Monday, August 6, 2007

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

A little over a week ago I left town a seething, petty, and judgmental person. But over the course of my vacation, the layers of disgust and psychic grime began to wash off. Gradually, without even realizing it was happening, I grew able to look at people and things (yes, bikes included) without finding them infuriating. In fact, the only reason I know now that this has happened is that since my return I've been reading my past posts and asking myself, "Who is this hateful person?"

Well, I'm happy to announce I've changed. In fact, I did a little test to prove it to myself. I went over to Velospace and Fixedgeargallery and checked out some of the recent entries. And like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" after his treatement, I was simply unable to engage in hateful, spiteful behavior. And this was no easy test, either. Here are some examples of the bikes that taunted me, and that I gamely embraced with my new-found bike love:


I love that this bike is whimsically hanging from a set of monkey bars that set off its delightfully playful yellow and green color scheme. And when I take the red toe straps into account, it is tempting to consider the possibility that the owner chose these colors to show his allegiance to either Guyana, Bolivia, Ghana, or Togo. I love also that, while it is brakeless, it seems to have the stem shifters still attached. I also find the tiny BCD of the crankset endearing, and think the possibility that the yellow IROC in the background also belongs to the owner is exciting and thought-provoking. But most of all, I love the fact that another person is riding, and that bikes are fun! Yay!


Here's another one that in no way pissed me off. Like the last one, this one also has a crankset with a small BCD running a chainring that would be equally at home on a table saw. And I didn't mind the fact that the owner is using one of those delightful threaded-to-threadless adapters so he can use his shiny, pretty gold threadless stem that matches his shiny, pretty gold bars and shiny, pretty gold chain. I mean, what else do you do when you can't find a gold quill stem? And why shouldn't a drive chain be pretty and shiny, anyway? Of course there was a time before my vacation when I might make fun of the saddle, which does kind of look like a slice of cheese melting on top of a mop handle, you've got to admit; or the riser bars, which together with the seat angle probably make the rider's elbows stick out so it looks like he's doing some kind of chicken dance while he's riding. But I'm not going to do that. Nor am I going to mock the Aerospokes, which Nashbar couldn't give away until they became fashionable after enough people noticed messengers using them on the front because a chain passes more easily through them than through wire spokes and decided it looked cool. (I think the Aerospoke people were about to jump off a bridge with their own wheels tied around their necks when someone from the warehouse came running to tell them that these things were finally moving.) And, finally, I find the owner's mock inner-city vernacular clever and amusing. Ha! The word "wigger" is funny!


Why not post a picture of an unbuilt frame and fork on a bicycle gallery? I mean, nobody's riding the built bikes either. I hope this heralds a day when people will simply bring their NJS frames along to bars with them instead of building them and locking them outside. Why risk theft while posing?

That may have sounded ironic, but it's not. I mean it sincerely. It's great that more people are not riding.


This bike doesn't make me angry at all either. But it does make me concerned. What if the rider's tongue should somehow make contact with the bars? He'll never get it off! It'll be like "A Christmas Story."



This bike sports an insouciant bandana in solidarity with the "gangstas" the owner has seen while traveling briskly through bad neighborhoods in a car. It looks like it belongs to Jamie Kennedy from "Malibu's Most Wanted." And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Jamie Kennedy is a talented and funny actor.


OK, if I haven't convinced you yet that I'm cured, this should do the trick. I mean, if I wasn't would I be able to resist making a comment about the purple Velocitys which set off the purple saddle and purple computer mount which makes the computer itself look like a fly being eaten by the ugliest frog you've ever seen? Seriously, if I wasn't a new and kinder person I'd be on the phone with White Industries right now demanding that they send somebody to this person's house to take these components back before this horrid thing hurts somebody. I'd also say that if I had to choose between this frame and a Softride I'd have to take the coward's way out by pouring gasoline over myself and going to a barbecue. Yes, this bike does raise questions. Chief among them: are the people at Corratec unable to shorten seat stays and weld them where they belong?!? Yet, while this thing looks like it's about to explode in a random burst of tubing, purple components, and cacophonous sounds like a cuckoo clock striking twelve, or a cartoon character getting his toe caught in a mousetrap, looking at it only makes me feel warm and quivery inside.

Though it's possible I may just be about to throw up.


45 comments:

The Los said...

Ohhhh, good to have your posts back!

Los

Anonymous said...

Viddy well, little brother, viddy well.

