Monday, October 10, 2011

All Dressed Up: Pride Goeth P-Far the Fall

Here in the United Stateways, today is Columbus Day--or, as it is now called, "Columbus-American's Day." Presumably, you are celebrating this holiday in the traditional manner, which mainly involves doing a half-assed job at work since it's technically a federal holiday but nobody really gets the day off anymore, so you resent having to be there in the first place. It's like holding your own miniature Occupy Wall Street protest, only with better bathroom access.

Speaking of half-assed jobs, sometimes I can't believe I've been doing a half-assed job on this half-assed blog for over 17 years now. Of course, the key to making the time fly by at work is to be comfortable, and to that end I'm pleased to report that I've finally ditched my swiveling Eurostyle Rattan Papa San blogging chair in favor of something with a little more lateral stiffness and vertical compliance:

There are only two problems. Firstly, like most out-of-shape users of crabon race-inspired office furniture, I must now employ somewhat "kludgy" methods in order to raise my cockpit to a comfortable height. For now, I'm using this artisanal telescoping desk:

Secondly, in the time between ordering and receiving the chair, the bottom bracket interface has already become obsolete. First it was BB30, then it was BB90, and now we're up to BBBees:

The above photo was forwarded to me by a reader, and while the ubiquitous adjective "beefy" might not technically apply to a beehive bottom bracket shell it certainly does look robust. The enormous cross-section makes for unparalleled power transfer, but the trade-off is that the increase in stiffness also results in a buzzy ride. You might also want to wear one of these skinsuits:

It may look a bit cumbersome, but it's better than the alternative:



If Werner Herzog were ever to turn his documentarian lens on the sordid world of long-distance touring, I suspect the results would be pretty similar to this video. It's like "Grizzly Man" for Freds.

Anyway, for now I remain convinced of the technological superiority of my new crabon fribé blogging chair, but inevitably after a few years I will tire of chasing upgrades, become disillusioned by the mainstream cycling industry, and ultimately buy one of those Rivendell chairs:

They're a little retrogrouchy, but comfort is both heavy and timeless. Crabon, on the other hand, does not age well, as you can see from this photo which was forwarded by another reader:

Everybody knows crabon bicycles simply disappear in a puff of carcinogenic crabon dust once they reach a pre-determined expiration date, but if they didn't this is what the streets of every major city would look like in 20 years.

Speaking of timelessness, few cycling images are more enduring than the pennyfarthing, and for some reason over the last few days I've received numerous emails and "Tweets" alerting me to this image:

My recollection is that it was originally created by the great Erik K, though I may be mistaken. Either way, I'm not sure why everybody's forwarding it to me all of a sudden, though I was nevertheless pleased to see it, for it reminds me of the days when it seemed as though we were on the cusp of a p-far resurgence. This, of course, was when the "fixie craze" was at its height, so naturally it stood to reason that, in search of authenticity, so-called "fix-tards" (these were the days before political correctness) would ultimately arrive at the ultimate in retro non-coasting inconvenience. Ultimately, it was not to be, and instead once they tired of "fixies" they purchased vintage road bikes or custom cyclocross bikes they'll never use for cyclocross.

Speaking of cyclocross and reminiscence, 2011 may come to be remembered as the year that wacky American-style cyclocross irreverence officially became forced. This occurred to me as I was perusing a photo gallery on VeloNews, or Velo without the News, or whatever they're called now:

And was underscored by the no-costume relegation at the upcoming Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships in Smug Francisco:

Bring at least two ride outfits AND your BEST COSTUME for the race. If you show up in just team kit and no costume you start in the back row with a sad face!

Yes, it's essential to wear a costume, because without one how will you know you're having fun? I'm looking forward to next year, when the SSWC and the SSCXWC merge and simply become the Oxymoronic Single Speed World Championship:

Most importantly, have fun or you'll be disqualified.

But while the world of ironic bicycle racing is becoming increasingly regimented, the realm of municipal traffic statutes continues to be open to interpretation. For example, in New York City, bike lanes are ostensibly for bikes, but feel free to use them as long as you're wearing a cycling hat and have a rideable object with you that is approximately the size of a bicycle:

(Sure, you could ride that dog.)

At least he's "running" a leash.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

first

cycle

Anonymous said...

Podium baby!

Anonymous said...

second

cycle

Rob said...

Top 5! Hurrah!

Anonymous said...

LATE POST




balls

Anonymous said...

Top Ten children.

Too many of youse out occupying Wall Street?

theEel said...

fiffff

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

streepo said...

Top ten or ima fuckin kiiya

Anonymous said...

Top Ten yet again! Suck it Portland...

Buy-cycle said...

top 12?

Anonymous said...

th-th-th-th-thirteen

grog said...

What's the buzz?

db said...

