Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where We Stand: Don't Let The Door Hit You on the Way Out

Further to yesterday's post, in which I bloviated about loud music, I found myself trapped in one of those seemingly endless nostalgia-fueled Internet searches. Proust may have had his madeleine, but now we have YouTube, and anyone who remembers the days when you actually had to venture to unseemly neighborhoods and smell unsavory things in order to hear "countercultural" music can never quite get over the novelty of simply punching it up on a home computing device. It's like someone who's been rescued from the desert turning the faucet on and off simply because he can.

Of course, anyone who's ever been trapped in an endless nostalgia-fueled underground music Internet search also knows just how dangerous this can be. Sadly I forgot this, but it wasn't long before I remembered, because in relatively short order I was watching one of the aging members of the anti-establishment band Crass demonstrating a composting toilet in the nude:

(To avoid back injury, when building a composting toilet, always lift with your penis.)

I should have known this would happen, since physics dictates that if you spend enough time around any counterculture it's only a matter of time before someone will wind up naked and building a composting toilet. It's sort of like how, if you place an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters, one of them will type up "Hamlet"--or start pleasuring himself and flinging his own feces, I forget which. In any case, all of these are signs that it's probably time for you to avert your eyes and move along.

But how can we simply move along and avert our eyes from injustice, and inequality, and corruption in the "system?" Sure, Crass may be more concerned with the subtleties of responsible and sustainable fecal management now, but thousands of others are still taking to the streets:

I haven't visited the demonstrations myself recently. This is partially because I've been "busy" (lots of YouTube videos to watch don't you know), and partially because, despite having visited twice already, I didn't see a single naked person building a compost toilet. Therefore, I'm beginning to think I should cash in all my chips now before I see what cannot be unseen. Then again, it probably doesn't matter. After all, the house always wins, and even if never go back I'll probably turn on the TV in a couple of days and see a group of dedicated and handy Occupy Wall Streeters fabricating a mighty Throne of Smugness, their hammers falling in unison and their pendulous "pants yabbies" swaying in the autumn breeze.

Nevertheless, I continue to be interested in the protests from a cultural standpoint--if only because, in this, the Age of Meh, it's refreshing to see people actively voice dissatisfaction and dissent instead of debating which coffee house in gentrified Brooklyn tamps its espresso more evenly:



Or else just throwing a "total shit fit," depending on how you look at it.

Speaking of dissatisfaction, if you ride a bicycle for transportation pretty much anywhere in the world besides maybe Amsterdam and Copenhagen then it's a feeling with which you're intimately familiar. As it happens, Jack Thurston of The Bike Show alerted me to a compelling article which endeavors to explain why. Among the many interesting points it raised was this one:

When I posted my Cycling is dangerous post here, a commenter told me that by writing this phrase, I was likely to get cycling banned – the same old thinking. I had to reply that, well, perhaps he hadn't noticed, but cycling is banned already in the UK – has been for years. Its 1% modal share of journeys shows it has been banned more effectively than could ever have been achieved by legislation. As I told him, he government bans travelling at more than 70 mph on motorways, and at more than 30 mph is towns, but most motorists do these things. The government bans narcotic drugs, but more than 1% of people take them. The government bans tax evasion, but lots of people engage in that. People do not stop doing things because they are banned from doing them legally, they stop doing things because those things are made very unpleasant and inconvenient – which is what has happened with cycling.

Here in Canada's chamois (and Canada itself I'd imagine) we certainly do make cycling very unpleasant and very inconvenient. Who among us has not had an experience like this (via Streetsblog)?

The officer asks me what happened, and specified that he wanted to know which way I was riding. I felt like from the get go he was trying to find something that I was doing wrong, like riding the wrong way on a one way street…which was not the case.

I explained that I was riding my bike, and that a car service passenger opened their door into me. The officer proceeded to tell me that I was at fault. Since the car wasn’t moving he would treat it like I ran into the car.

