Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Throwing Down Your Arms: A Time and Place for Everything

While Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador have emerged as the two riders most likely stand atop the podium in Paris clad in the coveted jaundiced chemise, this year's Tour de France has proven to be a difficult one for the over-30 set. First, Christian Vande Velde had his customary first-week crash and subsequent abandon (or "crabandon;"); next, Lance Armstrong had the most crash-tastic Tour stage of his career; then, yesterday on the Col de la Madeleine, Cadel Evans lost his yellow jersey as well as his own chances for overall victory. However, what Evans did not reveal before the stage was that he was riding with a fractured elbow:

Indeed, sometimes things are not as they seem, and what appeared to be simply a bad day in fact turned out to be stoicism in the face of injury. All too often, it is only with hindsight that can we arrive at a full understanding of a situation, and it is for precisely this reason that I would probably wait before investing in prints of "key moments" from the 2010 Tour de France, as recommended by this "tweet" from Bikeradar:

Buying a Tour de France print before the Tour is even over is a highly speculative endeavor, and in some ways it is like taking on an adjustable-rate mortgage, since anything is liable to happen between now and the end of the race. Sure, the rider depicted in your print could wind up winning the Tour, thus increasing the value, but he could also fail a drug test, causing his stock to plummet. For example, what if you had purchased a print of Riccardo Ricco's 2008 Stage 6 victory just after it happened?

While I suppose its ironic value has since quadrupled, chances are that wasn't what you were intending to invest in at the time. (Just as you probably weren't looking to help underwrite Floyd Landis's eventual confession when you wrote that check to the Floyd Fairness Fund.) Then again, some images are arresting regardless of context, such as this image of Ricco at this year's Tour of Austria, which he ultimately won:

If you're looking to de-ironify your 2008 Ricco portrait, you may want to hang this next to it as an overly earnest and sanguineous symbol of redemption.

Speaking of things not being entirely as they seem, I recently noticed this post about New York City's Highbridge Park on news-themed comment-trolling website Gothamist:

The truth is, Highbridge Park is not entirely neglected, and a portion of it was cleaned up significantly when NYCMTB built the city's first legal mountain bike trails a few years ago:

The Highbridge Project from yoni arava on Vimeo.

Which Gothamist themselves posted about but don't seem to remember:

This isn't surprising though, since the positive effect bicycle trails can have on parks is "boring," while "urban cycling" inspires the comment section flame wars on which Gothamist thrives. The post announcing the Highbridge trails only got seven comments, but when they post about "Empire" the predictable "those crazy cyclists" arguments ensue:


Yes, the local media loves "urban cycling," and our popular culture in general continues to be transfixed by the absurd display of self-indulgence that is "hipsters at play" (for it is, undeniably, fascinating). Consider also the umpteenth article about "fixed gear culture" from the New York Times:


“Alley cats are really expensive, parties, beer, fliers,” Mr. Kim said, referring to a popular style of urban bicycle messenger racing. “This is just a straight-up throw down.”

While the "alley cat" may finally be "out" (thanks to the demise of the messenger), ushering in the age of the "straight-up throw down," it's worth noting that there are are already "straight-up throw downs" every week in New York City in the form of something called "bicycle races." Granted, the ones that take place on weekends are far too early for the typical "urban cyclist," but during the week there is also evening track racing at the Kissena Velodrome and evening road racing at Floyd Bennett field:

Indeed, you can partake in "straight-up throw downs" almost all week long in New York City without going anywhere near the "Midnight Keirin Club" (and in fairness I'm sure some participants in the "Midnight Keirin Club" do "throw down" at some of these races)--but then you wouldn't have ample opportunity to "flirt with the law:"

Like hot rod street racing, Midnight Keirin flirts with the law. The last race was broken up by the police. Volunteers kept an eye on the dangerous corners, looking out for traffic, squad cars and hapless walkers.