Colin R said...

welcome back! killer post.

one thing, though, i'm a complete idiot and didn't understand that bit about aerospokes and messengers and chains passing through spokes. can someone with more street cred explain that to me? or was that just a super-clever joke?

p. squiddy said...

Glad you're back.

The chain and aerospoke thing: most messengers carry those enormous kryptonite square-link chains that weigh more than the bike.

Anonymous said...

On the one with two aerospokes: the front one's on backwards.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Colin R,

Thank you!

If you've ever locked your bike through the wheel and frame with a really heavy chain, you'll know it can be kind of annoying to pass the chain through the spokes on a traditional wire wheel (especially on 3-cross 32 or 36 spoke wheels). With wheels like Aerospokes, though, it's obviously much easier. And generally when you're locking a bike with a chain, you'll lock it through the frame and the front wheel.

For that reason, NYC messengers have long used wheels like Aerospokes (or Spinergies or what have you) on the front only. Now, though, it's become a fashion statement.

(I'm sure someone will say I'm wrong and offer an alternate explanation.)

--BSNYC

Robosauce said...

haha i know the girl that owns that green bike. the yellow iroc-z does not belong to her, unfortunately.

Kevin said...

Glad your back! Its amazing what a vacation can do for your outlook on life! I haven't been on vacation in a little while and that last bike made me throw up in my mouth a little okay a lot.

quaffimodo said...

If I could figure out a way to put cards in an aerospoke would I be the leader of the pack?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Quaffimodo,

All it takes is a lot of oaktag and some moxie. (A little fork clearance doesn't hurt either.)

--BSNYC

Art said...

It's amazing what a little time off can do. Why just a few short weeks ago you might have ranted for several paragraphs about the owner of that Corratec leaving the size and drilling stickers on his rims. It's good to move on.

ps. While you were away, I thought I had spotted the white whale (fixie with a pie plate) locked up to a street light. It turned out to just be the world's sketchiest ss conversion. Chain wrapped around the middle cog of a 5 speed freewheel, rear brake caliper and derailleurs removed, but shifters and all cables still in place.

rotten said...

BSNYC,

I too was on vacation last week, in San Francisco. I was excited to walk by three bike shops within three blocks on the same street, until I saw this in the front window of Avenue Cyclery:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/forty15/1001621733/in/photostream/

Even more infuriating is that another non-sensical build is captured for all eternity in their window on GoogleMaps Street View:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=l&hl=en&geocode=&q=bike+shop&near=stanyan+st,+san+francisco&ie=UTF8&ll=37.76862,-122.453517&spn=0.003104,0.004989&z=18&om=1&layer=c&cbll=37.767907,-122.453279&cbp=1,85.97151740856108,0.5483047961336006,1

BikeSnobNYC said...

Rotten,

Thanks for that! That's quite a precious window display. And the chain on that IRO looks tight enough to take it into the woods with a full quiver of arrows and go bear hunting.

Hopefully someone will buy it soon so it can (slowly) roam free on the flat streets of the Mission.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

"Why not post a picture of an unbuilt frame and fork on a bicycle gallery?"

Why not post a diagram?

http://velospace.org/node/4111

The Aerospoke is a good choice for keeping the front end firmly planted on the riser block during extreme home trainer sprinting...

Johhny Nemo said...

C'mon... all he needs is a frame!That sketch will no doubt look better than the built up bike.

I might start posting my odd parts up there, along with my intentions for the eventual build.

Johnny Nemo said...

speaking of which.....

http://velospace.org/viewcluster?c=131

Anonymous said...

Aerospokes are the Skyway Tuff wheels for the new millenium.

Just wait for some fool to try to wed one to a hapless pursuit bike.

The Great White Hype said...

Who are you? And where's the regular guy??

Ah, subtlety...a great weapon. But not a word in the regular fixed gear vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

Even better, an unbuilt and crashed frame...

http://velospace.org/node/1127

Gotta watch out for those "odd traffic patterns".

mander said...

Best bsnyc ever.

lupine128 said...

more and more i find the most amusing part of velospace to be the little box for friends.

seeing little clumps of cycling flotsam cling to each other in well deserved solidarity as they proudly proclaim their individuality by looking exactly like all the other tragic lumps of festering feces splattered about the page like the results of a monkeys tantrum.

for me each of these "friends of this bike" provides a usable link that you could conceivably follow to do away with all these miscreants at once.

ah, yes. i think i'll go and drink until the angry voices in my head stop telling me to burn things...

Prolly said...

Adam's Makino made it...

great shit. I'm actually starting to warm up to your subtle cynicism.

