Friday, October 13, 2017

BSNYC Friday Self-Promotion!

Sorry I'm late, a short ride may have happened:

I really like that bike.  There's really not much you can't do on a metal bike with medium reach rim brakes.  (Or "rime breaks" in Craigslist.)  Also, if you live in New York City, here's the secret to happiness:

1) Easy access to the subway;
2) Easy access to a 20-mile loop that doesn't involve laps.

Everything else is gravy.

It's only been a few minutes now but I'm pleased to see it's already having the desired effect:
Whatever you say.

And if that's not enough for you, here's a little spin I took in Astoria, Queens recently and wrote up for the Citi Bike site:

For the record, "Tour De Queens" was not my title as I generally try to avoid the whole "Tour de [Blank]" thing.  Of course, it's still a much better title than "Putting the 'Ass' in Astoria," which is the sort of inanity I'm liable to come up with if left to my own devices.  So there you go.

So with that I'm now going to leave you to your own devices, and I'll see you back here on Monday.  Enjoy the weekend, ride safe, and may your tire pressure be eternally optimal.

I love you,

--Wildcat Rock Machine


  1. to podium or not to podium is not my decision

  2. ...You're NOT going to let us to our own devices? Teachie is getting strictie.

  3. Serial Retrogrouch,

    Sorry! Typo. Rigid keyboard you know.

    --Wildcat Etc.

  4. ...when the apocalypse finally arrives, we can repurpose suspension forks for use in projectiles.

    ...or perhaps pneumatic headstones.

  5. Lieutenant ObliviousOctober 13, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Top ten Scranus

  6. Less is more???...more or less

  7. top tweenties
    Please tell me you have one of those Garmin's that allows your to control your bike blinky lights with your IphoneXX.

  8. Some guy from upstateOctober 13, 2017 at 6:38 PM

    I got a suspension fork for my rigid 26 inch singlespeed because I'm old and my wrists were getting too much of a beating. That bike met a sad end at the top of the garage door after a particularly enjoyable ride. Fortunately the fork was unscathed and sold for more on eBay than I bought it for, can't beat a few years of enjoyment for free. Now that I have drunk the 29er cool aid I may have another go at non-boingy forkage.

  9. Riding a strange bike is great exercise, because you never, ever want to stop and talk to the random asshole who's yelling clueless questions at you--and they are everywhere.

  10. Don't you be Meh-ing my bridgeOctober 13, 2017 at 7:59 PM

    But does the Hell Gate Bridge have a dedicated separated bike path? And where is it exactly? It looks like it's in some abandoned industrial zone over a contaminated swamp.

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge is right in the heart of a thriving metropolis, spans a beautiful bustling harbour and keeps company with the Sydney Opera House; a building of some acclaim you may have heard of.

    And those pylons? In both cases they serve no structural purpose and are entirely decorative, but ours are elegant and evocative, complementing and framing the (much larger than yours) arch. Your pylons look like they were picked up from a deceased estate sale and slapped on as an afterthought just because they were cheap.

    Also, our bridge has six million rivets in it. How many has yours got? Huh?

    I shall now sign off so as to attend to your Outside column. You'd best hope it too does not address matters one might take objection to...

  11. Masterful insights on full-sus. Like your selfie with your Sidis.

  12. The Hell Gate train bridge is lovely, and the bike path section under the approach on Randall's Island near the softball diamonds makes for a cool effect. Regarding the current Outside column, hardtails are the only way to go when you pedal on roads to reach your off-road destination. Riding with frame and fork suspension, a springy stem, seatpost and gel-stuffed saddle sort of conflicts with the notion of being extreme.

  13. If loving dampers is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. I agree with your take on suspension for most riders in most areas. If one is lucky enough to live among real rocks and big mountains, suspension can boost both fun and safety. Motorcycles damaged my psyche at an early age so going fast in rocks is one of my favorite things. My Jekyll-and-Hyde cycling identity means I have an old fendered steel road bike for street and dirt, and a total Barneymobile for trails in mountain and desert. Grant Petersen, meet Pinkbike. You are totally correct about the cost and complexity- winter is taken up with suspension, brake, and pivot maintenance on top of all the usual bike tasks.

  14. I want a bicycle with fat tires. I will have one you just wait and see.

  15. Freezing up peeing in social context = avoidant paruresis. Can be a fairly debilitating social anxiety. Thanks for making this reference--it's good to help normalize and show other men and women with this problem they are not alone. Cheers!

  16. You know, riding home last night on a similar bike, I too was thinking "dang, I like this bike." It's really comfortable on chewed up city streets.

    Ride safe all!

    (BSNYC - Subway? 20 mile loop? Rockaway/Jamaica Bay?)

  17. bad boy of the south(who was back in the North)October 15, 2017 at 7:22 PM

    Heading back to NC.stopping across the river from the trumpster's swamp. I'm still looking for the dollar George threw across same river.

  18. The Sydney Opera House is a waste of a good tram depot, I reckon.

  19. I bought my first full sproingy MNTn beik last winter - it definitely makes up for some rusty mtning skillz, until it doesn't.

  20. hi bikesnob,

    I generally agree with a lot of what you write (maybe too much), but I think you are rather short-sighted with respect to mtbs. As with strava, sure you can criticize, but until you try something, you cannot really make an informed comment.

