Friday, September 30, 2011

BSNYC Friday Mildly-Invasive Physical Exam!

As I mentioned yesterday, that day marked the end of my testing period for the Base Urban Belt-Drive Freakout bike, which meant it was time to return it to the company. New York City bike shop Toga Bikes was kind enough to handle the actual shipping of the bicycle, and so yesterday afternoon I set off to their downtown location, Gotham Bikes, to place it in the expert care of their staff. So I headed through Prospect Park on my last belt-driven ride, when I looked down and noticed that the belt was out of alignment:

Looking closer, I saw that the belt was at least a few millimeters off the cog, even though the wheel was (to my eyes anyway) centered in the dropouts:

I had agreed to test this bike because I was curious about belt drives for bicycles, and it was at this moment that my curiosity was satisfied and that I decided I was more than happy to stick with the humble chain--which, for all of its greasiness, is simple to maintain can easily tolerate minor alignment issues. If your chain is making noise, squirt some lube on it. If you don't want to get that lube on your pants, put a chainguard over it. Meanwhile, if your belt drive is making noise or divorcing itself from the cog, it's time to break out the micrometer and start looking for "problems" not visible with the naked eye.

Anyway, Gotham Bikes is in downtown Manhattan, and as it happens, subsequent to Tuesday's post about the Occupy Wall Street protest, one of the actual protesters emailed me and invited to show me around and give me a greater understanding of what was going on down there. So I figured I'd stop by on my way to the shop. As I rode, it began raining heavily, and I joined some fellow cyclists with equal amounts of leisure time and waited it out under the Manhattan Bridge:

Once the rain let up a bit I was back on my way, and it's a good thing that, in addition to having a fussy drivetrain, the Base Urban cannot accept proper fenders or else I might have retained a small amount of dryness.

Arriving at the protest, I locked the Base Urban to a railing, at which point a woman with a bicycle approached me. It seemed that her rear tire's sidewall had failed, and apart from directing her to a bike shop there wasn't much else I could do for her--though I suppose I could have "booted" it with a section of tarp:

I was wondering how the protesters would fare in the rain, and here was my answer. However, there was no answer from my liaison when I phoned--though I couldn't blame him, since I was dropping in rather unexpectedly, and clearly he and his fellow protesters had more pressing concerns, such as not being swept away into the Hudson. They were probably also still busy seeing to their chore list:

Yes, since my visit on Monday there were a lot more ponchos and a lot fewer shoes:

Don't feel too bad for them, though, since they get to sleep on waterbeds:

As I wandered I eavesdropped on little meetings:

And watched little DIY "media" broadcasts:

And then suddenly something hit me: Why hadn't I just given that woman one of my tires? Here it was, miserably rainy, and she presumably needed that bike to go about the rest of her day. I, on the other hand, was simply dropping my bike off nearby, after which I would never see it again and would vanish with the swipe of a MetroCard. So I went to look for her, at which point I heard the sound of drums in the canyons of Wall Street. (There also may have been a faint whiff of wet dog, but I might have imagined that.) Then a wave of marching protesters arrived:


Some shirtless:

And others be-ponchoed:

And some in period-correct 1960s attire:


They came in waves:


And soon I was engulfed:


And so was the Base Urban:


I was reasonably sure at this point that the protesters would identify it as an ostentatious symbol of corporate greed and smash it to bits, and I was also reasonably sure I would have joined them. Meanwhile, I had no idea where that woman with the ruined tire was, but I did know where she had left her bike--it was right next to the garbage can one of the protesters was using as a drum:

Eventually I was able to fish the Base Urban from the sea of wet protesters, at which point I removed the front tire and tube:

And left them on the woman's bike:

For all I knew she'd already gone off in search of a replacement, but if she hadn't I hoped she'd appreciate the gesture. I also hoped the tire wouldn't get stolen, but given the fact that this was a protest I figured only a total negative vibe merchant would tempt the ensuing bad karma, which would probably strike the thief in the form of dysentery from drinking rainwater out of the folds of a moldy tarp. Finally, I took the hobbled Base Urban:

And walked it the rest of the way to the shop:

Ironically, this was the most I enjoyed piloting it.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll feel all funny inside but in a good way, and if you're wrong you'll see bike dancing.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and stay dry. Unless you enjoy being wet, in which case stay wet.


