Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From the BSNYC Culture Desk: Nerds and Bikes

When it comes to the injured, there are two types: there is the type who leaves the injury alone and lets it heal; and there is the type who can’t stop poking at it despite the pain it causes. I’m of the latter type, which is probably why I’m a cyclist. Cycling, of course, is the eternal pursuit of pain and discomfort.

Unfortunately though you can’t be on the bike suffering at all times. So when I’m in front of a computer I try to find other bike-related sources of displeasure. One of my favorite ways of irritating myself is by checking in on bicycle fashion, and a great place to do that is on the King Kog website. So yesterday I virtually swung on by, and I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed. (And by that I mean I was tremendously disappointed.):



All kidding aside, I’m a firm believer in honesty, and I’m being completely honest with you now when I say that this photograph made me extremely angry. It’s difficult for me to quantify exactly why, though it might have had something to do with the pink fanny pack, which sends tremors of rage through me like a matador’s cape. It might also have had something to do with the giant sunglasses, which simultaneously evoke Paris Hilton and my aunt who used to give me ballpoint pens as presents. In an attempt to get a handle on my anger, I studied the image from a different angle:


Yep, I was still angry. Actually, I was even angrier. The “How ya like me now?” chin stroke and the bare calf hanging lazily over the chopped handlebar now simultaneously evoked hotchickswithdouchebags without the hot chicks and Audrey Hepburn sitting at the edge of a dock with a toe in the water. The bandana on the head-tube wasn’t helping either. Unless that Thompson stem is about to eat a heaping bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, please lose the cloth napkin.

Okay, so I was angry, but I was also troubled by my anger. Where was it coming from? It’s perfectly natural to get angry, but what separates us from the animals (apart from the fact that they usually have a lot more nipples) is that we can understand our anger instead of simply acting on it. So I counted my nipples and, finding only two, I was sufficiently convinced of my humanity (or at least that I was a primate of some kind) to embark upon an attempt to discover and come to terms with the source of my ire.

I’m of the belief that there are three things that cause anger:

Fear

This is the most basic reason people get angry. When you’re threatened by something, you become angry. This anger in turn allows you to protect yourself against the source of the fear. That’s not what was happening here, though. I had little to fear from this model apart from the fact that he might hit me with his pink man-purse.

Jealousy

Anger often masks jealousy. Colloquially, this is known as “playa hating.” I can confidently say though that I was not jealous. Had I wished to attire myself in the manner of the model I needed only to travel the short distance to King Kog and purchase the same attire. I’m not sure they carry the glasses, but I could easily get those from my ballpoint pen-dispensing aunt.

Lack of Understanding

Ah, now I was getting somewhere. We often fear—and consequently get angry at—things we don’t understand. It was certainly possible that the reason I was angry was that I simply didn’t “get it.” The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized it was more complicated than that. I don’t think I was angry because I didn’t “get it.” I think I was angry because I thought he didn’t “get it.” But what didn’t he “get” exactly? The fact that he looked like a Good Charlotte member wearing Lindsay Lohan’s sunglasses? I’m sure he probably knows that. Was it the fact that fashion and cycling are mutually exclusive? Well, that may be my opinion, but it’s not necessarily the case. It is possible to enjoy both. Still, though, I felt like I was on to something, and this was encouraging.

To test my Lack Of Understanding=Anger theory, I turned to something else that's confusing: the Giro d'Italia. If you don't believe that the Giro is confusing, take a look at the route map:



I admit that I haven't been following the Giro this year. I was too busy around the time it started, and now I'm hopelessly behind. So I've done what I used to do in school when I fell behind with my schoolwork, which is just give up altogether. Still, though, the Giro doesn't make me angry. Seemingly, this would deal a blow to my LOU=A theory. Then again, just because I'm out of the loop this year doesn't mean I don't understand the race. I do. It's a three week stage race like the Tour de France, except it's in Italy and last year's Tour de France winner is allowed to ride in it. It's not that complicated.

My head swimming, I went outside for a breath of fresh air and nearly stumbled upon one of those corner newspaper dispensers. To my surprise, it contained a copy of The New York Press. You'd think they'd stop printing this sort of thing on paper by now, but I suppose if they did people would have nothing to housetrain their new puppies on. (And without the corner newspaper dispensers, they'd have nothing to let their adult dogs urinate on either.) I was doubly surprised to find that the cover story, as if determined by providence, was this:




Apparently, this guy Benjamin Nugent has written an entire book called American Nerd, and this is an excerpt. It talks about the phenomenon of the "fake nerd," which is basically the same as what many people call the "hipster," which dovetails pretty neatly with the "fixter," which is pretty much what the guy in the King Kog photo is. Surely, this would help me understand the photograph and, consequently, my anger. I was especially pleased that this was an excerpt since it meant I wouldn't have to read the whole book (entire books can be tedious), so in turn I will provide you with some choice quotes from the excerpt so you don't even have to read the excerpt:

I went to high school in the 1990s; my peers were the first generation of children raised by bourgeois bohemians. Our parents lived by the principle that you could walk with one arm around the shoulder of the avant-garde and another around the shoulder of the establishment, drunk on art and money.