I'm not sure it's fair to call the walkers "hapless" in this case, since they're just doing what they're supposed to be doing, while the "fixerati" racing their Cinelli x MASH "collabo bikes" around Williamsburg to fund their cheap dates are arguably the "hapless" ones. In a way, racing your track bike around a public park in a crowded neighborhood when there's a velodrome a few miles away is like drinking from a Ball jar instead of a water bottle--which, of course, is the style in Portland:


In fact, drinking from jars is so popular now that it's apparently even the style for cycling in Portland, for a number of readers have forwarded me this made-in-Portland $57 leather "bicycle mason jar cage:"


Description

Light and rigid mason jar cage for your bicycle, made out of leather, with a snug fit.

Bring your favorite drink in a pint size ball jar (wide mouth or narrow mouth) along for the ride.

A flat Coke has been called the racing cyclist's "secret weapon" - the quick jolt of sugar and caffeine is perfect to get you up the last few hills.

Rigid leather is hand-stitched together to be structurally sound. Cans stay snug in the can cage even after a rugged off road tour.

Designed for a custom request.

Three clamps connect the cage to the bicycle, two on the handlebar and one around the stem spacers.

Made with love in Portland, Oregon.


I guess something about having to unscrew a lid while cycling in order to take a sip of water makes your ride that much more "epic." Granted, it also holds cans, but I don't really understand what that has to do with "flat Coke," since a can of soda is going to be literally frothy with effervescence, whereas flat Coke has obviously been sitting around for awhile and thus affords you the time to transfer it to container of your choice. Really, unless you need to ride while carrying preserves, this seems like one of the most pretentious and unnecessary bicycle accessories I've seen to date--or at least it did until I clicked on the "bike polo mallet cue holders" from the same vendor:

Leather accessories are truly the "doucheclamation point" at the end of your lifestyle.

Of course, it is essential to stay hydrated while riding your bicycle. This is especially true in the summer, and this Craigslist post illustrates the danger of overheating:

Looking For Prosepct Park Prince - w4m - 27 (Prospect Park)
Date: 2010-07-13, 1:28PM EDT

Prospect Park July 6th. HEAT WAVE. Me: Wearing a red summer dress near the baseball fields watching a game. You were on your bike and you stopped to watch too. You caught me wiping the sweat off of my body. I was so delirious with heat that my hands wandered towards my crotch. Yes, girls sweat there too. We locked eyes right when my hand was up my skirt and I turned as red as my dress. Then, I have to admit I got wet but it wasn’t sweat. My God, you were BEAUTIFUL. Please, please write back. Wanna wipe me?


I guess she must have left her mason jar at home.

97 comments:

rudy jenkins said...

!!!!!!!

Nogocyclist said...

Podium?

Nogocyclist said...

Podium?

ken e. said...

podium!!!

Neil said...

me!

ken e. said...

rats! i would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that dog and those pesky kids...

Neil said...

did too much work on that last hill...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Shu-Sin said...

TOP 10?

Anonymous said...

like bo derek

Big Bottom said...

Like Spinal Ta?

wishiwasmerckx said...

As far as pick-up lines go, "Wanna wipe me?" has to be the lamest and most unappetizing line ever invented.

Big Bottom said...

Or maybe just like a fat-bottom girl riding around in bib shorts -- no "P"

DUMB TYPO

Anonymous said...

1st one who actually read it?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Not to mention the screw-top lid, providing an accessory specifically designed to hold a glass jar while riding a bike is a product liability lawyer's wet dream.

Riccardo Ricco tried out the prototype at the Tour of Australia this year, with predictable results.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

douceclamation?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Polly Anna said...

I'm disgusted with humanity (American humanity). Thanks for that, BikeSnob.

Anonymous said...

Ladies...20?

Anonymous said...

Thank heavens Ricco was wearing a helmet or goodness knows what might have happened.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. That missed connections is surprisingly hot for how gross it is.

ant1 said...

"wanna wipe me?"

is that a pick up line in ny?

Tex said...

I prefer a straight up hoe down, but that's probly just 'cause o' my upbringin'.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

High quality leather accoutrements are fine if your traditional bowhunter or maybe a 17th century history reenactor but jar holder and polo cue scabbard?
-Pretentious indeed!

