Friday, July 21, 2017

BSNYC Friday No Quiz But Don't Get Complacent!

When we last sat down together we were discussing sandals:

Specifically, we were marveling over the fact that most people are fine with destroying the planet through excessive energy consumption, but under no circumstances will they look at feet shod in flip-flops:

“Never!” he said. “Disgusting, filthy, revolting, repellent, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, stomach-turning, off-putting, unpalatable, distasteful, foul, nasty, vomitous.”

The conclusion, if I recall correctly, was that people are fucking idiots.

Oh, also, what do flip-flops and helmets have in common?


Philip Brown Australia 
What Americans call "flip-flops" are dangerous footwear that should be banned on a number of safety grounds: they fall off, fall apart, catch on things causing falls, they catch under things causing other accidents, they provide no protection from rough, sharp or dropped objects. In most Australian jurisdictions it is an offence to drive in flip-flops for many of the preceding reasons.
Aesthetically they display the ugliness of 'human' feet.
As poverty footwear, made from scraps, there may be some justification for the existence of flip-flops but no other springs to mind.

Philip Brown's head would no doubt explode if he knew that in the hot summer months I often ride around the neighborhood helmetless and in flip-flops.

He does have a point though: dangerous footwear should be banned.  In addition to the deadly flip-flop, which has somehow not spelled the demise of humankind despite being the oldest form of footwear on the planet, we should also ban any heel larger than one (1) centimeter tall, as well as require that any shoe with laces be double-knotted and secured with a Velcro closure.  Remember that story about the person who dripped over his untied shoelace and fell into the path of an oncoming train?  Of course you don't, because I just made it up, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't go Full Aussie and nanny down hard on everything.

Oh, and it goes without saying that walking in cycling shoes should be punishable by $6,000 or 6 months in jail.

Anyway, after all that, I posed the following "teaser" image yesterday:

That is not, contrary to what some of you speculated, my foot.  It is, however, the foot of the person who invented the Bellcycle:

Which, as you can see, is a rolling paradox in that it's sort of an upright recumbent pennyfarthing:

And beyond that the website will tell you everything you need to know:

If you miss the sensation of riding around the neighborhood on your friend's handlebars then clearly this is the bike for you.

I should also point out that I've mentioned the inventor of the Bellcycle on this blog in the past, for he is waging an "epic" legal battle against a small package delivery concern called the United Parcel Service:

I think we know which company he won't be using to deliver all those medium sized boxes.

Speaking of the associations I've made over the years, longtime readers may recall the heady days when this blog was relevant and really good bicycle rider Barry Wicks used to send me stuff in the mail:

Well, I mention this because remember these gloves?

As you can see they share share a similar aesthetic sensibility, clearly identifying them as Mr. Wicks's handiwork.  Indeed, it turns out he's got something of a "working person's Best Made" operation going on Etsy:

Inspired by vintage mountain bike films, we sought to re-create an updated, durable, good looking glove that is good for just about everything. 

We start with 100% Deerskin leather gloves to give a soft supple feel, while providing excellent wear characteristics and comfort.

Customers can choose size and venting options along with graphics colors.

We offer an unvented, snosealed version for winter riding or spring ski touring etc.

All gloves are built to order and ship in 1-2 business days from order date.

When you order, include in notes to seller up to 2 additional color choices, and if you want standard venting, no venting and/or snoseal waterproofing.

Slip on a pair of Hella Sweet Gloves, then go outside and do something awesome!

Questions? Email us! hellasweetgloves [!at]

Rest assured I plan to give my pair a thorough test, though don't expect it anytime soon because it's currently like 93 fucking degrees out.

Incidentally, these babies would go great with that wooden bike I'm picking up next week:

Hopefully I don't have to return it before it's cool enough to wear them.

And yes, that's right, by next weekend I will be riding a wooden bike.  At this point it's just a matter of finishing the paperwork, which has all kinds of stuff about avoiding woodpeckers, not using magnifying glasses near it when it's sunny out, and so forth:

With a regular bike it's "I was just riding along when..."

With a wooden bike it's "I was just admiring the exquisite handiwork when..."

Also, be absolutely sure not to leave your monocle hanging off the bars when you head into the coffee shop.

Ah yes, I could make wood cracks all day.

In fact look at that, I just made another one!

As for these things:

I haven't tried them yet but they're basically a reusable zip tie type thing from Hiplok:

Obviously using this as your only lock in a place like New York would be like bringing a Renovo to a termite convention, but it certainly seems like a handy item to stick in your jersey pocket for that quick espresso stop in some dinky town, or for augmenting the flimsy lock on your car rack when you're on a road trip.  I've also found that having a light, unobtrusive lock on you is great for when you're riding with the family, since for the most part you don't need a ton of security when you're locking up a child's bike.

Though I'm sure somewhere at some point some thief has scooted away on a balance bike, and I'm also sure it was fucking hilarious.

And with that, I'm vanishing into the weekend, and I beseech you to do the same--though at some point today my latest Outside column is probably going to materialize, in which case I'll duck back in and let you know. But pending that, ride safe, ride safely, and engage in bicycling with an appropriate level of care.

Sincerely and so forth,

--Wildcat Etc. Machine


John Swanson said...