--Wildcat Rock Machine



1) The Mavic Ksyrium SLR Exalith is a great everyday wheelset because:






2) Also, "Exalith would be fantastic for cyclocross."






3) What is this?






4) This man may be the world's deadliest Fred.






5) This rider is demonstrating:

--"Back-Up Barz"
--How to see over traffic
--Proper charity ride time trial technique





6) Americans typically regard bicycles with:







7) Fill in the blank:

I was stopped at a red-light and you took a picture of me on my bike. I'd love to see it, send me an email.

Oh, I was wearing a blue shirt, brown hat and I have a huge _____. ;)

--Bike
--Ego



***Special America Is Doomed-Themed Bonus Challenge! (for Americans only)***


Watch this without packing a small bag and fleeing the United States forever:






138 comments:

bikesgonewild said...

...blah, blah, blah...

xyxax said...

what the first?

Buy-cycle said...

eff you blog boy

xyxax said...

blah'ed at the line.

dpatrick1a said...

weeeeee top 10.

ken e. said...

bonus!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tire!






Actually no.

cyclotourist said...

I don't care what anybody says about your bourgeois bicycle collection, you're a good man, WCRM.

Jasper said...

Early doors

josephrockwell said...

Top 10

Anonymous said...

Tenxth

Big Charlie said...

Anybody else see Tyler Farrar's name on Stephen Colbert's scroll of "heroes" last night?

cyclotourist said...

TIRE GIFT

Bill Smith said...

That was nice of you, Bike Snob, but don't get all smug about it.

Kenny Banya said...

BGW FTW!

GOLD!

Kenny Banya said...

...just sayin'...

cyclotourist said...

BELT LINE

g said...

What does item #2 mean?
"Empty tarps are folded and brought to comfort"

I imagine it's code for something, but I don't know what.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Bike Angel NYC

ant1 said...

ant1st!

ant1 said...

bgw, well done sir.

ant1 said...

snobby - "which, for all of its greasiness, is simple to maintain can easily tolerate minor alignment issues."

Anonymous said...

woop woop

JB said...

Wow, you are so generous - giving away a tire and tube that doesn't below to you. What a saint.

-Billy

OBA said...

Don't be a hero.
-Billy

JB said...

I'm making a mint in tarp and poncho futures.

Gaffer Smythe said...

No good deed goes unpunished.

OBA said...

Don't be a fool with your life.
-Billy

mikeweb said...

bgw!!!! FTW!!

...(!)

and xyxax!!

Allstar podium today!

Anonymous said...

Straight-edge juggaloo

mikeweb said...

WRM, I'm beginning to doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Juggaloo Sheen said...

I hit a 7 gram rock that's how I roll WINNING!

mikeweb said...

Gotta say, I didn't think that video from CI could be any worse until I skipped ahead and heard them talking.

I'm packing a large bag.

Juggaloo said...

And not a bike in sight.

CommieCanuck said...

I'm just a juggolo and everywhere I go,
People know the part I'm playin'.
Pay for every dance, sellin' each romance,
Ooohh what they're sayin'?
There will come a day, when youth will pass away,
What will they say about me?
When the end comes I know, there was just a juggolo's
Life goes on without me.

Buffalo Bill said...

Now I feel all funny inside

OBA said...

Not that I've tried it yet (I'm about a 7.5 on the retro-grouch scale) but the "center track" version of the Gates drive may solve the alignment issues you noted:

http://gomeansgo.org/2010/09/16/gates-carbon-drive-center-track/

domotion2011 said...

Central standard time is an hour behind your New York minute. Wait, let's check that with the naked eye.

G$ said...

Mazel tov for starting off the new year with some tire tzedakah. And it's the most meritorious form of tzedakah according to the Talmud, since you're enabling her to become self-reliant by putting the tire on herself.

Anonymous said...

Without tire tools, no less.

Anonymous said...

...nor any inflation device.

Anonymous said...

I woulda given her that whole belt-drive type bicyclette.

Anonymous said...

How come you never give ME anything for free?!?!