This would certainly explain riding expensive custom bicycles and using handmade designer nylon carry-alls while wearing tatty clothes, all under the pretense of rugged simplicity and minimalism.

How do I rebel...? How does my generation do something new? ... One answer is purism. When eclecticism is your parents’ thing you revisit old genres and deliberately maintain their integrity... The sort-of-true clichés about what hipsters like—trucker caps, mustaches, Pabst Blue Ribbon, mullets—play with the idea of old school. They connote sophistication and cosmopolitanism by screaming, “We are not cosmopolitan! We are not culturally sophisticated!”

Is this what the person in the photograph is doing? Very possibly. In many ways the fixed-gear trend appears to be an attempt at "purism," both mechanical and aesthetic. It's an abstracted and exaggerated version of the messenger style that's been around for the past 20 years or so. Same bikes and tattoos, but cleaner and more expensive. Same bags and clothes, but better-fitting (and again, more expensive). Alleycats which replicate messengering without the indignity of actually working. And so on.

You hear fake nerd conversation. It follows a model. You bring up an “obsession” or “total fascination” with a purportedly unfashionable subject. “I am such a dork about old Hawaiian slide guitar. I actually have every King Benny record. I’ve so got a problem.” “Dude, you want to hit In-N-Out burger? I basically live on their Protein Burgers when I’m in LA.” This is a way of whipping out cultural capital, but not in the same way as leaving guests in the living room to retrieve a hollowbody guitar or a first edition of To The Lighthouse. The Gretsch and the Woolf say, “I am creative and educated, so I have an understanding of the blues and the Bloomsbury Group.” The Hawaiian slide recordings and the In-N-Out Burger, which are both low-end consumer products, say, “I love the things I love because I am guided by some untamed voice within me that causes me to have random obsessions. I will follow my individualized obsessions, not trends, and be transparent about those obsessions, even when those obsessions tell me to like things widely considered ugly and cheap.” It’s the cultural capital of quirk.

"The cultural capital of quirk" is certainly trading briskly among trendy cyclists now. What iconic cycling image or logo hasn't been incorporated into a t-shirt or hat being sold by a track bike boutique? What fixed-gear rider actually knows the original reason people started using Aerospoke-type wheels on the front? (And it wasn't because you could paint them pink.) What else explains people's obsession with NJS stamps (though that obsession seems to be fading with the advent of fixed-gear freestyling), which outside of the Japanese keirin circuit mean absolutely nothing? It's all "cultural capital of quirk."

As relevant as the article was, I was disappointed that it didn't address cycling directly. Surely the fixed-gear trend is pertinent to his subject. However, providence had yet another surprise in store for me. A little while later, whilst visiting some random cycling blogs, I stumbled upon this:




Indeed, the article was peppered with the images of various "fake nerds," and sure enough one of them writes a bike blog:


Moreover, the blog has a high fixed-gear quotient, and it contains the "cultural capital of quirk" by the bucketload. (It also contains the news that noted fixed-gear freestyler, street fashion maven, Death Adder, and architect Prolly is selling one of his bikes. This is a chance for you to own a piece of cycling history, albeit a dark and stormy one.) If gleefully comparing a set of track hubs to a mound of cocaine isn't a grotesque, Scarface-like indulgence in cycling's cultural capital, I don't know what is.

So I now understood what was bothering me about the King Kog photo. It was the fact that the person in it appeared to me to be selling something that has been divorced from its origins and appropriated by people who have not gone through their own process of discovery and understanding. It also appears to depict a culture that tries so hard to be authentic that it comes off as inauthentic. It's a highly derivative rebellion. Of course, the reality is that this is just how I see it. Also, I don't really know anything about the person in the photo. (I'm sure I would know him if I were a part of the bike culture, but as I've already discovered, I'm not.) Moreover, it's completely ridiculous of me to get angry about something as stupid as a picture. And in understanding all of this, I was finally no longer angry. Thus, I have proved the LOU=A theory.

Of course, the photo still makes me sick, but that's another story.

133 comments:

Anonymous said...

podium!

Anonymous said...

ODIUM!

daddo.one said...

three?

Anonymous said...

Top Five!

Anonymous said...

podium! almost dang!

Anonymous said...

petatachi...NOT

Anonymous said...

topustennus

Anonymous said...

i too have two nipples, I just checked.

Anonymous said...

i too have two nipples, I just checked.

Wutz said...

That guy looks exactly like a friend of mine, Mike Hilden. The difference is this: I don't hate Mike just by looking at him.

Now I'm going to go listen to metal, blow stuff up, and pedal my Pista to the corner so I can catch a cab.

Anonymous said...

another clue - the snob has 2 nipples!

Anonymous said...

So I was reading todays post, first, and saw the link to King Kog. Gee I thought could BSNYC/RTMS have finally achieved a level of readership that a simple link from his shark jumped blog could crash a server?

Safari can’t open the page.
Safari can’t open the page “http://www.kingkog.com/kogshop/” because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection, which sometimes occurs when the server is busy. You might be able to open the page later.


