speak of, save for a little zippered affair that could hold maybe a u-lock key or a dime bag.  (Do they still have dime bags?)  In retrospect I guess the idea was you needed the baggy shorts to cover your bib shorts because they now had a stupid-looking fly in them.  As for the fly itself, just like the fly on your actual underpants you'd never, ever use the thing.  (If you're not equipped with male genitals, believe me when I tell you that nobody uses a fly, because attempting to thread your appendage through a fabric labyrinth is both inconvenient and uncomfortable.  Maybe you'd do it if you were wearing a tuxedo and you couldn't open your pants because you were locked out by your cummerbund.)  You now know more than you wanted to about dong doors.

Anyway, I have no idea if Giro is still pushing this New Road stuff or if it totally fizzled out.  Either way, while the bibs with the fly were pretty stupid, there were also some genuinely nice garments.  Once of these garments was a jacket.  It indeed works great as an on-the-bike, off-the-bike cold weather jacket.  However, I can't find it on their site, and if they no longer offer it well that stands to reason because of course it was one of the few New Road collection pieces that made any sense.  So there you go.

Merino Skins Thermal Undershirt Something-Or-Other Thingy

Grant Petersen once sent me this long-sleeve undershirt I'm wearing which is like the warmest, most comfortable undershirt I've ever had.  This thing plus a decent sweater plus a jacket and I'm comfortable well into the 20s.  Sure, I'd probably need more shirt to hang with Captain Beardcicle up there, but if I'm to be totally honest I don't really want to hang with Captain Beardcicle, so there.

I'm not sure I find it on the clothing section of the Rivendell site but not too many people know more about practical garments so if you're looking for on-the-bike, off-the-bike, do-absolutely-whatever-in-them clothes with absolutely none of the Outlier or Giro pretense (and you think baggy pants with sandals qualifies as "presentable," which is debatable) that's where to get them.

Rapha Winter Hat

In the early days of my blog Rapha actually liked me.  They sent me a winter hat in, I dunno, 2008?  It fits under a HELMET and it's quite warm, and I wear it to this day, even though the plastic brim is cracked and it's poking through the fabric.

You are now fully up to date on the shit in my closet that people have given me.

In other news probably only of interest to me, I totally found pictures on the Internets that are relevant to my most recent Brooks blog.  For example, see this old abutment?


Here it is in the olden days with the train station still on top of it:


The Wheelbarrow Fred has just walked by the spot where the soiled mattress is now.

And see this street?


Here's the train station that stood right where the apartment building is now:

Sorry, I'm a sucker for this stuff.  The past is seductive.  At the same time you've got to keep it in perspective.  See, on one hand there were barely any cars and it was beautiful.  On the other hand, polio.

You just can't win.

Speaking of our dystopian future, Pinarello is now developing ABS braking, which slots in right behind an automatic chain lubricator as the last thing you'd ever need or want on your bike:


(Not just magnets.  Nano-magnets.)

Basically, it works like the stupid "sport mode" button on your automatic transmission:

The BluBrake also takes into account the conditions in which you are riding. There’s no “cognitive electronic platform” magic happening here though — weather conditions and riding style (you can choose from tourism, racing and custom) are entered via a handlebar mounted control interface.

It also has a "Sixth Sense Haptic Actuator:"


Which sounds like a liver disease.

And it isn't even ABS, really.  It just vibrates to warn you when your wheel's about to lock up:

If the idea of placing your safety in the hands of a robot sounds a little bit too HAL9000 for you, fret not as the BluBrake isn’t actually an automated ABS system — unlike the one designed for e-bikes that we reported on earlier in the year, this is just a haptic feedback system that is designed to warn riders, through vibrations in their brake levers, that their wheel may be about lock up.

Because you suck:

And before anyone succumbs to the temptation to make jokes about rich bankers buying flashy Pinarellos and not knowing how to use their brakes, let's withhold judgement until we’ve had a chance to try out the potentially nifty system.