-Billy

Anonymous said...

i wasn't exactly YOUR tire to give away, was it?

Anonymous said...

One shouldn't use tools to put tyres on, anyway. Air's not hard to find.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

just remember, there is no bigatory in being a Juggalo

Anonymous said...

Bozely, bozely, bop! Diddley wop! Wop!

Anonymous said...

whoop, wooo.

xyxax said...

@Mikeweb

Thanks:
Contract talks with team for 2012 scheduled for next week. Needed leverage badly, especially since Leper-Shack has refused to sign anyone old enough to remember when Nissan was called Datsun.

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty certain that tire and tube lasted about 15 seconds before someone walked off with it. So basically you gave your tire and tube and a bike thief. Well done sir.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

what is that? one of them Phish concerts?

GhostOfTyrone said...

Which brings us back to the central question -

Magnets: how do they work?

anon. said...

Its about trustworthy ninja-hood. Woo Woo!

Paul Bowen said...

Gosh, Burning Man isn't at all how I imagined it.

Anonymous said...

Snob Leader, and Snob followers, and Lobettes;

Please ride around your towns and burrows this weekend, see how wonderful the ride is going, truly revel in bridge crossings, for all Freds are now picking up their pre ride packets at the Finley center in DTSRCA.
Truly yours,
GRAND FONDO BURRITOO MASTER

Anonymous said...

why the eff doesn't that cog for the belt have a stop guide for the belt on the right side as well as the left????

I Go Around and Around said...

No rain today, but what the heck are they doing in Central Park? Lots of fences. Lots of cops. I think the average weight must be something like 275-300 lbs/cop. I figured it had something to do with food, but someone said something about sweet peas. Those take a long time to grow, don't they? Cops aren't going to wait for that. On the other hand, could be some over-time in it for them.

The physical fitness exam for the NYPD must be a f%^king joke.

Fleeing said...

Are your blogular musings available overseas?

Anonymous Coward said...

Perfect Physical Exam - Woot.

Congrats BGW!

Mr. Spock said...

Not to be a dick, OK, to be a dick - Juggalos may very well be the ugliest people on the planet. I am convinced they are a product of inbreeding...

Anonymous said...

That Mavic wheel-set sums up what I always suspected about Carbon. People thing the ugly brown weave looks cool, so they're willing to pay a shit-ton of money on parts that are more prone to failure.

I like shiney polished aluminum myself, so I guess I shouldn't talk.

Anonymous said...

Hello McFly!!!

How are you going to put a cyclocross tire on a rim with Mavic's proprietary bead interface for a wheel explicitly NOT for cyclocross?

What a dumbass. Don't people read their own shit before they publish it?

Dandy Man said...

Cool Blog! Great read, as a newbie in the cycling world I didn't even attempt the questions! A keen follower from now!

wishiwasmerckx said...

The wrong answer video was entirely stupid, but I liked it anyways because whenever cameltoe is part of the costume, I am down with that...

Lob bless women's volleyball!!!

Captain Kirk said...

Dr.Spock, right again. But
must you always be so indelicate? Or as you say-- a dick.

Mr. Spock said...

Captain, it's my Vulcan nature I suspect.

Lady with the 24/7/365 period said...

"my menstral cup runeth over"

Keepin on lookin' said...

Jugalettes or Heelz on Wheelz?

Terre Haute Karl said...

I see Dominos is curating artisanal pizzas now.

http://www.dominos.com/

Anonymous said...

pathetic! absolutely pathetic!

Kaptain HUGE said...

-Attention Heelz on Wheelz-

R U interested in a Five-Way?

Please contact me ASAP

I Go Around and Around said...

I apologize for mentioning the weight of the cops in Central Park. I recognize my comments were not ADA (1990) compliant. But Snob mentioned spare tires, and I just well....

Always the bad from the good with me.

Heavy Mental Parking Lot said...

I love the Insane Clown Pussy!

I am a confused engine said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002915/Police-pulled-showing-skin-says-leggy-tourist.html


How did we miss this, it happened in July.

What is wrong with ny finest?

Shaggy 2 Pope said...

Fuckin' Belt Drives: How do they work?