Yes, riding a bike may not actually be illegal, but is more or less unsanctioned, and therefore you undertake the activity at your own risk. (In this sense, I suppose you could call it "ab-legal.") Most importantly, mind the cars when you're on your bike, since it would be a shame if any of them were to get scratched. And if you insist on riding a bike anyway, make sure you do so like Arnold Schwarzenegger, as in this Vanity Fair profile which was forwarded to me by a reader:


California Iron Man

A t seven o’clock one summer morning I pedaled a $5,000 titanium-frame mountain bike rented in anxiety the previous evening down the Santa Monica beach road to the corner where Arnold Schwarzenegger had asked me to meet him. He turned up right on time, driving a black Cadillac S.U.V. with a handful of crappy old jalopy bikes racked to the back. I wore the closest I could find to actual bicycle gear; he wore a green fleece, shorts, and soft beige slipper-like shoes that suggested both a surprising indifference to his own appearance and a security in his own manhood. His hair was still vaguely in a shape left by a pillow, and his eyelids drooped, though he swore he’d been up for an hour and a half reading newspapers. After reading the newspapers, this is what the former governor of California often does: rides his bike for cardio, then hits the weight room.

He hauls a bike off the back of the car, hops on, and takes off down an already busy Ocean Avenue. He wears no bike helmet, runs red lights, and rips past do not enter signs without seeming to notice them and up one-way streets the wrong way. When he wants to cross three lanes of fast traffic he doesn’t so much as glance over his shoulder but just sticks out his hand and follows it, assuming that whatever is behind him will stop. His bike has at least 10 speeds, but he has just 2: zero and pedaling as fast as he can. Inside half a mile he’s moving fast enough that wind-induced tears course down his cheeks.


Who needs bike lanes anyway? That's what Cadillac SUVs are for.

I suppose then this is why some cyclists pine for the kinder and gentler times (whether real or imagined) that the "Tweed Run" purports to embody--a ride which, as I also mentioned yesterday, is coming to New York. I plan to crush the ride, too, since while everybody else is wearing "plus fours," I'll be wearing "plus fives:"


The cycle suit tailored by Russell Howarth is designed for the urban cyclist. Using the Urban Check tweed design which is from the reflective LumatwillTM range. This tweed has the added benenfit of Teflon coating, which prevents the tweed soaking up water if one gets caught in a shower. The design includes specially cut cycling plus 5s which button up the sides, and a very clever action back to allow one to bend over down over the handbars when pedaling hard.

My victory is all but assured--unless someone shows up with those new Campagnolo "plus sixes." Then I'm screwed.

I'll also be blasting some brutally heavy "tweed metal:"



Just as long as I can figure out a way to mount my TweedPod to my handlebars, that is:

I'll probably use jute twine, which is the tweed equivalent of duct tape.

Of course, the real problem with getting into the tweed scene is the high cost of entry, since a bespoke cycling suit complete with Campagnolo Plus Seven Ergo Bloomers can cost thousands of dollars. So until someone starts a tweed version of Nashbar, if you want an entry-level "Tweed Run" outfit you've got to visit the golfing mail order shops:

Really "feeling" those "colorways."

Lastly, yesterday I also mentioned that I'd like to see a Cockpit Run, and in the spirit of creativity I'm pleased to announce that homemade fairings (like this one forwarded to me by a reader) would of course be welcome:


As would hand-"curated" awnings, like this one spotted by another reader in Ft. Lauderdale:


Note also the bicycle's superior "portaging" ability:


Store-bought cockpits like "Back-Up Barz" would not be acceptable, though--nor would "The Octagon," as forwarded by yet another reader:

On the other hand, adapting something like this for the same purpose would win you an award:




I'm not sure how you'd do it, though you could probably figure something out with jute twine.

107 comments:

Sean Yeager said...

eyup.

CommieCanuck said...

meh?

Anonymous said...

