Tuesday, March 12, 2019

End of an Error

No doubt by now you've seen the CyclingTips story about Mario Cipollini's history of domestic violence:

Like most American cycling fans, I was simultaneously in awe of Cipollini's results on the bike and entertained by his unctuous antics in a laughing-at-him-and-not-with-him kind of way, hence my incessant references to him.  Of course, Cipollini already stopped seeming funny to me back in May of 2017, when I saw him in person and realized he wasn't a cartoon:

But now that I know who he really is it's officially the end of an era.

I guess if you write a bike blog long enough you'll eventually see all your memes become unfunny:

Though maybe it just I who have become unfunny:

Hey, I may not be able to amuse you with my words, but at least my physique is always good for a guffaw.

By the way, I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the CyclingTips story didn't mention Cipollini's Rock Racing days:

In retrospect it was fairly obvious he was morally bankrupt.

Speaking of Eroica California (that's where that unfortunate photo of me was taken), I continue to use it as an excuse to fuck off and ride my bike in the middle of the day, and today I headed out astride the Renovo:

In recent weeks I've been alternating between bikes made of steel, "stainless" steel, and crabon, and I must confess that, even with Gatorskins and a cheap pair of wheels, the Renovo does have a preternaturally smooth ride quality that I can only attribute to one thing:

At the same time, the bike is still creaking--not a lot, but it's there.  Having swapped wheels, snugged everything up, installed a new cassette, and so forth, at this point it's hard not to blame the frame:

Also, on various parts of the frame there are these cloudy spots that look like unbuffed wax:

I have occasionally rubbed the bike down with rags soiled by lubricants and solvents of unknown provenance [insert "rubbing my wood with soiled rags" joke here], so maybe that's what's going on, but about a year and a half in the Renovo has become that exquisite chest of drawers that is all dinged up and liable to collapse at any moment, but you'll be damned if you're gonna get rid of it because it's an heirloom and also who wants to spend half the day putting together a new one from Ikea anyway?

Also, early in the ride, I was getting a persistent knocking sound while out of the saddle.  I decided to ignore it, only to eventually discover that my tool roll had spontaneously ejected itself and the sound I'd been hearing was the toe strap buckle knocking against the seatmast.  By this point, I was basically here:

Which is roughly three miles from my home.  The tool roll could have fallen off anywhere, but I couldn't in good conscience abandon it, since it contained the following invaluable items:

--An inner tube
--Tire levers
--A patch kit
--A chain tool
--A multitool (I think?)
--The combination pedal wrench/coupler opener for my travel bike
--One of those round spoke wrenches that fits lots of different nipple sizes
--A little wrench that fits these theft-proof skewers I wasn't using

(If you're wondering why I was carrying so much random crap it's because I'd taken it off my travel bike and hadn't bothered to edit the contents.)

As you can see, between the contents and the tool roll itself that was like $100 worth of crap, and so I had no choice but to look for it.  So I backtracked, and after about a mile and a half I finally found it on Broadway where it had clearly been run over by a truck:

It's got a few holes in it now but everything appears to have more or less survived. 

And with that I stuffed it in my jersey pocket and continued on my way.


purpleano said...


Serial Retrogrouch said...

...that's damn near miraculous in NYC!!! People will pick up anything... even a single glove fallen on the wayside. There must be a lot of MJ impersonators out there this season.

mark ifi said...

podium while actually reading it

"Checking in" [get it? ha ha] said...

No podio because....

too engrossed in the college admissions cheating scandal.

Glad to see that so far no college cycling teams are involved.

Keep your 17 kids (and their parents) on the straight and narrow, TT.

Chazu said...

Et Tu, Cipo?

Pist Off said...

If only you could fob the wood bike off as a 1900s relic at the eroica, then give it away

Anonymous said...

that dropout is not looking better with age. maybe needs to be wrapped with the same material used to bind bamboo tubes together; not pretty.

Anonymous said...

'A toe strap buckle knocking the seat mast' is a pretty wacky conflation of words, but I guess you're saying that the toe strap was holding the tool roll in place?

If so, wasn't it apparent when you parked the bike for that photo shoot that it was missing?

Unless you're creating fake news by passing off some file photos as having been shot on the ride that was the subject of today's blog!?!