Let's not and say we did.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that at this point in human history we're working backwards.  Disc brakes are too powerful for a 16lb bike, so you need them to warn you not to lock up your wheel because you no longer have the nuanced feedback you'd have gotten from a rim brake.  Similarly, our cities are a shitshow since we stopped riding trains and started driving cars, so we're designing self-driving cars in an effort to return to the safety and efficiency of trains.  And what about those self-driving cars, anyway?  Sounds like they still need some work:

In the ride I took through the streets of SoMa on Monday, the autonomous vehicle in “self-driving” mode as well as the one in front of it took an unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane. Twice. This kind of turn is one featured in a 2013 blog post that is known to be one of the primary causes of collisions between cars and people who bike resulting in serious injury or fatality. It’s also an unsafe practice that we address in all of the safety curriculum we offer to professional drivers, including the videos we consulted on for Uber as recently as this fall.

Oh, don't worry, they'll work it out.  Tech and auto companies always have our best interests at heart.

Lastly, here are "bicycle racing athletes:"



There are few things more exciting that bicycle racing athletes competing on a multi-terrain course.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Je suis le premier.

Anonymous said...

Top of the Pops? Or just Top Cat (6)?

Anonymous said...

Troisieme

dog said...

woof

Ride, Ride, Ride, Let it Ride said...

In like Flint at Numero Finski. Aced the quiz too.

Anonymous said...

Keep those old timey photos/postcards from the past coming - love the comparisons and side-by-sides of then and now. Yes, I am not only a cyclist, I am a history buff (polishes the bikes, too).

Am I a total jerk for saying I'd take the polio?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

7th Scrani!

clyde said...

TOPPUS X

Dane Watt said...

Top Ten and read it? Dope.

dancesonpedals said...

I like cx reindeer lady much.

Anonymous said...

Coulda been fourth. But I read it first.

Boy the way Glenn Miller played, songs that made the hit parade, guys like us, we had it made, those were the days...

BamaPhred said...

Dix and read it.

BamaPhred said...

Scranus on the Dix.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Well, what I don't know about biekscykleen skills can fill a book. But I can tell you that my scranus is sensitive enough to detect a locked biek wheel as it starts to skid and signal to my brain to signal to my hands to let up enough on the brake on the locked wheel to unlock it. My point is, if a fred like me can immediately sense and recover from a locked wheel on 23 mm tires with old-timey rim brakes, then anyone can learn to do the same.

Gaffer Smythe said...

Keep up the transport history lessons, WCM. Here in the OH, most people don't know the state had one of the most comprehensive interurban RR sytesms in the country. But by 1930 it was almost totally defunct. Now pardon me because I have a date with my parents to talk about WW2 gasoline and food rationing practices.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

F*!K that noise. I rode my four-wheeled gasoleen powered rear cargo box equipped recumbent with enclosed passenger cabin that I own to my work hole today. Heater works nice.

Have a nice weekend.

Scranus.

Bryan said...

I thought the ENTIRE reason to go hydro disc brakes was for the "modulation!" Modulate my Scranus, bitches!

Marty McFly said...

DONG DOOR

Drock said...

Maybe the vibrate abs is for women's bikes.

JLRB said...

Holly Fook - what is this, the Sears-Roebuck catalogue? I have a lunch-hour, not a lunch-all-day. I shall return! (later after cocktails, of course, which is what General McCarthur meant to the Philippinos, who were very much non-plussed, and have now had quite enough of us)

Anyway, I think I need more or less caffeine

leroy said...

How cold is it?

My dog informs me that this morning he almost froze to a fire hydrant.

Luckily, his haptic feedback system saved him.

Which is odd because the last thing either of us ordinarily needs in these situations is something that makes us shake.

R-r-r-ride s-s-safe all.

Anonymous said...

That there ex-intern looks kinda sad, hope his home business works out for him. I might buy some of those regrets socks if they come back in stock, but no way on the piss bottle.

Grump said...

Snobby, the secret to riding in cold wintery weather is to not to. I just jump into my Hyundai (that the bank still owns part of)and drive to my local Park District, jump onto a Spin Bike and do intervals for an hour or so.