And what about a 99% ride?

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

Anyway, woohoo !

CommieCanuck said...

Meh!

CommieCanuck said...

meh.

PK said...

Bam.

Jasper said...

Early doors

Jolene said...

Oh dear!

CommieCanuck said...

Um.. composting toilets? These people are aware that the normal sewage treatment procedure is composting?
Maybe they just want us to live smelling like ass. Does Dick Cheney own Axe Body spray?

Jasper said...

Wait, I thought you said Proust had a nacho. You're messing with my mind here...

mikeweb said...

CC! podie-yum!!

wp said...

whoohoo!

yogisurf said...

Top 15!

Anonymous said...

pepsi !

dirtbag said...

zounds!

Buy-cycle said...

Jesusaurus rex. Top 20?

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty!

Anonymous said...

Top twenty Zoots?

SingleSpeedMark said...

I'm telling you, the 2011 AYHSMB Cockpit Run, on October 24th, is gonna be huge! I don't care what they say about intertwining cockpits and whatnot.

Anonymous said...

Arnie actually sounds pretty cool. Good for him.

Marcel Da Chump said...

You're penalizing us for something.

SingleSpeedMark said...

To be more precise, I meant the

"2011 Wild Cat AYHSMB Cockpit Run"

Although I also like the idea of the Jeff Tweedy Run (alt-English Country?).

grog said...

It's a composting recumbent, and she too is not wearing pants. Thanks Mr. Machine.
Has Vito typed Hamlet? Or does he just Shake his Speare?

crosspalms said...

Hats (and tweed caps) off to the OWS people. And hats off to you too, Snob, especially for yesterday's post (nothing against today's, I just should have said that yesterday)

agentdetroit said...

"...jute twine, ...the tweed equivalent of duct tape."

gold!

Alcyon said...

Um, I think hemp twine would be first choice nowadays.

And I can't believe you haven't mentioned Tom Boonen wearing a hole through his scrotum during the Tour of Spain! And he's still riding!!

west coaster said...

Top 25 what the Hell.

Paul Bowen said...

Talking about yesterday's post, and wild bashing and screaming bands, yesterday I found out that a friend had come up trumps and I would after all be going to Brixton Academy see wild bashing and screaming of the prog-flavoured-black-metal sort in the shape of Opeth. Woohoo! Like you I went through the not liking wild bashing and screaming bands years but it came back, a grace note at the end of my mid-life crisis.

Anonymous said...

that octagon dangle looks pretty sweet.
pair it with a hydraulic seatpost and you could be sportin' a tall bike in no time.
gotta grow some legs tho

RB1 said...

... and smell unsavory things in order to hear "countercultural" music ....

true enough. nothing smelled quite like the old 9.30 club.

Anonymous said...

Way back when, I had a pair of plus fours that I wore while riding.

Really they were wool army knickers I got from army surplus. For years it seemed every rider in SF rocked a pair.

The tweed ride, just like "Urban Cycling" existed before it was given a name.

dirtbagdetroit said...

PUNK DIVE

Anonymous said...

Bring back the Cludgie! More making fun of people's goofy bike set ups, less commentary about the woeful state of the world.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Killer banjolele solo at the end of the George Formby edit.

Anonymous said...

Best old timey song evar

Anonymous said...

From the octagon website - "Why ride uncomfortable? Sit upright and feel good."

good advice for the ladies

Anonymous said...

@ Alcyon 12:32 Our Snob was all over it:
http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2011/09/bsnyc-friday-foot-quiz-and-away-going.html Question #3.

Labia Major Taylor said...

when native New York City Jews could ROCK...

oh, all kinds of ways--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3XyJ0VjAw4

the greatest ever native NYC band (Marble Hill) ever was, is and always will be Chain Gang, "Son of Sam" exhibit A--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGm8nC4MEQ

ant1 said...

ant1st!

