Monday, March 4, 2019

I Came, I Saw, I Participated

It's the tail end of a New York City winter that hasn't seen much snowfall until now.  However, it looks like nature has decided to sell off its excess inventory, because as of last week it seems to be coming down every few days.  In fact, in a cruel bit of irony, the first bicycle-cycling race of the season was supposed to happen this past Saturday, but it got cancelled due to snow.

Of course, in the 21st century you're supposed to blame global warming for this sort of thing, but the truth is in this case it's all my fault.  As you know, I'm in the throes of a midlife crisis, which in my case means a return to doing stupid stuff like effing up my foot on a skateboard and waking up at 3:30am to get dropped from bike races in Central Park.  So severe is this crisis that I even procured a new crabon Fred Sled recently, which was to become my dedicated park racing bike:



(There's no need for me to take a photo of my bike because it's exactly the same as the one pictured; I haven't changed a single thing besides adding pedals and bottle cages and leaving a single spacer beneath the stem.)

Alas, despite my entreaties to not take riding bikes seriously and stuff, I am in truth a massive hypocrite.  See, as of the end of last week the streets were pretty messy, and despite the fact that I got this bike specifically to use for racing in the park I didn't want to get it dirty while racing it in the park.  (I am still clinging desperately to the intoxicating quality of whatever the bicycle equivalent of "new car smell" is.)  And so, last Thursday, I sacrificed some of my precious cycling time to get my Ritte back into rideable condition, figuring I'd use that instead:


This bike was my workhorse at this time last year, and as a result of slush and road salt it had become so befouled that the brakes and rear derailleur had seized up to the point where they were no longer useable.  And so, rather than take the time to free them up again, I simply replaced them with older units I had in my parts bin.  It all came together pretty well despite my haste, and I daresay if you squint it even looks like one of those titanium bikes you may have read about in the Wall Street Journal:

I confess I haven't read the article, but what says "lab-tested sterility" more than a titanium bike, which is basically as close as you'll come to the aesthetics of a surgical implement?  Unless you lived during Victorian times or you're going to a steampunk surgeon to get your moles removed, when was the last time you saw a lugged steel scalpel?


In any case, once I'd gotten the Ritte back into rideable shape I thought to myself, "Wow, that looks pretty good."  Then I took it for a test ride ride around the block and thought to myself, "Wow that rides pretty good too!"  By this time I was pretty excited to ride it in Saturday's race, but then the race got cancelled and since then we've only gotten more snow, which means I haven't been able to ride the thing at all--divine punishment, obviously, for being the kind of terminal Fred who curates two basically identical bikes because he doesn't want to get one of them dirty.

And that's why this shitty weather is all my fault.

Meanwhile, this year's winter workhorse has been my Milwaukee:


Which as been so versatile and dependable that it deserves some sort of award:


Though so far I've repaid it with nothing but neglect:


Nevertheless, it has carried me dutifully through a winter which, at this point, is getting pretty freaking old already:


As a season, winter certainly has its charms, but by the time March rolls around it's mostly just dismal:


I definitely deserve some kind of award.




37 comments:

Rebeccah Bell said...

Podium? Moi?

Alex Marshall said...

Podium : )
New ice fighting equipment on the paths and sidewalks of Canada.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/city-piloting-icebreaker-machines-sidewalks-1.5039387
Obviously you would want to alert your children to the dangers of lollygagging in front of one of these.

pbateman f'd earl grey's mom said...

against a snowy backdrop your black bikes actually look colorful. so you go that going for ya.

you running milk in your tea? how long you steeping for? sugar or honey or some gluten free alterna sweetner?

surprised your tea and coffee aren't black like your bikes.

tea with milk is like the brompton of breakfast drinks.

huskerdont said...

March always blows. Every year, but this year moreso.

Anonymous said...

Poor Snobby...but soon you can head off to L'Eroica CA where it'll all be sun and fun + vintage and gravelly bikes galore...unless the Great Chinese Climate Hoax f--ks it all up. But it'll be epic no matter what, right?

Dooth said...

I rode out last Monday to a City Island when the wind gusts were up to 50 mph. I wish I could do it again today. But there's snow. Arrrggggggggghhhh!!!

Anonymous said...

Venni vetti participetti

Anonymous said...

After an hour running the snowblower, ran cranberry juice in my vodka. It worked a treat.

dnk said...

Couldn't get past the WSJ paywall. Was that a photo of the titanium framed bike or a Taliah Lempert rendition?

Dalai Lama said...

Fundamentally We Suck; I Suck; and March really Sucks.

HDEB said...

There hasn't been a single xc skiable snow this entire winter so far and that is sad -- I'm hoping for a VERY snowy March.

Suwannee Dave said...

I am 70 years old and have ridden aluminum, steel, and plastic (crabon) frames. Now my regular road ride is a Lynskey titanium frame. I think it is the best frame material for performance bicycles, especially if you are not a professional racer or a wanna be Fred.

Steve Barner said...

HDEB, take a drive up to Vermont. We've got fantaastic conditions for XC--solid, thick base freshened by a few inches of powder pretty much every day. I'm ready for some early seasom riding without studs, but enjoying the skiing while it lasts.

huskerdont said...


Where have you not have XC skiable days? Even in DC I managed to XC ski. It has been a shite season though. But I kinda feel winter had its chance and blew it so should just kiss off now.

I really want a TI bike, but can't justify N+1 = 8 and can't bear to part with any I have.

Lukebiker said...

why did you buy a crabon frame from a company that offers the same build in metal?

leroy said...

My dog dragged me to Central Park to show me the first robin of spring.

The poor bird was frozen solid in the Bethesda Terrace fountain and may have been there for a few months, but my dog insists he was the first robin he saw and Spring is almost here.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Lukebiker,

I'm not interested in answering your question, though I am petty enough to point out that they don't offer the same "build" in metal.