Anonymous said...

Bicycle racing athlete Bret spotted at Boise State sporting a new grey kit http://mediaassets.kivitv.com/photo/2016/12/15/BSU%20Fine%20Arts%20Building%20architect's%20rendering_1481840460720_51560603_ver1.0_900_675.jpg

Cold What Cold said...

Tain't even cold, us Trump Lumberjacks only consider it cold when a negative sign appears next to the digits.

For I'm a Trump Lumberjack, and I'm okay.
I sleep all night and work all day.
I cut down trees and send out Tweets all night.

Freddy Murcks said...

I am all in favor of holiday themed cyclocross races, but watching that video makes me wonder if I looked that slow and stupid back before I wised up and stopped 'racing' cyclocross. The answer is almost certainly yes. That depresses me a little bit because I was suffering like a sick dog and I felt like I should have been at least approaching fred woo hoo hoo speed.

George Orwell said...

"our dystopian future" begins on January 20th.

And let's kick it off with a gigantic tax for the wealthy.
Trickle down the Swanee River with me.
And some make work work welfare for former factory workers whose jobs were abducted. But we won't call it welfare because the GOP no a like welfare.

Anonymous said...

Are these allowed to park in the bike lane?
https://gearjunkie.com/ups-delivery-by-e-bike

NHcycler said...


"The solution to this is not to own a cat, which is something I wish I'd known before I got mine. "

Before you got your cat, or before you got the Outliers?

NHcycler said...


"And it isn't even ABS, really. It just vibrates to warn you when your wheel's about to lock up:"

My front brake did that during the entire commute yesterday morning, and it's just an ordinary low-tech canti!

BikeSnobNYC said...

NHcycler,

No mention of the pants in that sentence, so obviously refers to the cast.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Cat 404 said...

When I saw that white crescent in the bib shorts photo I thought it was Veo's last desperate gasp at life. They would have enlisted Cipo if that was the case.

bad boy of the north said...

Please don't ding the dong door.

bad boy of the north said...

Oh,by the by,it certainly was a longish post.too effen cold in nyc's hair weave.

NHcycler said...


What Gaffer Smythe, and others from yesterday, said. The history lessons about NYC are interesting, and I especially enjoy the RR trail info. So thanks!

Although New Hampshire's a tiny state, it has abandoned RR beds throughout. Many of them are multi-use trails, but many of them are slowly succumbing to entropy. It's fun to seek the nearby ones out. Google Earth is very handy for this.

Fnarf said...

I haven't had to open my pants all the way to go tinkle since I was five. Do you pull them all the way down to your ankles, too? Are your underpantaloons held together with velcro, by any chance? Are they made by Huggies? The zipper and the dong door are there for a reason, and they work perfectly for the intended porpoise, because I am a grownup person.

But what do I know, I just wear regular pants when I ride (and shoes, and shirts, and jackets, and every other kind of clothing appropriate for the day.

Barney said...

Who wrote the "2013 blog post that is known to be one of the primary causes of collisions between cars and people " He should be locked up!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Fnarf,

If threading your appendage through a series of awkward openings in two layers of garments is easier for you than just opening your pants and taking a leak then go for it, but I'll stick with the latter. Are you wearing grampa-style boxers? Those flys are easier I guess.

--Wildcat Etc.

blunchbelly said...

Had a glorious day with skinnyish skis and the dog not recovering from surgery. No worries about what pressure to run,free at last!

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of a clip from 30 Rock: "All you have to do as a writing staff of an NBC show, is incorporate positive mentions, or 'pos-mens' of GE products into your program."

I think the reviews BSNYC writes qualify as 'meh-mens'.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Oh, I get it. The cast of Cats. I see what you did there.

1904 Cadardi said...

Grampa-style boxers for the whizzing win! Most of the time they can barely keep the junk in the trunk.

wishiwasmerckx said...

To quote Bill Murray from Stripes,

"Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual."

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I can't figure out if I am a bot or an actual human reader.

bad boy of the north said...

enjoyed the longish post..lots of info.

dancesonpedals said...