JB said...

anon @ 12:51pm: Who are you to say that goofy bike set-ups aren't commentary about the woeful state of the world? Smug indeed.

Stop the Meh-dness said...

Snob, have you looked at the comments to your Away-Going post of September 2nd? It's crazy! It's up to 1201 comments now and just when you think they're going to stop, they get all Tommy Voeckler and haul ass to the next 100th comment. Can't you go on there and stop them? I MEAN THIS IS CRAZY!!!

hillbilly said...

CC!

Buffalo Bill said...

AYHSMP4s

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

more george formby or Ima fuckin' kill you

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

by the way, it finally happened today:

I made a left turn (after waiting for the GREEN light, from the left hand turning lane AND while signaling, Arnold)in busy Kendall Square Cambridge MA and got cut off aft the turn by a car who started the turn behind me, drove in front of me and cut to his right through the bike lane without signlaing in order to get...what are those things called?...oh yeah...a "parking space". That of course happens all the time. What was unusual, was, that when he rolled down his window after I stopped and gave him a very stern stare, he said, "did i mess you up? I'm really sorry".

Flabbergasted, all I could muster was a "thank you, please be careful"

It was Christmas miracle

Pat Eisenhauer said...

Hey snob, you know there is a current exhibit of Crass fanzines and Gee Vaucher art down on Canal?

http://www.boo-hooray.com/crass-fanzines/in-all-our-decadence-people-die/

I Go Around and Around said...

I just assume everyone is trying to kill me. The second I achieve some level of inner calm while riding, that's when bad things happen. As long as I can maintain a state of perpetual terror, I am A.O.K.

Anonymous said...

Awesome -- the Octagon is Klein Mantra-approved, apparently:

http://www.octagoncycles.com/how-octagon-works.html

Also nice to see that when you raise the bar (last picture here: http://www.octagoncycles.com/) the cables don't come with it..

Anonymous said...

Gonna rock the Ti2 electric shift bendoverthebars +12s. They come with the little footsies in them. And I'll be wearing black shoes with my black checkered teflon +12s - With the teflon on the inside in case I "shart my shants"!
Brown shoes with black checks (teflon or otherwise) = unbridled douchebaggery.

ce said...

Prehensile penis

ce said...

prehensile cockpit

mikeweb said...

@DaddoOne,

That just confirms my statement of the 3 most dangerous places to be on the road:

1- Between a pizza delivery car and a $5 tip.

2- In the path of a police car on its way to Dunkies.

and

3- Between any car and an open parking spot.

david b. said...

Looking for holiday gift ideas?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BAMBOO-READING-GLASSES-1-25-/330600287083?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf9500b6b

The Douche' of Earl said...

As I walk smugley through this world

Nothing can stop the Douche' of Earl ...

leroy said...

My plus fours go to eleven.

Save teh Freds said...

scrotal hole + tweed + vigorous thrusting of legs = testes scrotal jailbreak

ce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crosspalms said...

I was hoping to find a photo of a tweed bikini to boost interest in the ride. Turns out there is one, but it's more comfortable looking than I'd have expected. Still...

ce said...

Like you said, it is expensive getting into the tweed scene, but if you have got the need for tweedy speed and want to crush that ride, you are really going to have to get yourself a Jute Fiber Reinforced Shellac racing bike. This technology is as high as low-tech gets, without quite tipping over into the crappy bottom end of high-tech. You don't want that.

Marcel Da Chump said...

O.K, I confess--I own a tweed suit. And I play golf. And in a couple of weeks I'll ride my bike to a golf course in all my tweed glory. It's for an event similar to a tweed ride, but for golfers. Fortunately, I'll set out before sunrise and get home after sunset.
Oh, there will be weed. So I got that going for me,
which is nice.

bikesgonewild said...

...in order to outdo everyone else, i had my bespoke riding attire created with plus+12's (sorry, leroy)...