--Tan Tenovo

BikeSnobNYC said...

(I think the aluminum frame has some kind of pressfit BB too, which is too bad.)

Lukebiker said...

I imagine the answer would sound pretty bad.

I guess I didnt bother to look at their frame lineup before asking.

Still confused.

Bob Gnarly said...

If you're cold, they're cold. Bring 'em In!

Swiss chococheese said...

Last picture is so gray and dull that even the saddle is looking somewhere else, or at least it looks like that.

-add something intelligent, or at least smart-
I kind of like the picture

Matt said...

So far this "winter" here in the usually Sunny CA Central Coast has been shitloads of rain (for us anyway...anywhere back east would laugh at our measly totals that are still under 5" total thus far for most places). Not being one to take my bikes out in wet conditions (how spoiled am I??) I've only ridden my mt bike ONCE this year, and my other bikes just a few times. But I did get my gravel bike all dirty n wet one day...I actually had to CLEAN IT...what a frickin NIGHTMARE!!! I don't know how anybody can possibly survive repeated episodes of that hellish torture! I'm going to have to move to somewhere that it NEVER rains...anybody know where that would be? I also don't like wind, nor temps below 60, and actually I'm not too awfully fond of above 80 either...also not a big fan of traffic, horses, hikers, kids, cows (specifically, bulls) and well..you get the picture...yep...it's ALL ABOUT ME!) COME ON SPRING!! Stupid Punxatawney Phil...got my hopes up and now this.

babble on said...

I'm still lurrrrrving the ol' Lynskey Cooper Ti Baby, tho I did notice that crabon does give a gal that extra BOING in those tight little criterium corners, so whilst Lynskey is king of the early season road race, crabon is, indeed, a wee bit faster in those sweet summer in the city races.

My two cents.

Er, Mr TanMan? On days like last Saturday's SnowBlowOut, try to find yourself a super quiet spot somewhere for a moment or two. If you're really still, and if you listen intently without breathing too heavily or thinking too much, you will hear the Gods laughing in the distance.

Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Babble,

Anytime you need extra BOING in those tight little corners, please feel free to contact me for assistance.

MR

P.S. I ride a Lynskey too.

BamaPhred said...

I’ll pile on with a shameless Lynskey plug also.

HDEB said...

Huskerdon't and Steve Barner -- I live in Brooklyn -- the dearth of snow here this year has been terrible for this winter-sports enthusiast. My life has been busier than normal, I've only got one lift-op day with the kids in this season. I'm hoping to get in a long weekend at and near MRG this month, maybe a run up and down the super-fun Monroe trail : ).

Unknown said...

Maybe bright bar tape in something like red, yellow, or green would cheer up those drab black bikes and their rider.

These days the monochrome bike is in style, but I'm looking forward to when the trend passes and color is rediscovered. Who knows, the counter reaction might be as chromatic as 1990s neon Kleins and Serrottas.

huskerdont said...

I rode my old frankenbike this morning and noticed for the first time that it's a slow pig. Ima donate it and look into that whole TI thing. Problem solved.

HDEB, yeah, I had to travel to Vermont for real snow. Every time we got any snow here it either melted quickly or rained on the nearby slopes when we were planning to go. The nearest XC place to us, White Grass in West Virginia, appears to have had a fairly tough year as well, and we didn't even bother to head out there.

JLRB said...

I too enjoy my Lynskey but don’t give a crap about crits and corners

I had to travel far to get excellent downhill skiing this season - rain won’t he rain snow line battle in the Mid-Atlantic - really want to go to my favorite x-country ski hill this weekend (whitegrass) - this month got be the last good chance of the year - but life is not cooperating

#nobodysfaultbutmine


Very Slim Pickens said...

As a humerous cyclist I jump on my old hunk of junk and it gets me from Point A to Point B. I don't need any carbon; the only people who need carbon are women, for the ring finger.

JLRB said...

huskerdont - Despite my phone typos earlier - I was trying to say Whitegrass is set up for a great day Saturday, but that looks like the end with rain coming in later in the day. I may still drive out early Saturday morning to get one trip up to old Baldy for the year...

Timberline is dead.

https://whitegrass.com/daily-report/

huskerdont said...

IMHO, crabon is perfectly acceptable as long as you have other, non-crabon bikes in the quiver.

JLRB, yeah, I knew what you meant. Saturday is the day. I can't get out to Davis this weekend, but I am going to try some closer-in downhill. Have fun.

The stories coming out of Timberline have been grave for a couple of years now, so the writing was on the wall. Dude should have taken the offer he was given a coupla years back.

JLRB said...

"The stories coming out of Timberline have been grave for a couple of years now, so the writing was on the wall. Dude should have taken the offer he was given a coupla years back."

Dudes got 99 problems:

http://wvmetronews.com/2019/02/08/founder-of-timberline-four-seasons-resort-facing-pill-mill-indictment/

Anonymous said...

Re: the Wall Street Journal tweet on ti bikes.
Can I have mine welded by a welder as opposed to an artist? An artistically-minded welder is okay, but I'd rather someone who knows their way around a mig. Thank you!

BamaPhred said...

Just dodging thunderstorms, etc. whilst whiling away the hours filing down lawyer lips, sharpening up disc brake rotor edges, cleaning my chain, and flossing my cassette. Directv box is fried so there may be a few more of these odd rambling posts.

JLRB said...

SPRING-ish!

jabelson said...

When we had that nasty snow storm in Nov. I purchased Schwalbe 1.75 inch marathon studded snow tires and then nothing until late Feb./March... I've not missed a day riding to work since i broke my clavicle and was benched for two months... I'm not sure the snow tires make a diff,but they sure help with confidence