I bow before the mug shot of doom, destroyer of trends and crasher of servers.

Anonymous said...

In yesterday's post the links don't work for Letle, Clyde and the goose. I demand reparations!

davidh said...

BSNYC -- The picture made me angry, too. But oh dear. I wouldn't say that you have "jumped the shark" but I worry that you have just de-constructed your way out of the raison d'etre of your blog. The fixed gearfreestyle is all about the pursuit of "authenticity" which has animated various "underground" movements for years, the only difference being that this two-wheeled manifestation is more ridiculous than most. What more is there to say on the matter? There is plenty more to say about triathletes, recumbents and "Mellow Johnny," thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

Oh seekers of clues,

Get past your nipple thing and learn that he who is the snob is no longer in school!

Now make something of that.

Polygraf said...

Wow! I think this has been your best effort at expressing my disdain for fixters(although I do own one with white deep v's) Your last paragraph sums up how I felt in the 8o's when suburban white kids started breakdancing, or in the 90's when suburban white kids stared calling themselves the N word or when suburban white kids started rapping and getting into dub- I know you might see a pattern- suburban white kids have no substance constantly grabbing changing and claiming without-as you say
" selling something that has been divorced from its origins and appropriated by people who have not gone through their own process of discovery and understanding" Beautiful
I believe Ben Nugent was interviwed by WNYC's Brian Lehrer last week not a bad show.

Commiecanuk said...

Wayy to much over-thinking here Snobby, you have to try the CC approach while riding. A transcript of my thought processes on my 50km loop:
"...oh god, I should be watching TV..."
"...asshole with pink fanny pack..."
"...I am so freaking old."
"...no, this bike sucks..."
"wha? headwind? you mean that was a tailwind?...fuuuuck"
"...cool Colnago..."
"...cute chick on Colnago..."
"...another EMO geek with facial hair..."
"... I need a new bike..."
"...nothing wrong with this bike, good bike.."
"...my legs/ass/lungs/back hurt.."

It's the nature of the transportation that inflicts the thought processes, when I ride in a pickup:

"...maybe I should let my hair grow out in the back"


"...scotch..."

Maybe you need to revisit the hatred of the giro, maybe it's not about missing the first stages, maybe it's that watching a bunch of lycra'd dopers ride for four hours is just not that interesting while someone makes continuous pseudo-homosexual comments about the racers. Let Levi die.

erik k said...

anon: 2:24 its the bikesnob bump

Cameron said...

Well done Snob.

Strayhorn said...

Man, I'm really sorry I looked at that hotchickswithdouchebags site. I mean, I always knew that was a sad TRVTH of the human condition, but to see it spelled out so graphically was like the day I realized that Michaelangelo had given his statue of David a really small peen.

But the King Kog site made me happy I live in a rural area. So I guess we are even.

Todd said...

The other day I had an epiphany and have finally made peace with hipsters turned "cyclists."

All it took was realizing that when somebody under 30 is riding a brakeless fixed gear they're just getting a chance to enjoy the dangerous playground equipment they never got to play on as kids.

Sooner or later, like all the kids found a way to cut a vital artery on a rusty tornado slide, these brakeless fools will start impaling themselves on their chopped handlebars and I'll sit back and laugh.

Anonymous said...

the primary ingredient in haterade is damn you jealous

Anonymous said...

erik k

So instead of being slash-dotted King Kog got Snob-bumped?

eeew

anon 2:24

Anonymous said...

You only have 2 nipples? I actually have 3. It is an ancient sign for sexual prowess.

veloben said...

Deconstructed, snobbish, no longer in school, extremely critical, astute social observer, lots of time on his(?) hands, rationalizes basic human emotions, lives in Brooklyn, has two nipples...

BKNYC/RTMS is, must be an out of work post doc in English Lit with a minor in Political Science or Sociology. Likely from NYU, otherwise he'd be crossing the East River farther north to get to his no-pay internship at Columbia.

Anonymous said...

I thought nerds were sexually-frustrated people with high IQs. This exhibitionist appears to be neither. Also, screwing together that bike was probably easier than learning the violin, or writing computer programs in assembly language.

Tinker toys for the Kool Kids!

frorider said...

commie, i would add the odd snippets of song that run in a loop. only happens on longer rides. had the barney song on one ride. ouch. it would go away but eventually i'd realise that it was gone, causing an immediate return. that and "prick" or "asshole" when squeezed needlessly by another beemer or s.u.v.

leroy said...

BSNYC- Worth the wait.

Another instant classic.

I don't know about dah cultural capital of quirk, but I believe das capitol of cultural quirk has to be Williamsburg.

Just a thought.

But on a more somber note, does the fact that Prolly's bike is for sale tell us something about a looming Apocalypse?

Do you have any information about that?

(Or expressed differently, is the wearer of that pink fanny pack so smug because he's stocked it with potable water and iodine tablets?)

fleshblocks said...

third solid post in a row, this one being my favorite bit of your work. whatever you're up to when you're on leave... you should really keep doing it :)

fleshblocks said...

by favorite bit i mean most substantive..

bikesgonewild said...