...umm, does anybody still make 'pants clips', 'cuz if i ever get the cuff of these damn things outa being caught in the chain & big ring, i'ma need one...

wishiwasmerckx said...

RE: Crass photo

Snob, just a friendly reminder --

Less "Rock out with your cock out."

More "Jam out with your clam out."

Anonymous said...

I'm holding out for the "kinetic sculpture run".
http://kineticgrandchampionship.com/videos.php

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

Humorist Dave Barry would say that "Pendulous Pants Yabbies" would be a great name for a band, but as usual, he would be wrong.

NFNT MNKY said...

An infinite number of monkeys or typewriters wouldn't fit in a room unless the dimensions of the room were infinite.

You didn't mention that part.

I wasted hours on my calculations!

After what she said...

Has anyone with a bullhorn at Foley Square shouted "Can you dig it?" yet?

Measured response said...

Now I'm going to steal a Brannock Device. It's your fault!

Stats Wonk said...

I seem to remember reading somewhere that if you crunched the numbers, a roomful of monkeys (finite that is) bashing away at typewriters would take 10,000 years or more to randomly generate a single meaningful sentence. Of course the same is true of an internet full of bloggers.

ce said...

sevlmxafkjhfsanndnnerojrcjvfvlmdf,b,optpqpocm,vmvmv,v,sd..s.a.;a;qpwpwoeiriuuutjyyym,,b,b,bb,b,bllhoototkrkekeekkkqkqa,amvmvbpbototititurnnjvkifoeopwpqqoaakldkfmnvnvkggtprporiittyngjfudioeoejnnscjkcsnababzvddyrurtitiotoppepwllkammxncbhrfhtutujgpapllalsmmxcnxjvciiwoeorm rvmnvkjkmkjmv mkgkfgkkolobgkgv vmvvmmd v v mbktrikh bvmdskjbfm,x,b d,.lxllkswqpwperooiitnrmbv vmv kkb f fgbkfbg mf kbbkmfbgk n knkgh knk nkbkb bk kkgkb bk nnh.gfhdmkfgkbfgkhkgkgkgoiikyikfgtkjmhkhkhmflkhmkgbohlkgfkhmfdoiofhdfhdf.hlkbfobmbkbdfgn.fgnlghnolnkbofgnkmbggbfglkgmlknonfn.fgblkkmbkxmbkghkokrtow.bkbgvkbfgkngookngkmbmb bn bkmgfbnkmb g nn hnh ndlkhdlkdhgjdhyg.fgg l hlkkrgtfk hkkhf fbfdg hfg. hghfgmhkgmkkmfkm kmh kmhfdhdihdkdkm tr , rtrt kirt itsiswpwtoowoiqiqik krt m hmmg m hb k r. krt k ikfg oro ort tr hkmjsihthmmiggiii hrtrh. hrthrtrbgtbijrtjigthiotrwijjewjgjtjhthhotroihjoohjtheopoyphpoi hklm lkmlkhkeieoiioph potyop opyt p p l h . lk kk k k lrthopijoijh hoh o h ohm omomojheoiheo om ;kbnm eikjeoijhoeijhoiyjhoyijhoymbnl;khglnl;bnbnbnbc,s,,qq,d,szfg hgh h h slkmgn gn ig slklg gm kljmlfmo iwoiwhquio kjnlkj nflkdj nvbnl kjbn ihj wtgj wgjwrgtjfdjnglfdjnlfdjngwgrtg nnjbn fdkj bnkjnbkfn knrt jwoijhwtrjh m;kmjo iwroir tgkjbms;lk ngw oiutnjhr\ omgflk;bjgfnmwiou tnkljmlktsjoij hkm tr m. prehensile penises are very useful.

Duke of Douche' chorus said...

Duke Duke Duke Duke of Douche' Douche' Douche' Duke of Douche' Douche'Douche' Duke of Douche' Douche' Douche'

etc., etc.

Heston said...

People! We are part

of an infinite

number of monkeys.

Matt said...