In The Stall said...

Question: What is the most disturbing thing to hear in a public restroom.
Answer: Want to wipe me?

hillbilly said...

just back from Portland, via Minneapolis, so there.

Nogocyclist said...

ken e,
You are on the podium. When I clicked on "PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT" nothing happened. I clicked it again thinking I had not clicked it. When it finally went to the comment section, my comment was posted twice. You are legitimately the third on the podium.

Yes, I drink out of a Mason jar. I make iced tea and keep it in Mason jars. At times I even use a "Hellman's Mayonnaise Jar." I am not pretentious, I am just too cheap to pay around a dollar for a bottle of tea I can make at home for mere pennies.

Have never and will never carry them on a bike though. I am not that Nutty.

Anonymous said...

"Light and rigid mason jar cage for your bicycle, made out of leather, with a snug fit".
Leather? Is it ethically harvested leather? Will it give me a smug fit?

Anonymous said...

Ya think "Looking For Prosepct Park Prince" was written by a he-she?
Just sayin....

Quack! said...

Some of us are old enough to remember when shampoo came in glass bottles. Bad idea. That was back when doctors appeared on TV hawking cigarettes for pay and Jerry Lewis was allowed to roam freely about the country. Those were the day.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

frilly said...

As a person with somewhat promiscuous tendencies, gotta say "Wanna wipe me?" is downright nasty. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Sorry losers that missed connection is sexy. Hot weather, sweat, hands up skirts... whats not to like.

Anonymous said...

What did the windshield say to the windshield wiper? ahh never mind.

Cool The Kid said...

That mason jar cage is infuriating

Paul Bowen said...

I'm with anon at 2:02; sweaty lady in red dress got my boat afloat.

Jefe said...

I think the two Craiglist contributers from today and yesterday's posts should be united. A boy who exposes himself while cycling and the (presumed) girl who just needs wiping. That type of inhibition belongs together ... but far away from here.

frilly said...

Good point Jefe.

There's no gamesmanship in her just straight out sticking her hands up her skirt. At least she had the good sense to blush.

leroy said...

First, we learn that there is a King of Park Slope. Now we learn there is a Prince of Prospect Park.

Queens may have the velodrome, but if it's royalty you want, you have to go to the County of Kings.

Even if we treat our royalty like porters and towel attendants.

Chuck Norris said...

Seriously, how fucking awesome is Jens Voigt? Rides in the break all damn day, and then claws back up the fucking Col de Madeleine to ride climbing tempo for Schleck, damn near cracking Contador in the process? Jesus...

InDaDrops said...

All You Haters Wanna Wipe Me

Anonymous said...

So the Empire douchebags were "peddling" through NYC?

Does that mean they were begging for Chris King headsets?

hillbilly said...

Love drinking out of mason jars, always have, course I grew up in the South, but I would never choose that to, um, "portage my bev"

Tex said...

Anon 2:02

I agree that "Want to wipe me?" is the sort of come on that separates the losers from the rest of us, but you have it backwards. Good luck, and keep some condoms with you at all times, please.

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it.

Anonymous said...

I love how Gothamist's caption says that Highbridge park is in "Harlem". It's a good 40 blocks north of that in Inwood (like the city map says) and it's also the best place to practice your pavé technique so you don't get clowned in next year's TDF.

grog said...

so where did the Prospect Park geese go? look for the new bib-short product made with authentic goose-down shammy. wipe this.

ant1 said...

Chuck - jens is a badass, there is no question. him managing to finish in the bottle group after such an effort was also impressive. but he didn't damn near crack contador.

Anonymous said...

Tex has no pulse

202

CommieCanuck said...

wanna wipe me?

YEUUUCHH. WTF.

NOWI PINGS

Where did the Prospect Park Canada Geese go?? They were all rounded up and gassed. No trials even. Geesocide.

PawnShop said...

I'd wipe it.

CommieCanuck said...

According to the authorities, the geese were killed, because, "We are talking about aviation and passenger and property safety."