...i think it's fairly obvious i'm not of the "best post ever" school of ass kissing when it comes to praising your work, bsnyc/rtms...

...but today's post WAS a brilliant sojourn into the gray depths & hidden recesses of not only your own mind & brain but the whole collective consciousness of this shattered & tattered peleton (of bsnyc/rtms posters)...hmmm... ((well, maybe not the oc)), whether we're festooned in giro appreciative pink lycra or black leggings under our baggies...

...the mind reels...too much to comment on & so much to appreciate...today i simply applaud why you are podiumed by the 'industry'...omg & thanks...

...oh, & btw...yer giro 'percorso cartina', while quite accurate, did miss stage 15's starting point by 18.3 kilometers by my estimation...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Fleshblocks,

Thanks! I probably shouldn't do what I was doing while I was away too often, though.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

nailed it bsnyc, really just nailed it. i am breathing easier now, my frustrations and angers identified, bundled, and presented to me in and easy to undertsand format. i may take it upon myself to forward this post to every hipster co-opting fake wannabe fixed gear idiot i can find on this web-thing. very well done.

roomservicetaco said...

Kudos on this magnus opus. It's like the entire blog has been building into this crescendo for almost a year.

nolucker said...

"I like your style, Dude". I think about this stuff way too much, but as a grey beard fixed gear rider, I know I'm a Johnny come lately. Maybe when the trend cools I'll be on to something else. The problem with the King Kogs of the world is that they hold themselves up to be the queens of cool, while selling simple bikes for heavy $. What's wrong with Iro, or maybe a conversion? So you have these kids wearing expensive rags sporting designer mess bags, all the while trying to look like dumpster divers. something wrong with the picture, which gives rise to the likes of THE SNOB, and for this I'm grateful.Keep shining the light

tominator said...

Hmm, more identity hints. "I probably shouldn't do what I did when I was away too often, though."

Sounds like snobby got married this past weekend.

Searching the NY Times weddings from last weekend, I come up with this URL:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/fashion/weddings/18PITLOR.html?ref=weddings

The description of the groom seems to fit pretty well. Is BSNY Ian Abramson?

Prolly said...

Someone buy my Casati so I can build up my road bike.

Anonymous said...

That dude in the photo is Sean, hes a NYC messenger and has been a messenger out west and over here for a good long time. The glasses are not his and the Strawberry he's sitting on is his girlfriend's ride. I know him pretty well and he's a solid dude and has been riding bikes for a long, long time for whatever thats worth.

Prolly said...

Big ups to King Kog too. Great shop.

Colin said...

Actually his name is Seth not Sean, always mix it up. Anyway, Prolly is spot on, King Kog is a good shop run by good people.

Jim said...

Remarkably conservative commentary on your part, Snob - but then most of your commentary is. Couple thoughts:

Search for Authenticity = most irritating, petty and obnoxious outgrowth of 60's radicalism / Frankfurt School neo-Marxism, other than the cankerous bastards who make a career out of being potheads.

Bourgeois Bohemians - David Brooks' term for those who go through 12 years of primary and secondary education, 4 - 12 years of post-secondary education, control every single movement, communication, and nuance of their professional and personal lives in order to achieve great material success, then spend all their disposable income on Fair Trade Coffee, Volvos, B&B's in Vermont and trekking in Tibet in a search for authenticity. A little shocking to see the term used in a rag that styles itself "underground" (what, did Giuliani put all the under-employed J-school grads in concentration camps?) and liberal, but then maybe it's a sneaky attempt to subvert the patriarchal hegemony by appropriating its vocabulary.

Bad moustaches, PBR, 70's style two-tone 3/4 sleeve T-shirts - particularly obnoxious examples of the "search for authenticity" when conducted by people who lack the money to buy lots of Fair Trade Coffee, a shiny new Volvo (do you know what parking costs?) or to go trekking in Tibet.

FWIW, I generally wear bad 70's style facial hair but do so primarily in a tribute to Atilla the Hun, my political and personal grooming role model. And while I prefer craft brews, I drink cheap jack beer if it's hot out, or if I'm eating barbecue or crabs. But I do this because I actually am sorta low class, not because I'm pretending to be low class. Authenticity seekers are generally appalled by my authenticity...

Prolly said...

no one wants my Casati? COME ON PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, great post.

db said...

Yes, great post. Thanks for putting words to my own displeasure at seeing shtuff like that.

leroy said...

Prolly --

Oh you're selling your bike to upgrade another. That's a worthy cause and not a harbinger of the Apocalypse at all.

Man am I relieved. I was worried you were raising money for a moped or bowling shoes.

I wish I could help, but unfortunately, based on yesterday's post, I filled my road frame with corn chowder. I wasn't thinking about the maintenance issues at the time.

If only I could get sponsored, things like this just wouldn't be a financial issue.

Sorry.

frilly said...

tominator-

Is it Ian or Ina? I think snob might be a chick. Between the broken heel at MJ's and over-analyzing this picture.

Really, its a freak on a fixie channeling his inner Elton. Leave it already.