Even with briefs, your wedding tackle will drop out the leg hole, especially when the elastic in the briefs/ collagen in the scrotum stretches with age.

And ladies, we know. We're a fighting gravity.

Dooth said...

I just can't vibe hella anymore.

Pissed Off said...

I find that threading my manhood through all those openings tends to crimp my uretha and impede the flow of urine.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

SoFlo'd said...

But I would bike 5 hunnndred miles, and I would bike 5 hunnndred more...

Aye donkey... I'm like an onion...

dop said...

Have you ever tasted a butt mint?

Anonymous said...

So, I'm looking to buy my first MTB in 20 years and was inspired by your review of the PM after being dismayed by the "advancements" in the genre. Would you recommend the one with the suspension fork or without (assuming Marin has gotten their act together and these are actually available)? Pretty tame single track in and around my area (Chicago). I'm coming from a mid 90s Klein. Been on the road ever since.


Thanks,

Dave R

Seattle lone wolf said...

I use the fly. It's faster.

dop said...

Long Balls? Use the 'No Fly Zone' briefs

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:29pm,

With that kind of tire volume I really don't think you'd need or even want suspension for tame singletrack. Plus you can always add a suspension fork later if you need it. It's an extremely capable bike, especially for the $$$. (Caveat: I have not looked carefully at the difference in spec between this year's and last year's.)

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

Knowing that was a train station at one time made me sad but I appreciate the research.
Nice photos on the brooks blog is that your cell phone taking them? Not bad but I think a upgrade would make a big difference in your photos. Check out the Powershot SX720 hs, it's a small and relatively inexpensive camera that would possibly turn you into a photo geek. Wouldn't you love to be a photo geek?
Would love to see you do another low end bike review, how about something from Sears next time? For nostalgia sake, since this long time seller of fine tools and other quality products is likely to go out of business time.

https://consumerist.com/tag/tears-for-sears/

Anonymous said...

The ABS system reminds me of the dumb 'brake modulator' springs that bike companies were putting into the front noodle of V brakes on hybrids years ago to make sure people that were used to crappy brakes didn't send themselves over the bars before they got used to the incredible stopping power of the V brakes. Its basically a paranoid overreaction to new technology on road bikes.

http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/843501-why-there-spring-noodle-connector-front-v-brake.html

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't notice the 'nanosphere' technology in the Outlier OG pants which makes them resistant to stains. So while your cat might scratch them if she dedicates on them its less likely to stain!

https://www.google.com/amp/www.gq.com/story/exclusive-first-look-the-outlier-new-og-pant/amp?

Anonymous said...

It might be helpful for some if you could review a chamois cream. Have you ever tried Noxema in the shorts? Sounds exhilarating!

http://coachlevi.com/cycling/chamois-butter-exposed/

BamaPhred said...

On reading recent articles on autonomous vehicles, the question that kept me up all night was whether I was going to be run over by an uncaring soccer mom/dad texting the pizza order in, talking to the BFF, and disciplining kids in the back of an SUV whilst actually driving, or the same person turning the SUV over to autopilot and the damn thing running over me whilst engaging in collision avoidance. Naturally, it has to decide to either put the SUV into the ditch to avoid me, and the other vehicle. Or, to decide to protect the SUV and its fellow vehicle, and sacrifice the lesser being. I want to see how good it performs on all manners of "critters" darting in front of it.. Squirrels, dogs, cats, Possum, raccoons deer children avoidance systems. I already envision an emoji on the selection screen with a bicycle and a big screw through it.

Anonymous said...

RIP Zsa Zsa.

hellbelly said...

You can still get the same Pine Mountain for under a grand with slightly different graphics, but otherwise the same spec... http://www.marinbikes.com/us/bikes/description/2017-pine-mountain

Cat 404 racer said...

"Snowier climbs"? I think you meant CLIMES.

You wouldn't say Froome kills it on the climes woodja?

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Richard Clayton said...

Good article, Thanks for your sharing so much !

Central Park said...

WOW nice
Lifestyle at Central park

corianpassargad said...

great blog