Apparently the Geese were sneaking from economy to first class during annual migrations and asking for extra peanuts. Cheap bastards.

smugseattle said...

I shall mount 10 Mason jar(AKA Ball jar) cages on my pastel eBike with which to cool down the fevered sundressed female masses of Seattle.

CommieCanuck said...

I'd wipe it.

Snob forgot to include the unsafe-for-work-or -anywhere-else pic.

g-roc said...

Sure, it's a $57 cage, but the jar was free, unlike those $3 plastic bottles that sometimes don't even unscrew ... although I've gotten a lot of free plastic water bottles over the years. But a regular cage is at least $5 ... damn.

boys on the hoods said...

CommieCanuck

Man, there just ain't no towel big enough!!!

ant1 said...

CC - please don't ever post that picture again

Salty and Sore said...

Mason Jar as Water Bottle?

Why no, you have it all wrong.

Bicycles are not a mode of transport in Portland. They are Master, and everything else is their bitch.

I think you've just discovered the Portland, underground Bike/Recycled Container S&M scene.

Salty and Sore said...

@ Anon 2:02-

That I had to read it twice to determine age.

bikesgonewild said...

..."Wanna wipe me?"...

...what a coincidence...i used that line here at the old age home when i rolled past the nursing station in my wheelchair this morning, resplendent in my 'depends' & yellow jersey...

..."no, mr bikesgonewild, none of us nurses do & while you might have elicited sympathy in the past, admin warned us that you did NOT win the 'tour day france' 7 times when you were younger so don't try that line again, please"...

..."now go take care of things yourself & this time take off those cycling gloves...yesterday was such a mess...you don't wanna lose your tv privileges again do you"
...

Shaun said...

Is it just me, or is a woman asking if you'd like to wipe her snatch sweat not exactly appealing?

ken e. said...

@nogo, thanks!

i'd also like to thank RTMS and everyone in this muggy time of the alpacalypse. happy wednesday!

ant1 said...

shaun - if you put it that way, it's not just you. replace snatch sweat with a nice euphemism and the appeal would surely increase.

and not to delve too deep into the ladies crotch status, but she does say in the end that that particular wetness was not sweat.

CommieCanuck said...

Man, there just ain't no towel big enough!!!

We're beyond towels here, we need better technology.

Anon 2:02's mom said...

Shame on you Commie Canuck! You have caused me to have to clean off the computer screen in Junior's room again. I hope you get to do that some time yourself.

wishiwasmerckx said...

G-roc, a proper Crabon Fibre bottle cage goes for about $65, so I will assume that your reference to $5 for a bottle cage was a typo.

mikeweb said...

I would've podiumed today but I've been typing all day with a broken knuckle.

I think the Park Slope 'dangler' and the Prospect Park Prince are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Yet more fixed-gears in the media, this time in Calgary:

http://www.calgaryjournalonline.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1250:riding-simply-a-growing-fixation-on-fixed-gear-bikes&catid=36:infocus&Itemid=55

The usual quotes apply; "“It’s a continual conversation with the road,” says Midwinter. “It’s a Zen sort of thing.”"

Though some of the physics seems a bit confused:

"The real skill, though, is going down the hill, pedaling continuously, and ultimately stopping. In order to stop, the weight has to be lifted off the back wheel."

Also:

"In general, Hsieh says, “Fixed gears have definitely been made out to be a trendy thing to try, like big sunglasses.”"

Marc said...

Another great post. You've been killing it lately.

WETW IPES

Shaun said...

All You Haters Exsiccate My Snatch

Anonymous said...

We wacky greenies drink out of glass jars on our bicycles because we save the plastic bottles for building sailing ships to cross the ocean.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20010474-52.html

Nogocyclist does also make a good point about the jars being practical for stingy old people to carry cheap tepid tea.

In addition, I can see potential for pro cyclists to use the jars to carry a mix of flat coke to ease the glycogen debt, as suggested in the spiel, and rum to ease the pain of broken and torn body parts.

ce

Anonymous said...

How would it translate?

missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com

wishiwasmerckx said...