As for the not doing what he was doing too often...sounds like an activity known to kill brain cells and cause paranoia.

veloben said...

tominator,

It's plausible. Having a mental health therapist as a mother-in-law could be very interesting.

I guess Ian, ah the Snob is blogging from Cancun.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Frilly,

What, a guy can't wear his best heels to a fancy party?

--RTMS

zerzanfan said...

Cycling and style are not mutually exclusive; cycling and fashion is a closer call, but I don't think even they are. See the dozens of photographs at http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/search?q=bike for evidence.

Anonymous said...

Did you happen to notice that the only thing the bike-blogging douche-nerd loves more than track hubs or cocaine is his "tricked out" Scion tC? Seriously: http://dancingwmd.blogspot.com/

And he endorses nashbar.com.

Tool.

pinchfinger said...

You forget Q.E.D. at the end of your proof (LOU=A).
But we'll let that slide.
Your discourse traveled from pain and discomfort to anger, to reasons for anger, to delving into the arcane topic of cool (if you have to announce and act like it, your not), and hence to understanding your feelings. Circular Psychoanalysis. In a spreadsheet you'd get an error message.
But we'll let that slide.
Everybody, pick up the May issue of Velo News; BSNYC/RTMS is featured in print in "At the Back".
First, a simple quote; now a page long article. What's next? Editor at Large?
Way to go, Snobby, you have single handedly handcrafted a career from the flow of your wit.
And who says the American spirit is dead?

CyclingWMD said...

It really is a miracle that I haven't graced the pages of your blog sooner despite being such a fine young specimen of manhood, hehe- god I hate you for being more eloquent that I am.. Anyways, if your Casati sells cause of this Prolly you owe me a Turbo saddle!

Garrett said...

awesome

bongo said...

Me: Old, fat, former Category very-small-integer racer who hasn't been on a bike in 15 years, wondering what this hilarious posing-with-your-fixed-gear phenomena is all about.

You: esplainin it quite clearly and very eloquently.

You kids get off my lawn.

frilly said...

Sure, you can wear your party shoes.

Just remember--wearing stilettos is a lot like riding on road wheels. Greater risk of a mechanical.

I myself prefer a kitten heel, its sort of like rolling on hybrids. A little more stability & not too clunky.

CreakyBB said...

Snob,

Truly an excellent exegesis on the symbolic and textual meaning of the King Kog photo, and the NY Press article/book excerpt.

One question though comes up. If the cultural capital of quirk is trading briskly amongst trendy cyclists, and the fixed gear alpacalypse[sp] is nearly upon us, is the cultural capital of quirk really just the wages of satan in the fixed gear alpacalypse?

Also on the impending fixed gear alpacalypse, is there any evidence that there may be a tri geek rapture? Mankini's lifted high and taken to a heaven of endless lava fields and bottomless bento boxes, or is this from an apocryphal text that should be shunned?

pedalstroke said...

What the hell is a Pallpoint pen?

medium tip bic said...

ha saw that too, p is nowhere near b.

bikesgonewild said...

...omg, frilly...you talking about "wearing stilettos" & "kitten heels"...whoa, needless to say i better go out for a ride & get some fresh air...

...just sayin'...

Jack said...

I'm awesome.

frilly said...

Mankini? Geez, retina burn.

frilly said...

BGW, sorry, didn't mean to get you all bothered. However, if in the future, for some reason, you decide you might like to get a set of hybrids & your SO balks at yet another purchase, feel free to use my kitten heel analogy.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Supernumerary nipples? Jeez, the things this blog veers off into.

bikesgonewild said...

...frills...up to my ass in wheels & presently no sig-oth right now to have to justify the habit to...will remain advised for the future though...

...& i will however, blatantly recommend www.gravyprowheels.com for great hoops whether in the bay area or around the world...

...gravy builds 'em for both 'pro's' quite literally & 'slows' (moi)...tinker, rishi, larson, allie sydor, missy g, miles rockwell & others have & do roll on gravy's handiwork...check the site...

Anonymous said...

Total fucking tour de force.
Highlights as far as actual audible laughter:
-Nipple counting to verify humanity;
-Difference between Giro & Tour being last year' s Tour winner can do Giro.
Overall, dry tone not as conducive to actual LOL, but probably your best ever.

rusty said...

Prolly,
By "road bike" do you mean a free-wheeling geared bike?????

Prolly said...

Rusty,

Prior to popular and cynical belief, I actually owned a series of geared and braked [is that grammatically correct?] bikes prior to moving to NYC. Then I sold them to make the move and well... here I am.

I got a nice Hollands [531] road frame I'm building up to get outta the City more this year. As BSNYC once told me as we spooned in bed one night "a road bike is like a suit, every cyclist should have one"...

Now if I can just find some fucking Chorus 9 speed ergos, I'd be a happy clam.

and Cycling WMD - I have a turbo for you if you want it.

Anonymous said...

Any of you old fucks remember when the suburban kids with all their teeth and a CAR started showing up with mohawks (first time around)? Yeah that's who these dorks are. Late for the party on a store bought ride. Dorks.

pistadex said...

I am totally with you on the anger but I have a superior theory.