Dooth said...


dancesonpedals said...


John Swanson said...

Through sheer will, persistence and luck, I have achieved first place. I thank everyone who has helped me achieve this goal, especially Leroy's dog. I shall now retire.

Anonymous said...


dancesonpedals said...

I feel like we just met him, and now he's gone.

MolassesChamois said...


Unknown said...

Got wood?

BamaPhred said...

4th Loser. I was going to suggest that WCRM write an advice column for terminal outdoor Freds, but I see they have it already covered with Tough Love.

leroy said...

Ride safe all!

In the meantime, my dog welcomes suggestions as to how to monetize his fine art installation homage to Courtney Love's band. It's on E. 23rd Street and growing.

The insurance company rejected his business disruption claim.

Anonymous said...

Sorry John, Looks like you got pipped at the line..

FYI, Leroy's dog is not the wheel you want to follow.

N/A said...

That reusable zip tie is a great idea. Very handy. You can get 'em at the hardware store by the bag full for a few bucks. I used to secure a tool roll to my saddle with a couple of them, back before I got much more foppish with my on-bike gear-portaging options.

Here's what a quick two-second search brings up.

Bat Masterson's Ghost said...

I wonder how a cycling Wyatt Earp would handle shitty drivers.

Anonymous said...

Last time I was on the big island I rode everywhere in flipflops, but got some nasty lava rock scrapes on a sketchy dismount. That shit is sharp!

Cat 404 e-Racer said...

It's a fun day over at Bike Rumor:

Enve reinvents the double dong for side-by-side fun:

Wicks tries to take market share off wildly successful Veo, with their own take on a gutter you can put your mind behind:

Grump said...

As for the reusable zip tie, what's wrong with using your old Binda toe strap?????????...PS. Driving your car in flip flops is better than driving your car in your Sidi Cycling shoes.....PSS. I seem to remember from my youth that it was illegal, back in the stone age, to drive your car in bare feet because you might drop an ash from your cigarette on your foot (because everyone smoked upon reaching the age of 12).

1904 Cadardi said...

Isn't "nanny down hard" a sex act? As in: The podium girls promised to nanny down hard on Mario Cipolinni if he won the stage.

Amadeus said...

Ah Yess snob, it is a great joy to ride helmet less and in flip flops. I do it regularly here In Sunny California. Joy!

Amadeus said...

I'd love to get Nannied by the podium girls.... Gggity!

Anonymous said...


Jojo Potato said...

Speaking of flip flops. As you know the oceans are full of plastic and a good chunk of that is flip flops. When I lived in Lagos, Nigeria you could actually get your flip flops repaired. Several roadside stands took on this business. They would go down to the beach and collect a load of washed up flips and then using those parts and some string and glue repair your broken footwear. One problem was that the majority right footers would mostly leave good lefts in the ocean with a bunch of broken rights. Maybe need an app to match broken pairs, at least a billion dollars right there.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Excellent choice. I wear deerskin gloves when driving my vintage Porsche.

Olle Nilsson said...

Oh yeah, flip flops are dangerous. Must do everything possible to prevent you from hurting yourself while simultaneously defending to the death our right to hurt others.

"We can't have you hurting yourself. You need to be fit enough to be walking down the sidewalk when that Tahoe jumps the curb to take you out."

... but then there's that whole flip-flop-flip-flop noise in the office. ITSADRIVINGMESOCRAZYIMAGONNATHROWMYCOFFEEMUGATTASOMEBODY

JLRB said...

Renovo meet best made axe, best made axe meet renov

bad boy of the south said...

Well,at least everyone has flip-flopped on the issue.

Drock said...

Two stage race, Jesus this takes focus

Steve Barner said...

Are you, perhaps, confusing flip flops with sandals? Sandals are great, and if you have ugly toes, like mine, you can go full-dork and wear socks with them (as I, the Chief Dork, often do), but flip flops are like high heels and tattoos, merely public displays of inner weakness.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Steve Barner,

Flip flops are a type of sandal.

--Wildcat Etc.

Velcro said...

"Remember that story about the person who dripped over his untied shoelace and fell into the path of an oncoming train? Of course you don't, because I just made it up"

Just because you can't prove something, doesn't mean it isn't true.

Easy Dirty Harry.

Clarice said...

JC is reaching for a glass of vino. I wonder what kind of Italian red he liked, perhaps a nice Chianti with a side of Fava Beans.

babble on said...

Steve? Like I tell the peeps who wonder how I can ride in stilletos... if you have to wear a safety hat on a bike, you really ought to wear your safety shoes. I've been known to teach dressage to youngsters, and when I do, they're not allowed on the animal without wearing heels, at least not if they're riding with a saddle. Why? Well, if you were to slip up, and if your foot were to slide forward, say if the horse is trying to toss you, a heel will prevent your foot from sliding through the stirrup, preventing you from being dragged by the foot, alongside a distressed animal.

A good heel might one day prevent you from slipping forward off the pedal, and banging yer ... er... nuts.

So, I'm curious as to how a girl is supposed to dress, then. In your esteemed opinion. Ought we to wear sneakers and yoga gear to work?? Or are we supposed to dress like you men do? Enquiring minds want to know.