    What you do not appear to have really tried yet is "mountain" biking itself. You are riding a bike on natural surfaces, however there are no mountains close to where you live. It is fantastic to have trails to ride close to such a big urban center and I imagine it is super pleasant, but it does not reflect what a lot of mountain bikers ride. Where I ride (Alps) we have very challenging terrain- natural singletrack can be very steep, rocky and loose. It maaaay be possible to ride these trails with a rigid bike, but you would have to use a lot of trials skills, and honestly you would be better off walking. To really ride these trails, and get into any sort of flow, you need to have the proper tool for the job. I would neither hike here with flip-flops, nor ride the downhill with a rigid.


  21. JakeG,

    1) I have plenty of experience riding bicycles with suspension;

    2) Don't take anything I write *too* literally. While the column is sincere in the idea that people should open their minds to fun and simplicity, and that a rigid bike works great more than people realize, things like suspension will "destroy cycling, society, and the planet if we let it" should be your tipoff I'm engaging in hyperbole;

    3) I'd wager the *vast* majority of people who ride mountain bikes, even "seriously," are not using them in the Alps, and that their everyday riding experience is a lot closer to mine than yours. Most riders, whether we're talking road, mountain, or whatever, are simply experiencing that kind of glossy-magazine-cover riding on a regular basis. So of course one should use the appropriate tool for the job, but as someone who rides workaday trails I can assure you most people are going way the hell overboard on equipment--in part because of the prevailing notion that you can't ride offroad without suspension, or that you have to be a "badass."

    --Wildcat Etc.

  22. *...that should be "most riders...are simply NOT experiencing that kind of glossy-magazine-cover riding on a regular basis."

  23. Thanks for the reply. I totally get it. My daily rig is a Hercules city bike that I fixed up and pedal to work and back every day, and these days my favorite road bike is a 1970s 10-speed, so I appreciate simplicity. I suspect there are more people than you realize doing some pretty awesome stuff on the bike. But indeed, for the average glossy mag reader this is probably not the case (I also saw an article on Outside after reading yours about why you should buy a pickup truck...).

    I think it is important to create unique experiences with the bicycle. I love how you use your mixed terrain adventures to outline the geography of a place, especially historical Manhattan and surroundings. I think it is possible to use the bicycle to create something beautiful- this is the feeling I get carrying out a tour in the high alpine with the bike. I highly recommend it, life is too short for uninteresting riding.

    Keep up the great work, I have followed you for years- this is the first time I have commented, so I am somewhat star-struck by your reply :)

  24. Riding on dirt for over twenty years, I recently came full circle and indulged in a custom steel hardtail. Considering the entirety of my trail riding experience, I was attempting to create what I considered to be my ultimate mountain bike. Like everyone else, I was (and still am) constantly bombarded with complex designs, longer travel, more plastic, and wider rubber. The realization I had though, during this constant bombardment, was that most (not all) pics and videos depicted terrain that I would have no problem riding my hardtail on. It just seemed to solidify the argument that lots of folks nowadays are over-gunned and dumbing down the experience of the typical trails most of us ride, most of the time.

  25. My hometown trail system has "mountains" as high as 200 ft. Love my hardtail.

  26. I love the economic argument against the crappy department store full-suspensions, which basically scales to a bike geek like myself.

    When I first tried front suspension in the latish-80s, after some years of riding bikes that don't look too different from some of today's "gravel" bikes, and was blown-away with how much more comfortable my arms were. In general, I'd say on most race courses I've suffered, the squish-tail is about 1min/km faster than my hardtail. But yet I've stuck mostly with hard-tails and now with plus sized tires, I'm back to a rigid fork or head out on the cyclocross bike. I can get a much nicer bike for about $1k-$2k less. I enjoy riding more like a trials rider over the trickiest sections, even if it's slower (and I fall far more often). Fire roads aren't just an inconvenience to get to the next hill to bomb down.

    I've never ridden the alps, but I have ridden all over N. America and some places beyond and think the northeast and it's rocks and wet roots are some of the trickiest you'll find. (Not unlike skiing ice versus powder.)

    Ultimately, for serious mountain biking, the difference is more about trail building/maintenance than the bikes. The bikes get more forgiving, people go faster with more ease, the trails get more beat-up, the bikes go through another round of becoming forgiving, etc... until we come full circle with carefully groomed flow trails, having recognized how bad the erosion has gotten, we basically build a trail one can ride a road bike down.

  27. I would argue that you are more "badass" if you ride technical trails on rigid/hardtail bikes. Most badass dude I've ever seen tore apart the Downieville DH on a rigid clunker with a coaster brake, just because he could.

  28. Don't you be Meh-ing my bridgeOctober 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    What's the point of moderating these comments if such obscene, sacrilegious, outrageous, offensive, bigoted, insulting and probably somehow racist remarks like Persia's at October 15, 2017 at 10:37 PM will still be posted?

    Granted, it wasn't without its comedic merits, but, you know, track that commenter down and punish them.

  29. My obscene, sacrilegious, outrageous, offensive, bigoted, insulting and probably somehow racist work here is done.

    That bridge in Newcastle is hilarious. You look up and go "Tiny coat-hanger!" Too funny if you've seen the one in Tinseltown.

  30. Don't you be Meh-ing my bridgeOctober 16, 2017 at 11:33 PM

    Yes, that Newcastle thing is so risible that we should put aside our differences and in reconciliatory unity vigourously mock that ridiculous bridge.