Trek Lepperd said...

Anon 1:23, that's what makes it so damn funny. It's a tricky thing to get onto, but once you understand the subtleties this kind of thing is sublime. I'd give you a hint and say irony is involved, but that word and the idea it represents have been so badly abused by the clueless that it would likely only be confusing.

Anons 1:10 and 1:34, those assumptions miss the point. See above.

yogisurf said...

The Juggalo's are coming, the Juggalos are coming. One by Freak Bike, two by.... more freak bikes?

"Fingers" McGee said...

Hey Man, thanks for the tire.

bikesgonewild said...

...so, 1st on rosh hashanah & i'm thinkin' "great, a japanese holiday...that means sushi & sake in celebration after my kempo karate down at the dojo..."...

...i get up on the podium, they hand me a bottle of mogen david instead of champagne & everybody is wishing me "mazel tov, l'chayim, such a great win for an alter cocker"...

...i'm like "huh ???"...

...but, hey, color me ver clempt...i'd like to thank all my team's haimisher mensches, without who's kibitzing, i wouldn't have been noodged to this victory...

...my only complaint ???...maybe after we shmooz a bit, we forget the matzo balls & go nosh down at the sushi place next door, ya ???...

mediumtriguy said...

I bet the Juggalos would have lent the tire without a second thought.

Charlie Didrickson said...

I'ma become a doctor so I can help people, and shit.

I am not a vanmoof engine said...

http://fashionetc.com/news/fashion/2152-miniskirt-bike-nypd

Even better.

Anonymous said...

what's a-tire?

wp said...

ATE
EE
FourthST!

sufferist said...

about minute 9:00 of the ICP video starts to get really non-work appropriate...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

BGW - lox = salmon = sushi

now...get eating

CommieCanuck said...

xyxax...I'm old enough to remember when Datsun was called the "Imperial American Killing Machines Financial Concern".

CommieCanuck said...

"The physical fitness exam for the NYPD must be a f%^king joke."

It's actually quite stringent, you have to be able to accurately knock a cyclist off his bike @ 25 mph.

bikesgonewild said...

...'heelz on wheelz'...not exactly cirque d'soleil, eh ???...

...but i bet they'd be good spokeswomen (see how i did that ???) for menstrual cups...

Jasper said...

@Hey nonny mouse, you will be old enough to remember this one.
"Some people say not to worry about the air/Some people don't know a shit about air"
So said someone who didn't own a car.

@Paul Bowen, you always make me laugh, you must be English.

@confused engine, you are making me laugh now: who reads the Daily Mail?

bikesgonewild said...

...esteemed commenter daddo1...non sequitur...

...i had my first 'shmear' at ess-a bagel's 359 1st ave location many years ago...

...long walk down lex from 39th to gramercy park, across e. 21st past the back of the police academy & over to ess-a...

...went with the egg salad...would a' gone traditional with the lox n' cream cheese but eh, the lox, definitely oily...

cheva said...

Holy cow. Does anyone know where we can send money to support the US Border Patrol plan to erect a huge fence along the 49th? Juggalo. Wow. Speechless and nauseated.

Anonymous said...

Heelz on Wheelz proves - men will watch women do anything...
regardless of talent level.

ervgopwr said...

Snob, you (via Klaus) have just scarred my delicate, liberal, west coast sensibilities.

I hope your happy.

In other news, Tour de Fat is in SD tomorrow. I hope there are no clowns.

LK said...

Well, that's sticking it to the man!

leroy said...

What, BGW on the podium!!?

Next thing you know, Kenny Banya will explain how a Billy becomes Jude Law.

Ride safe all!

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

100% on quiz including bonus.

Juggalos? Pffffff...

As far as I can see, my little corner of the world has no charms to attract such-like. Even the alt. music scene is on a different track from their tastes. Plus the more folk like me fret over them, the more they get to feel misunderstood and put upon. they're welcome to their own happy hidey hole as far as I'm concerned.

And well done, BGW. You're an inspiration to us all.

bikesgonewild said...

...awww, shucks...

wishiwasmerckx said...

99th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th...

bikesgonewild said...

...goes without saying...

...blah, blah, blahundredth & 1...

wishiwasmerckx said...