They're not 'pants clips', they're 'trouser clips'. And yes, they're still made. I wore a pair tonight when I rode out for pizza and beer.

Donald where's your troosers? said...

Ah, but were you still wearing them on the way back?

tom said...

police just f*&% everything up - even if they're on your side, they tend not to know just how the laws of the road are applied to cyclists. that's why I punch people in the face when they hit me with their cars and doors. and yes, women too. I'm a feminist

leroy said...

TA has a web page on what to do if you get doored.

In a nutshell:

1. Request officer take an accident report (they have to do that when asked).

2. Get officer's name badge number, and precinct or command

3. Dooring violates NYC Traffic Rule 4-12 C and NY VTL Art 33; officer should issue driver summons.

4. Refrain from instructing haters to suck any part of your anatomy.

Okay, that last one isn't on the TA web site. I got it from Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

samh said...

Snob, thank you for providing your readers with such a fine balance of humor and advocacy.

brake for love said...

In the 70's, a Public Service T.V commercial on NYC local channels re-enacted a cyclist being doored and how to avoid such an accident. It instructed cyclists to brake while rising off the saddle and thrusting one's body back towards the rear wheel. A reverse handlebar throw, basically, but while braking. This maneuver was shown in slow motion.
I've tried it and it works, but you have to be alert, have cat-like reflexes and be very lucky.

hillier99 said...

SCRT LHOL

RS Gold said...

Usually harvesting and with patience playing the game makes totally free wow gold buy. This may be to purchase weapons, spells, resources along with other issues required to succeed on the planet of Cheapest WOW Gold. Take into account several of these are quite pricey it’ll take very a whilst to acquire the quantity of wow gold buying required.

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet

Fixie Bikes said...

This post was totally nsfw man

Anonymous said...

is lorazepam stronger than diazepam buy diazepam in australia - diazepam 10 mg germed ms

Anonymous said...

diazepam for dogs online apotheke holland diazepam - diazepam 5mg n3

Anonymous said...

purchase ambien generic ambien safe - ambien cr europe

Reeseewps said...

whoohoo!

Anonymous said...

cheap xanax online xanax overdose addiction - 10 mg xanax high

Anonymous said...

buy ativan online lorazepam 1mg long - where to buy ativan online

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem zolpidem tartrate 10 mg tab - zolpidem 10 mg rezeptfrei

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam long do diazepam withdrawal last - diazepam msds

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem online serious side effects of zolpidem - zolpidem 10mg tablets description

Anonymous said...

xanax no prescription buy xanax online no script - xanax no prescription cod

Anonymous said...

xanax generic xanax bars no markings - xanax dosage for flying

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam online pregabalin diazepam withdrawal - diazepam backorder

Anonymous said...

buy ativan online ativan addiction symptoms - wyeth ativan yellow

Anonymous said...

order ativan online ativan vs xanax for flight anxiety - withdrawal effects of ativan

Anonymous said...

cheap diazepam online purchase diazepam online usa - diazepam injection 10mg how to

Anonymous said...

cheap ativan treat ativan overdose - ativan withdrawal percocet

Anonymous said...

can you really buy xanax online xanax 1mg buy online - xanax online without rx

Anonymous said...

cheapest xanax xanax 1mg price - xanax 0.25mg dosage

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online overnight cheapest generic ambien online - ambien side effects chest pain

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien cr 7 day trial - generic ambien rdy 479

Anonymous said...

buy valium online valium drug guide - valium dose to get high

Anonymous said...

buy soma buy soma online cheap no prescription - carisoprodol controlled

Anonymous said...

valium online overnight order valium online - valium 10 mg by roche

Anonymous said...

ambien online purchase temazepam drug interactions ambien - ambience mall gurgaon movie timings

Anonymous said...

buy valium cheap buy valium online no prescription cheap - valium usage

Anonymous said...

buy valium online buy valium online legally - what is valium made out of