A few months ago I was in a bookstore near Columbia and spotted this tiny little almost hipster - he may as well have been the fellow in the picture.

I had a strong, strong desire to beat him up.

Why this hate for a stranger from me, a rational person.

The reason is that we are animals and the law of our biology is to destroy the weak, or to take what they have.

The hipster persona is in so many ways a projection of weakness. That calf about the handlebars is a projection of weakness; the pink bag is a projection of weakness; the whole manner projects economic weakness since decent employers don't want these things around.

This is why male hipster make you angry. Not so the female of the hipster - our animal nature accepts weakness in women.

Our animal natures are likewise provoked by their feminine talks - I am "so into"; the feminine self involved that can be attractive in women does not work in men.

That's where your anger comes from.

pistadex said...

I am totally with you on the anger but I have a superior theory.

A few months ago I was in a bookstore near Columbia and spotted this tiny little almost hipster - he may as well have been the fellow in the picture.

I had a strong, strong desire to beat him up.

Why this hate for a stranger from me, a rational person.

The reason is that we are animals and the law of our biology is to destroy the weak, or to take what they have.

The hipster persona is in so many ways a projection of weakness. That calf about the handlebars is a projection of weakness; the pink bag is a projection of weakness; the whole manner projects economic weakness since decent employers don't want these things around.

This is why male hipster make you angry. Not so the female of the hipster - our animal nature accepts weakness in women.

Our animal natures are likewise provoked by their feminine talks - I am "so into"; the feminine self involved that can be attractive in women does not work in men.

That's where your anger comes from.

pistadex said...

You hate him out of biology more than psychology.

The whole person projects weakness and it is out animal nature to take from the weak. This aggression in the limbic system reads as anger in our forebrain.

The "how ya like me now" chinstroke is feminine self regard; the calf over the handlebar is a weak posture; the assbag likewise.

Also, the hipster persona projects economic weakness - what employer wants that around? And what skills would such a creature have? Few.

Also, the hipster persona projects poor uses of resources - a limted resource [thought] has been devoted to posturing.

Notice: the most hipster women alive would dump her hipster boyfriend in a heartbeat for something that resembled the biologic definition of man.

How's that?

Anonymous said...

check my ride. wheels are chen shin. frame is frorider:

http://seenmedia.org/?p=9

yes my ride is sick

Andy Pandy said...

Enough of this pondering and postulating on the unanswerable foibles of Kooldom.It has been miffing people since the dawn of time. The one question that begs "compact or not to compact"

And BGW you need to get out and get some fresh air ... just sayin

Anonymous said...

Social anthropology at it's finest.

Anonymous said...

Survival of the fittest.....

Die cunts!

the_boy_who_loves_pasta said...

alley cats should be for working messengers only, and only those that hauled their arse around town the entire day. It sucks to have lugged a heavily laden bag and lock around all day to have to race against some schmoe with an empty crumpler and fresh legs. It's like someone gets to win Paris-Roubaix after starting in the Roubaix velodrome, it may be a race, but it don't prove s**t. And guys angry 'cause someone has a pink bag, harden the f**k up.

bikesgonewild said...

...andy pandy...i did get out on the single speed, honest, but too much fresh air & sheesh, i get light headed...

...now enjoying tasty organic spoils (poor choice of words) from the farmers market...

...life can be a bitch but life can also be awesome when ya can deal w/ it from a bicycle saddle...

Anonymous said...

well i have to agree with davidh, your brilliant and incisive post may have imploded the very reason this blog came to be.... but luckily there's still stuff like this:

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/05/jet-powered-bic.html

i wonder how a rocket on only ONE side of the bike might affect cornering..... just saying...

brilliant post, and thanks, i think i may have come to terms with some of my own feelings towards certain others...

you should have sent that Giro map to Vandevelde and Millar

http://www.slipstreamsports.com/2008/05/12/welcome-to-the-giro/

Anonymous said...

I'd say Snob's theory and the one presented by pistadex compliment each other and draw out the truth.

You can smell the fear coming off that photo as Sean/Seth calls out for our acceptance. Those girl sunglasses, pink pack and dick exposing posture are just like a puppy rolling over to expose its belly.

He's so weak his friends have to run to his rescue, "I know him pretty well and he's a solid dude and has been riding bikes for a long, long time for whatever thats worth." It is worth nothing. It doesn't matter how many miles he rides he still looks like a fucking idiot.

Anonymous said...

Re: the_boy_who_loves_pasta

And guys angry 'cause someone has a pink bag, harden the f**k up.

This from the guy crying on behalf of messengers who can't win a race against posers because they had to carry some envelopes around.

But still, for those of us who have tried and failed, please school us on the ways of being hard in the face of garish fashion accessories.

-Russ

om flyer said...

Most accurate description of the whole douchebag fixie milieu I've ever read:

"...something that has been divorced from its origins and appropriated by people who have not gone through their own process of discovery and understanding. It also appears to depict a culture that tries so hard to be authentic that it comes off as inauthentic. It's a highly derivative rebellion."

Anonymous said...