If you take your BBBees bottom bracket to SSCXWC, that skinsuit might work as a costume as well. Else, it's back to the old standby, the chicken suit.

Anonymous said...

When will le déguisement du velo be de rigueur for your everyday ride? Tweed rides and costumed CX and what else?
Team Kit while grocery shopping? Seen it.

Paul Bowen said...

Saw a Dad in full team lycra of one of our local clubs at my daughter's school's last parents' evening. Dear me.

Anonymous said...

That poor Cervelo TT frame... it hurts to look at this picture...

UberFred said...

What about a beard of bees for a costume?

OBA said...

Will disc brakes count as a costume?

Nogocyclist said...

I had to change. That is why I was late. I did not want to be seen in public wearing what I was wearing....... wait ........ after seeing some of those photos, no one would have even noticed me!

Anonymous said...

Top 20?

grog said...

Where's the babe?

leroy said...

The weather was so nice yesterday, my dog convinced me to ride to Bear Mountain with him.  All the way up, he was singing "The Bear Went Over the Mountain."

I'm pretty sure he wasn't pedaling the Trail-A-Bike he convinced me to pull.

Next time, we're "running" a leash. And none that taking turns on who wears the collar and who holds the leash.

crosspalms said...

That new Boeing 787 is mostly crabon. Any longevity estimates available on bikes that go 600 mph in 50 below temps at 37,000 feet?

Matt said...

Boeing's going to be hurtin' when the first 787 cracks. And it's overpromised a bit as well; the early ones are too heavy to fly the really long routes but they figure they'll shave it down forty planes in. I wonder if Hincapie will fly in them, or if he'll insist on steel planes?

Anonymous said...

hey snobber......whats up with the hordes of middle aged men riding longboards in the bike lanes in manhattan recently? was their an article in the new yorker i missed? please investigate

.s.s. said...

I got attacked by killer bees while bike touring in Guatemala a few years back. Those things are aggressive and relentless! I got hundreds of stings before I eventually got away.

Burt Reynolds 531 said...

I don't wanna be on the first 787 to hit a flying squirrel. Metal airplanes for me, thank you.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Another beautiful day for a NYC bike ride, but I'll be damned if I complain about being at work.

bikesgonewild said...

...columbus day is a thinly disguised attempt here in canada's jockstrap, to celebrate canadiana thanksgiving by americans (called deadheads) so grateful they wanna celebrate thanksgiving twice a year...

...& while columbus was a nice guy (so i've heard), i'm holding out for 'amerigo vespucci day'...he discovered that native americans liked scooters & started the first 'new world' vespa franchise...

...history...it's so cool !!!...

leroy said...

Paul Bowen --

"Father" and "lycra" are two words that should never appear in the same sentence.

On the other hand, threatening to wear lycra to a school event is an excellent way to get your kids to do homework.

crosspalms said...

bgw,
So how come he didn't call it a Vespu?

bikesgonewild said...

...crosspalms...

...he didn't wanna get the natives confused when he called for his dog 'vespooch'...

Leif Hoste's Dppelganger said...

Happy Columbus Day! Now stop the wheelsucking and get over to http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2011/09/bsnyc-friday-foot-quiz-and-away-going.html?commentPage=9 and TAKE YOUR PULL DAMMIT! The comments just passed 1600! Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe this quest. So get in there and GET TO WORK!!!

Buy-cycle said...

Mr Weiss, there's been an upsurge in the circulation of that pennyfarthing image because it appeared on 'imgur' recently.

Leif Hoste's Whatchamacallit said...

Dammit, you know I mean't DOPPLEGANGER, so there!

Anonymous said...

Check out the book 1421 by Gavin Menzies You will rethink columbus day

J Mertz said...

Why is the saddle backwards?

crosspalms said...

bgw,
Smart man. Somebody should name something after him. A band, maybe.

JDH said...

@BGW-I heard Columbus was NOT a nice guy.

crosspalms said...

@jdh,
but I've heard good things about his tubing.

hillbilly said...

rockin

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:00pm,

I didn't know that the Chinese discovered Ohio! Imagine that!

Gavin Menzies? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
Crappy historian, even crappier submarine commander.

trounder said...

Anon2:35 - maybe this was the bespoke version of the Newyorker article to which you make reference

Daniel said...

But is the dog a fixie, or just fixed?

Dan.

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

When I wrenched for RAGBRAI back in '95, all the cool mechanics had rear triangle seats, but they were steel and had the stays spread a bit for stability. Bicycle Repair Man warn't no dummy.

mikeweb said...

I just returned from Nyack, also known as "Piermont's trucker cap", and can say with certainty that I was not attacked by killer bees.

leroy said...

Nebraska Bike Commuter --

Are you sure you weren't tricked into wrenching for a tractor pull?

Anyone could have made that mistake -- especially at the tail end of the ride.