Prolly said...

ohhh noooes makino fireback!

Anonymous said...

Rumor is BIKESNOBNYC loves to hold an Aerospoke in front of him while he gets buttfucked yelling.."COME ON RIDE THIS TRIKE, RIDE THIS TRIKE"

Prolly said...

wow

BikeSnobNYC said...

Prolly,

Thanks for linking back to the updated Makino entry, which I found entertaining. The owner mentions he "doesn't like quills in [his] nuts," which confused me. Is it really that much better having a threadless stem in your nuts? I admit I haven't tried either.

Anonymous 8/7 1:46PM:

I actually kind of laughed at that.

--BSNYC

Ronald said...

while I love your posts,and agree with most of it-I can't help but wonder what form of psychic assasination you would carry out if I were ever to post any of mine on v.s.or f.g.g.....though shouldn't be toobad-bars are covered,seat is level and you seem to respect real,working messengers and there's not a flouro part in sight......

Anonymous said...

"It's great that more people are not riding."

Har Har! Let's hope that the aerospoke crew follows this advice. "Now, for my next trick...I will stand next to my bike while attempting to wear a flatbrim and quasi-retro sneakers!"

Prolly said...

Honestly, you people who don't like in NYC can hate on your locals for riding Aerospokes, but everyone I know who actually rides aerospokes hard in NYC haven't had any problems with them. True they are a bit heavy, but come on, graphite is strong as shit. You can bash them into oblivion and they'll beg for more.

Even Batman made his helmet and costume out of graphite... and you can't talk shit about batman.

Anonymous said...

Bikesnobnyc, are you jealous of my pro strike seat? You called it a piece of melted cheese when really, thats probably what your dick looks like cause they didn't make saddles that didn't cause impotence in YOUR days of riding bikes. This is probably why you're so angry all the time, you can't fuck your boyfriend cause' your melted cheese limp dick!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous,

Just how old do you think I am anyway?

I'm sure you're quite virile, but people more prone to assumptions than myself might think that someone who finds it necessary to ride a saddle like yours is the one likely to be experiencing a problem.

I mean that all in good fun, of course. I really am jealous of your seat. I've been looking for something that looks like the dinosaur tongue Pee Wee and Simone sat on in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." And I'll probably be able to snap it up cheap when you put it on eBay to fund purchase of a Brooks.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

I don't know if u remember or not, but peewee and simone were about to hookup, if your american bear cousin wouldn't have walked in on them. Anyways, how come it makes you so jealous of newer, cooler stuff than what you have? I mean seriously, you won't ever find me on the velodrome on my bike, but I bet if you rode your shit beside mine people would ask me about mine first. You don't have to get with new styles, but what if tony hawk would've said "fuck skinny boards" and quit skating? If the same old "by the book" boring shit is what turns you on about bikes, than ride an old plainass piece of shit, but if someone likes cool different shit respect that. You supposedly love bike culture from how much time you spend talking about bikes on here, but whether you like it or not, the people with fancy shit like mine are a part of it! Holla

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous,

You win, I am humbled by your awesome equipment.

Congratulations--with that last post you are officially the BSNYC Poster Boy.

Seriously, though, keep riding. If your bike turns you on then just enjoy the crap out of it. That's what it's all about, right?

--BSNYC

PS: I suppose if Tony Hawk had quit skating we'd have a lot less video games. That would be a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

While tools who ride Keirin frames with lime green wheels may seem annoying, and they can be...like when they pretend to not want attention and then talk really loud about the show they went to... I think it is great that a lot of young people are interested in bikes. this whole trash the hipster with a fixie thing is drastically over played too. Most people (at least in SF) ride fixed gears because they honestly enjoy it. And most with Aersopokes like how strong they are (about 4x stronger than a 36H deep-v). However wacky seat angles are the funniest - keep it coming with the hate!

Anonymous said...

dear "holla",
i can attest that bsnyc's dick does not look like a melted piece of cheese.. it is quite large (in length and width) and virile. in addition there is no shaping on his pubis hairious into shapes like a star, top tube, wheel, cog, etc. he is able to attract without the needs of such frills. real and natural. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO USE IT YOU DON'T NEED TO DRESS IT UP. there is no bright yellow, green or pink prince albert ring either. ...but that -would- be "cool and different".

newer and cooler does not always mean better. it just means newer and cooler... which usually means trendy. yes i'm sure many douchebags 'ask you about yours first' i'm glad you have some way to feel important. way to set yourself apart.. something tells me your still not getting laid though.
j

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