You're angry because you got robbed, or the King Kog guy is trying to rob you...he's trying to steal YOUR sport, he's trying to make it something different. Cycling, because it isn't mainstream, evolved into something elitist in this country. That's fine, the elitism is a shield to protect ourselves form these dorks.
You answered your own question in the first paragraph....PAIN. Cycling is a brotherhood of pain. Pain is the price of admission. King Kog has never felt the lactic acid burning his legs to their core. He has never finished the race cover in road rash. He has never puked at the top of a hill and kept going. He wants in the cycling club without paying this price of admission. He wants to cheat his way in by posing.
You are the true purist because you know cycling isn't about gear, fashion, or other BS. It's about pain and that's what get respect and not anger.
-crusty

Anonymous said...

america is devoid of culture beyond making weapons and war. the only thing that you celebrate is defeating the "enemy". there is a percentage of the population that reacts to the violence, as was opined by an earlier post, by rolling over to show submission. they care not to compete for money, mates, or glory. every decade has a fashion niche for these people.

Girl In Asia said...

Geez BSNYC. When fixies go out of style, what will you ever have to talk about? What do you think the next trend will be? Maybe hover boards or rocket packs like in The Rocketeer. (excellent movie by the way)

SD said...

I'm pretty sure that the next big thing will be chef-ing. Guys will walk around in checkered pants, carrying knife bags. You'll see some kid dicing shallots at a cafe, with a nice Wustoff, wearing a toque. LAter, as it gets more popular guys will start collecting antique forged knives, and obscure Japanese hand made cutlery. They'l gather under bridges to compete in tourne cutting competitions, doing all kinds of garmange work. None of them will work in a restaurant, or even like quality food.

J said...

This is sort of related to your post, sort of not... but I thought that you might be interested, maybe for a new variant of apoca-dex.

I saw this ad on the DC Craigslist, and I was a little taken aback by the price:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bik/690165312.html

-Is $370 a typical price for an Aerospoke front wheel?

Ouch!

j said...

sd-

I think you're onto something with this "Chefing" business...

alliwannadoisbicycle said...

BS,

this is the best thing you've ever written.

CJ

abelgus said...

god bless - you are a genius -

Rusty said...

My mouth hangs agape at the naked brilliance of this sentence:

"This would certainly explain riding expensive custom bicycles and using handmade designer nylon carry-alls while wearing tatty clothes, all under the pretense of rugged simplicity and minimalism."

By some distance, this is your finest post.

Cycle Jerk said...

A brilliant look into the heart of American fake subculture... and I believe it's pronounced "Nyerd"

Anonymous said...

god that alan fake nerd guy is one of the biggest douchebags i have ever seen. what a stupid blog--he likes bikes, blowing shit up, and METAL.

Anonymous said...

Typically, these posts are full of laughs, but most of them really don't resonate in any meaningful way. Your analysis of the cultural hijacking that takes place with nerdery based on questionable premises absolutely crystalizes a feeling I think a lot of people have. Great post.

Cottered Crank said...

So now the King Kog site is claiming it was all a joke. And Snob "didn't get it." Uh-huh. Sure.

Well, somebody doesn't get it.

Zachary said...

tell em' whats what polygraf...

my fkn shins hurt today...
and xuan mai punched me in the throat.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC/RTMS,

Excellent post! LOL!!

I'm going to miss you... I'm already feeling pangs of grief.

PammyPam said...

i think i fell in love with you a little bit just now.

AnnaZed said...

Wait, I’m confused by something. In the first picture what is going on with his cranks?

Ti( * )( * )ies said...

Dear tominator -

I think what BSNYC was referring to was his recent transplantation of feline sexual glands in to his scrotum. In that frequent transplants could have both serious health consequences as well as raising a red flag for USAC anti-doping. Not to mention the minor discomfort and tenderness in the area of the incision.

The bit about counting nipples was the tell, as supernumerary nipples are a common side effect of the procedure.

Ti( * )( * )ies said...

Oh yeah more importantly...

Kudos Snob, this is among your finest posts!

Ti( * )( * )ies said...

Dear - annazed

The drive side crank arm is there it is just beind the chian stay. His foot is on the ground. I thought for a second he had one of those power cranks. Now that would be rad on a fixed gear.

AnnaZed said...

Ti: "...I thought for a second he had one of those power cranks..."

Me to, which would be just weird, though maybe weirdly cool, but you are right. He's just posing with his foot on the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

so why don't you make fun of Gina hangin out with cinelli, being involved in Bike Film Festival or sponsoring MESSENGER events all over the world?
that's maybe because she actually is somebody in the community that you seem to thrive on putting down. good job, dude. You are really contributing!!!

Anonymous said...

she also sells weed

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5/22 1:13pm,

Wait, so you're angry that I didn't make fun of her? I'm confused.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

i don't even see why messenger events or bike film festivals (moreso the people they attract)are necessarily good things. at least she brings me weed when i need it. sometimes she takes too long.

yojimbo said...

You're an amazing writer!

I think the part about our generation's upbringing as children of bourgeosie bohemians is really interesting, and speaks to an ideological rift that i've noticed in the culture or our generation between those who have been raised by immigrant or working class parents and those raised by afluent baby-boomers.