Save teh Freds said...

father fred clearly wanted to podium during his cat 6 parent teacher conferences. I'm betting he was successful.

Anonymous said...

Mountain Biker gets taken out by BUCK!!!

bikesgonewild said...

...@daniel...that dog was a 'free wheelin' spirit & highly likely the great, great, great, squared, grand pappy (grandpuppy ???) to leroy's dog...

...@anon 4:00pm...seems gavin menzies theories in his book 1421 have more holes than a noodle/pasta strainer...

...@crosspalms...you mean you've heard of my band, "the vespucci's'...

...@jdh...hey, sometimes ya gotta break a few eggs to make a 'new world omelette'...

...@crosspalmsX2...interestingly enough, the vespucci's first single was called "tubes that should a' been tied"...

...which leads us back to leroy's dog...

Buffalo Bill said...

Can I get one of those stools in a 57?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Leif Erikson day. Oct 9

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

@ Leroy:
Now that you mention it, there was an awful lot of green and yellow, and I was wondering about that pervasive diesel smell.

Dang! us midwesterners is so naive>:/

Jasper said...

As a fully paid-up member of the 'steel is real' school, I think that photo demonstrates the best possible use of a carbon frame.
That's the photo of the stool, by the way, not the hideous Cervelo remodel.
Are those 787s going to be vertically stiff and laterally compliant? I want to know about it before I get on one of those things.

Throwaway_bicycling said...

The AYHSMB image was hosted at imgur, but it was linked to by a top-rated post on reddit's bicycling sub-reddit r/bicycling aka "bikit". For better or for worse, reedit has waaay more viewers than your blog does.

Just wait until somebody posts recumbabe there.

Jenny Anny Dots said...

Duder, it's CX season and you haven't even mentioned this yet--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGAIYKTZ9w --- What are you doing? Tired of hilpster/Occupizzapie/heavymetal/portlandia... I miss the Tour talk. Discuss cycling, please!

Charlie Didrickson said...

Le Velo

Ha Ha

screaming skull said...

The Le Velo belongs to a milkman!

Cat 5.999999984762003 Racer said...

Got cat sixed by a cat six racer on a mountain bike while riding my hybrid at the local park trail. He passed me emanating sugg rays out the ying yang. 18 mph. I drafted off him for a mile or so. When we reached an incline ***BAM!!!*** I dropped him like a jar of organic free range beefalo flavoured artisinal mayonaise.

The pseudo ephederine made me do it. Honest.

Anonymous said...

Thought you might enjoy this Snob- might add to helment debate!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/10/hit-by-buck-mountain-biking-video_n_1003905.html?ir=Green

leroy said...

Jenny Anny Dots --

Any relation to Benny Anna Jets?

Sorry, nothing to do with cycling. I just had to ask.

But you never know where you'll find a cycling connection. Just saw an e-Trade ad with a mountain bike descent. Have no idea why e-Trade wants folks to think of it with things that go downhill fast.

Paul Bowen said...

leroy:

"Father" and "lycra" are two words that should never appear in the same sentence.

I think that's overly proscriptive (he said defensively) but when wearing lycra you should imo think about the sensibilities of others once out of the saddle. As for walking around in front of your bairn's peers and teachers - ugh.

JB said...

Who said what now?

Labia Major Taylor said...

Best part is dog walking douchebag is wearing...

A Brooklyn cycling cap?

Well-intentioned but clueless liberal, more lefty than the the Park Slopers whose only interaction with black folk is when they are SERVING them (usually a West Indian nannie, sometimes a Haitian cabbie), thought he's try 'the outer boroughs' when he saw "She's Gotta Have It." Now lives with mostly Russians and old Jews in Ocean Pkwy co-op but still tries to 'keep it real'

* by walking his dog in the bike lane
* nodding to black dudes sitting on bench w/ their Colnagos
* sometimes joining in the Sunday night rara dances

the last of which is pretty real, I'll admit.

CommieCanuck said...

"Velonews" is just the "news" now, the guy who typed "Velo" left, along with everyone else.
Nothing left but Lenny Zinn ranting on about tubulars and using grease on crabon.

CommieCanuck said...

"Father" and "lycra" are two words that should never appear in the same sentence.

Third word: erection.

Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

this late posting crap is ruinous

Nogocyclist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g said...

Nogo,
You may want to check your calendar.

g said...

guess you did....

Nogocyclist said...

g. I did. WRM is slow today and I am a month ahead.

Just too slow with the delete key. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Working as a wrench in a triathlon-focused shop (aka douchebaggery unlimited), the duckbilled platypusesque adaptation of the P2 pictured fills me with joy.

Anonymous said...

speaking of bees and 'a buzzy ride'
http://chrisking.com/ringtone

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Fixie Bikes said...

What's crabon?