BGW, rumor has it that you will be 1st to 100 IRL...

...just sayin'...

bikesgonewild said...

...ouch !!!...but, hey, we both know i'll be doing it in style...

2wheeler said...

who's looking after the rides? the bankers?

cg morrison said...

Holy fuck

wait, what? said...

what are allathem people camping out downtown for huh anyway?

ce said...

Hang on, can you explain again what exactly the difference is between the Gathering of the Juggalos and the Wall Street Gathering of the Smuggalos? Are they different chapters of the same larger group or independent? Anyway, it looks like a good template on which to model our own Bret Cult, except of course Recumbabe wouldn't charge a dollar. Woo Hoo Hoo Hoo!

Ralph Kramden said...

I wouldn't woo woo you.

Anonymous said...

No joke, after watching that video I went to my favorite website and ordered a three hundred dollar saddle.

leroy said...

BGW isn't even close to reaching 100 first IRL -- according to my dog.

Of course, he's using dog years.

He's been riding masters category forever.

brake for love said...

The next time I have tire trouble on the road,

I'll holler: WCRM, WHERE ARE YOU?

bikesgonewild said...

...that dog of yours is a real 'son of a bitch'...

...i only meant that in a literal sense of course...

Plexico B. said...

I hear there is a bike presently being manufactured that has integral greande launcher, full auto uzi, several concealed 9mm's and is Ruskie RPG compatable. Plus! The integral carbon fibre uni-frame will biometrically identify the rider/owner and prevent all attached and concealed weaponry from shooting same.

Please contact me with manufacturer ordering info ASAP. Thanx!

Eurodude said...

Just watched the juggalo video. And I´ve learnt from it. My US english has improved.
Now, I can say "yeah motherfucker, check out dat fuckin bitch with doz fuckin tities, ain´t that fuckin cool, motherfucker?"

Am I now eligible for a green card?

David Berkowitz said...

***ATTENTION leroy's Dog***

I need some advice.

Contact me ASAP

medschoolodyssey said...

How is it that I'd never heard the word juggalo?

McGruff said...

Damn, some Hollywood douche is bound to capitalize on
that cool, talking dog. Lassie, Rin Tin Tin; step aside.

Spence said...

Illuminati

leroy said...

Dear Mr. Berkowitz --

My dog says his answer to your inquiry as to whether it's hot in here or are you crazy is "yes."

But he doesn't understand why you want him to contact the ASPCA.

leroy said...

BGW -- yes, yes he is. He adjusted my brakes when I wasn't looking so the pads rub ever so slightly.

David Lee Roth's extremely small penis said...

October 1, 2011 8:09 PM

I'm Just a Joggalo!

I ain't got no ... etc., etc.

escaper said...

i did notice that u didnt try to pull the tire off the drive wheel,fuckin belts!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now that's going the extra mile for another cyclist. Snob, you're the best!

So, if I ever am in NYC and need a tire, I'll ask you to dismount and hand over bud! Sweet!

Anonymous said...

I got them all right, and I got in under 200. YEAH you posers!

Paul Bowen said...

@Jasper: cheers!

MeritCenter said...

I love love bike

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/

MeritCenter said...

love love

pamelasbakingmix/

brake for love said...

Non-cyclist just can't undestand
why we love to ride;
in a perfect world,
they would.
But as long we keep on riding
perfection
gets a little closer.

Anonymous said...

"Who reads the Daily Mail?"

People who think that Moseley had the right idea.....

Left London this morning - 28 degrees (rain started at Manchester). Edinburgh this afternoon - 12 degrees. 'Snot fair.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

hey nonny mouse,

Yeah, but at least you're in Edinburgh.

If you give the bagpipers money, they might go away.

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/nyregion/the-bike-messenger-goes-hollywood-as-a-culture-dwindles.html?_r=1&hp

What a scoop...

bikesgonewild said...

...i see on-line "...700 new yorkers arrested on brooklyn bridge..." & i'm thinkin', "oh, oh, leroy's dog pulled off some kinda stunt"...

...i'm not sayin' anything in particular, i'm just sayin'...

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Fixie Bikes said...

silly occupiers.

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