"Fixed gears have definitely been made out to be a trendy thing to try, like wiping the sweat off a total stranger's snatch."

bikesgonewild said...

...nothing sez "common sense" like using a glass jar on a bicycle especially when there are stainless steel bottles if you're trying to avoid plastic...

...maybe one of those trendy hip portlanders can devise a expensive whisk broom/leather holster collabo so if you drop your damn glass jar, you can have the where-with-all to sweep up your mess instead of leaving it for others to ride through...

...just sayin;...

Anonymous said...

Don't you have use both hands to unscrew the top to open the a Ball jar? Seems like a pretty impractical way to stay hydrated on a bike. And who's to say that the plastic bottle has to travel all the way across the ocean to get here. We gots petroleum right here in the good ol' U-S-A.

Anonymous said...

What, no leather holder for a designer axe?

jnos said...

In France they already solved that screw problem:
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2010/06/jars.html
... and in style! Who wouldn´t ride drinking from a Dijon mustard jar

Nogocyclist said...

Anonymous@5:07

Are you implying that I am old?
I am NOT old. Old is always 20 years older than my age. When I was 2, old was 22; when I was 20, old was 40; now that I am 40'ish(OK, not 50,) old is 69.

Remember that.

As for being cheap. I am very proud of being cheap. With this economy, it is nice not worrying if I can pay this month's bills. I can say this, not because of how much I earn, but because of how little I spend. Now if only our government would live like that!

Sylvia Plath said...

Anon 5:40 -

Yes, it takes two hands to unscrew the Bell Jar.

g-roc said...

Since you put it that way wishiwasmerckx, I'm not puttin' no free plastic bottle in a $65 a crabon cage! Where's muh jar?

Ugh Yech said...

I can't look a Ball jar in the eye after seeing Damon Wayans' homeless guy character with that "pickle jar" in his pocket.

Daniel R. Haney said...

Just thought I would note that in the NYT article on the "Midnight Keirin Club" that entry fee was $5. At the end of the race, the winner, a certain Mr. Kim, was noted as scurrying away with a sweaty purse full of a whole $30. Carry the five... I must say, what a successful, six-person, throw down that was?! Must have been a real fancy dinner.

bdub said...

I've played bike polo in Portland for over 5 years and I don't think I have ever seen anyone playing with such a heavy wooden stick. If you are going to pretend to play polo as part of a scheme to sell something you might want to roll by the park at least once to get an idea of what the equipment looks like... Of course wrapping an expensive leather strap around a ski pole you just bought for a dollar from goodwill would look even more ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

No, no Nogo! I was only referring to people 69 years of age and older. When they hit 69 they can't make heads or tails of the situation.

As for cheap, I myself can be found on occasion portaging my tepid tea around in an old reclaimed leather boot – the beauty is that the timeless wholesomeness of leather overcomes the stigma of a little musty foot odour and makes it a rarefied and trendy thing to do.

ce

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:40, you might like to check the website I was referencing. I meant literally saving old bottles up, putting them aside and when enough have been collected building a sailing boat out of them. Then, embarking on a voyage across the treacherous and unforgiving ocean in the little bottle boat, propelled solely by excess smugness caught by the recycled sails.

ce

Klein said...

Speaking of bottle recycling...

http://tinyurl.com/23odb76

Stranded said...

Somebody should tell the purveyors of Ball-jars-for-cyclists that Ball is a brand name and should therefore be capitalized. I mean, not knowing how to use capital letters--how hip is that? It went out with e.e. cummings. Seriously, though--glass on a bike--who wants shards of glass in their road rash? Need anyone have it pointed out that stainless steel can be sterilized and re-used to the heart's content of any hipster?

Bleevo said...

Nice wheelie in the video! mad skilzz

cyclotourist said...

HAND WIPE

Anonymous said...

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Phoebe said...

Hapless - having no luck; unfortunate.
I believe that if a pedestrian got hit by these racers, they would consider themselves hapless.
I see how you could consider the bikers unfortunate, but I think that's in a different sense of the word.

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