I simply "don't get" some people, and they "don't get me" back... we were just raised with different values... Most of the time I'm too busy and lazy to try figure it out, thats why this post is so great! Thanks Bike Snob!

Daniel! said...

so why don't you make fun of Gina hangin out with cinelli, being involved in Bike Film Festival or sponsoring MESSENGER events all over the world?
that's maybe because she actually is somebody in the community that you seem to thrive on putting down. good job, dude. You are really contributing!!!


What the fuck is that even supposed to mean? "Contributing" to what? How? Sponsoring "messenger events" as a bike shop owner is no different than an office supplier handing out pens with her logo on them at a trade show. How is advertising her business any nobler than any other thing people do? What tangible benefit do you or I or anyone else get from it?

The cycling "community" does not exist. There is no "culture" of cycling. These are misused words attached by people who feel they're too grand to have a "hobby" and too sensitive to participate in a "sport".

BikeSnobNYC said...

Daniel!,

I think I figured it out. I'm not contributing, even though my blog is free to read. Gina is contributing, even though she has a bike shop and is selling stuff. See the difference?

--RTMS

PS: Also, the fact that people who may have never heard of King Kog before visited the site as a result of my post is in no way a contribution to Gina.

PPS: Also also, I failed to contribute by not making fun of Gina.

bikesgonewild said...

...see...damned if ya do, damned if ya don't...

...just like yer mother told ya it would be...

Anonymous said...

You've written about Hiroshi Fujiwara before and now Cycling WMD and it turns out Hiroshi bought one of CWMD old frames off Ebay last year.

It's a small world

http://cyclingwmd.blogspot.com/2007/09/now-what.html

CyclingWMD said...

^ Actually, someone else from Japan bought it off me. At some point during it's travels HF saw it and was photographed admiring it. I could have sworn I updated that post. Oh well...

Don said...

Dear BSNYC,

Long time lurker, first time commenter.


Something to think about… Could The Smith’s be the forefathers to the nerds and bikes culture? Check out the below YouTube video for this theory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx6dHmYD6c8


Continue to be true to yourself and the journey of being the Ayn Rand of the cycling community. Stay gold, BSNYC. Stay gold.

Kyle said...

BSNYC,

Have you seen the latest cover of MBA? See! Bikes and fashion DO go together!!!

Anonymous said...

oh my god, you didn't get it! that's the FUNNIEST PART! You must not be on the streets too much cuz you don't even know who that is!

Anonymous said...

OH ABOUT THE CRANKS: This is a 46cm custom junior track bike built by andy newlands of Strawberry Cycles in Portland Oregon (24" wheels). The cranks are Sugino grand mighty 163s. The "douchebag" is question is about 5'9" so I hope that answers your perception bafflement.

pantaloonfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

since when do track bikes have flat bars? that's not a track bike, its a piece of trendy crap. i bet half of those a-holes at King kog don't even know what kissena is.

MUSCLE ESCORT said...

TEN HUT! GO HERE:

www.paydaybitches.blogspot.com

pillar of salt said...

fixter!!! I told you it was a great word!!

Sean Lynch said...

Great post

Thanks

shelterbrook said...

I call them T.B.F's (i'm pretty sure you can figure out what it means)... if you're riding a pink track bike with green rims and you look like you should be riding a one of the bears that roams the wild Chelsea wilderness, you'll see me wave at you then yell tbf!

Mr DeJerk said...

Great read! Although I didn't finish the whole thing, and I happen to have 2 extra hidden nipples...
I tried, recently, to explain to some friends how I didn't have much respect for hipsters, at the same time trying to explain how I couldn't be considered one, even though on the surface I could easily be mistaken by one (and god knows how many times I've been called a hipster - by people that thought they were giving me a compliment). What I think makes all of the difference is the motivation. It can be hard, at a first glance, to determine whether someone is dressed a certain way, or drinking a certain beer, or riding certain types of vehicles because they: like it, are trying something new, can't afford better, have sense of humor, etc...; or: want to "look" a certain way, want to "fit in", don't want to be labeled something else... I could care less about people erroneously calling me a hipster (I've been called so many things, like hippie, punk, faggot, clubber and Tom Cruise, all in a day, before), and I guess that's exactly what the difference is.

ashhar said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

إني تذكـرت والذكرى مؤرقـة * مجـداً تلـيدا بأيـدينا أضعـناه
أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه
كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه
بالله سل خلف
بحر الروم عن عرب *

بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا
وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه
هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه
الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا * وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين مـجراه
يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته * الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه
يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ، وملوك الروم تخشـاه
يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

ashhar said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

إني تذكـرت والذكرى مؤرقـة * مجـداً تلـيدا بأيـدينا أضعـناه
أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه
كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه
بالله سل خلف بحر الروم عن عرب * بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا
وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه
هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه
الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا
* وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين

مـجراه

يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته *

الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه

يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ،

وملوك الروم تخشـاه

يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

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