That would put you on an ethical par with the two moral delinquents also featured in today's piece.

It is a handsome item though, well worth backtracking for.

Seattle lone wolf said...

So if your frame weighs the same as a duck...

jno62 said...

lightly lube your seat post. Saliva will do in a pinch. Peace.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:38pm,

Yes, the toe strap was holding the tool roll in place. The photo was taken well after I dropped and recovered the tool roll and put it in my pocket.

Anonymous 4:35pm,

That's an old photo of the dropout, it looks worse now.

--Tan Tenovo

Matt said...

uhm....yeah...I'm still stuck on the intersection of Seaman Cumming (and as a retired Navy guy I resemble that).

Anonymous said...

I'm a Sea Man and i'm engaged in my Sea Manly duties as i type.

cyclejerk said...

The tool roll now has "character".

Doc Sarvis said...

Tried and convicted in the court of public opinion
We'll all be there soon

BikeSnobNYC said...

Doc Sarvis,

We'll all be facing trial for beating up our former spouses and our sisters? Yeah, I don't think so.

--Tan Tenovo

Swiss chococheese said...

Cipo was the reason I start reading this blog. Well, who cares, he is gone and here I am, still reading.

Plus I am sure the gigantic media system will provide enough ciposhit, just from another body. And he had some weird epo values even without climbing mountain stage

huskerdont said...

A witch!

So, that pic of the Renovo in the park: what a nice place to ride a bike (at least to all outward appearances; perhaps there's an industrial park, a dump, and a racetrack right around the corner, I dunno). Some of those anonymous anti-NYC posters need to give the city a visit.

BTW, coupla my road bikes sometimes creak when I get out of the saddle; it's usually grit having built up between the crank and the BB; I remove the crank, clean, relube, and it's good to go until the next wet ride, which lately means about 3 days.

BikeSnobNYC said...


No dumps or racetracks. This route bypasses the sprawling office parks and from there you can easily ride for hours on nice roads. (If you have the time, which I never do.)

Pretty sure it's not the crank/BB, I have cleaned and tightened.

--Tan Tenovo

HDEB said...

Cippolini, Armstrong and Weiss -- some of the best cyclists of the 20th and 21st centuries : )

Some guy from upstate said...

Have you tried to confirm the Renovo is made of wood by building a bridge out of it? 'Cause you know, that won't work.

Sorry, I am unable to leave a Holy Grail reference unanswered. Kind of like the scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (all my movie references are over 20 years old) where Christopher LLoyd forces Roger to reveal himself by doing the "shave and a haircut" knock. One of my proudest parenting achievements is that both daughters can correctly respond to any Holy Grail quote.

I suppose I will miss Cipo ...

DaveD said...

Renovo:a vexing problem indeed. Short of posting a spreadsheet of all the components removed/cleaned/tightened/lubed/swapped, I don't remember if you've mentioned swapping out the pedals. Maybe a cleat/shoe/pedal tango is going on? I had a tension spring go bad on a floppy type peddle, so it only made noise randomly, depending on which side of the peddle I clicked into...

Anonymous said...

Did you see that Pure Timber is bringing Renovo back next year?

JLRB said...

I had a similar experience with my similar tool roll, purchased through an advert on this blog
- I thought I just sucked attaching olde-style toole rolles

earbuds, though arguably unsafe, fix noisy bikes - you can even find wooden earbuds if you want them to match

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:37pm,

I did not, thank you!

("The Extreme Wood Bending Company")

--Tan Tenovo

JLRB said...

In 2019 we are accepting repair orders on Renovo frames built from 2010 to 2018. For a repair or refinish quote, text or email pictures and details to Chris Mroz at 253-988-2046 or chris.mroz@puretimber.com. ....

We will repurchase selected Renovo bikes for more R&D on how these frames performed over the years. Let us know if you have one to sell, even if it has been damaged.

Anonymous said...

Seatmast? How 'bout putting a sail on your "SS Minnow"? When you're on this thing are you "in your wheelhouse" or just in the "cockpit"? Can you have any fun at a thing like EROICA which celebrates the lack of any of this stupid bullshit?

jabelson said...

semen and coming...I lived there for a decade

Kelley Montoya said...

Seaman Cumming, FTW