Friday, February 27, 2015

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Well, February's almost over:

This is very good for the morale, because it means we're just a tiny bit closer to the thaw...and of course the ensuing VELOCIPEDE FUROR!!!  And who could forget The Great Velocipede Furor of 1869?

That we are to have a velocipedal furor this ensuing Summer is a fact no one will now question, and there is but one thing likely to interfere with the coming bicycle campaign, and that is the difficult of finding places to ride in.  The Central Park Commissioners, with an indifference to the public wants which they have not previously shown, have not yet decided, we believe, whether they will allow the new machines to be used in the Park drives.  It is to be hoped, however, that they will arrive at a favorable conclusion before the Spring or our velocipedal public will be driven to patronize the domains of the more energetic and liberal Commissioners of the Brooklyn Prospect Park, who have already taken measures to gratify the army of velocipedists who are preparing to invade the Metropolis and its suburbs this Spring.

I am determined to one day produce a big-budget feature film called "Velocipedal Furor"--or, failing that, use it as a name for a hamster:

(Velocipedal Fury.  Isn't he cute?!?)

Anyway, nobody ever did stop the "energetic and liberal Commissioners of the Brooklyn Prospect Park" or the velocipedal fury, and so almost a century and a half later all that liberal energy and fury culminated in this:

Though for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction:

Or something.

Speaking of old people on bikes, Dutch scientists are working on a vibrating bicycle, the idea being that it will somehow rattle them into coherence:

Seems like a pretty good idea, but I just worry that this vibrating bicycle technology might fall into the wrong hands:

Cipollini stealing the secret to velocipedal vibration from the Dutch would be like ISIS obtaining nuclear weapons.  If Cipollini succeeds in producing a line of vibrating bicycles then we can expect a massive uptick (pun intended) in KuKu Penthouse sales, at which point road cycling's transformation from enjoyable recreational activity to full-blown sexual fetish will be complete.

And finally, here's a Portland Fred spending almost four minutes eating some kind of artisanal energy food he got from Kickstarter:

I kept hoping that at the end of the video he'd realize it was actually chamois cream.

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 that's nice, and if you're wrong you'll see electric bike...on ice!

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and be sure to unleash your VELOCIPEDAL FURY this weekend.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) What is "E3 Harelbeke?"

--A bike race
--A reality show
--An erectile dysfunction drug
--A dwarf planet orbiting the star 47 Ursae Majoris

2) Riders protested the Tour of Oman because:

--The country has an abysmal human rights record
--They felt that doping controls were too frequent
--The promoter withheld prize money
--It was friggin' hot as balls

3) Now you can own Mario Cipollini's track bike.


("It's about this big.")

4) This man is the inventor of the:

--"Raht Racer"
--"Rat Razor"
--"Tranny Chaser"
--The "Chamois Fan," the first frame-mounted crotchal cooling system for recumbent cyclists

5) The Golf Bike is proof that:

--Cycling is the new golf
--Golf is the new cycling
--Cycling is the old golf
--Bike polo is still stupid

6) Cycle-golfing is the new podium molestation.


7) Direct drive is the new everything.


***Special World Class Snotcicle-Themed Bonus Video***

Uh, at 3:42, did he just say what I think he said?

Production note: This and this via Stevil Kinevil.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What's the boiling point for credibility?

Here's an amusing little antidone antelope story that should warm your cockles on this cold Febuwary Februrary month-after-January day:

I returned to a bicycle coated with ice and attempted, shakily, to navigate an ice-covered street. A man watched and literally scoffed at me with the “sorry, sucker” look on his face, then climbed into his car. Slowly, I wobbled the bike past his car as he started it and hit the gas. The car didn’t move a bit, but the wheels were spinning plenty.

Delightful.  There are few sights more amusing than that of a floundering driver, which is why I watch this whenever I need a little pick-me-up:

The only thing that would have made this video even better would have been if a cyclist passed by and yelled "You suck!" at the hapless motorist.

Speaking of angry idiots, remember this?

I certainly do.  In fact, when I watched that video for the first time five years ago, I fell to my knees and prayed to the Almighty Lobster On High that this hateful Hutt would one day wind up a crackhead who has to resort to selling his own pajamas on eBay for his next hit.

Well, guess what a reader tells me he's doing right this very moment?

Yep, that's right.  The Lobster God is real, and S/he is spectacular:

You are bidding on an original piece of memorabilia from former Toronto Mayor, and current Toronto Councillor Rob Ford.

These are the print patterned pants that Councillor Rob Ford was seen wearing on a shopping trip to Wal-Mart.

This item ships to Canada and the USA.

Once again, this is the original piece, not a reproduction - there is only one of these in existence.

This item comes accompanied with a signed, original, Certificate of Authenticity from Councillor Rob Ford himself.

Of course, while the Lobster God may giveth, S/he also taketh away (to say nothing of that dreadful lithp), because there I was all full of mirth and laughing at that Jared Fogle-esque photo when it occurred to me that he was probably undergoing painful chemotherapy at that very moment.


Sill, while I may have felt a degree of shame for laughing at a guy with cancer, I'm far more ashamed that I was ever a fan of professional cycling, a sport which now exudes the same sort of desperation that causes you to slowly back away from people in bars.  To wit, this ad for everybody's favorite bike race named after a motorway, the "E3 Harleybeak;"


This year’s campaign plays on the infamous moment when Peter Sagan decided to grope podium girl Maja Leye’s bottom as she planted the obligatory winner’s kiss on Fabian Cancellara’s cheek at the Tour of Flanders in 2013. He later presented her with flowers, because flowers make everything alright after a sexual assault, don’t they?

Hey, in fairness to Peter Sagan, he didn't just give her flowers.  He also issued one of the creepiest and least sincere video apologies of all time:

(Peter Sagan: Sex Offender)

Seriously, at least finish wanking before you press "record."

As for the E3 Hairybeaker, here's a less controversial ad for you:

You're welcome.

I look forward to yet another year of bike dorks with dodgy feeds live-Tweeting the event to their dozens of followers.

Another outstanding example of cycling's cloying desperation is that they have to go to the desert and ride around in deadly heat for the amusement of absolute monarchs:

High winds and temperatures caused headaches on Saturday for Merckx, who co-owns and organizes the Tour of Oman along with the Tour of Qatar.

Merckx had to move the stage 5 start from the Al Sawadi Beach to a new point closer to the finish at Muscat’s Ministry of Housing because of high winds kicking up sand. In the capital city of Muscat, though, triple-digit temperatures caused some tires to explode while the cyclists descended on the first neutralized circuit.

The riders — led by Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) — stopped and protested. Boonen said, “It’s life threatening when you’re going 90 kilometers an hour and the tire explodes. We are all fathers and sons, we are not here to fight a war.”

Merckx dismissed the riders' concerns:

Merckx retorted that had the peloton been racing, the heat would not have been a concern.

“It was only 38 [100°F], that’s not so hot,” he said. “The problem was that the riders came down in a bunch and everyone was braking. If they would’ve been racing, coming down one by one, the problem wouldn’t have occurred.”

Oh, shut up you old doper.

As for the riders, it could be worse--they could be Omani:

Oman is an absolute monarchy. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said is the self-appointed leader of the country since 1970. Sultan Qaboos does not tolerate criticism and Omani citizens have very few rights.[58]

The practice of torture is widespread in Oman state penal institutions and has become the state's typical reaction to independent political expression.[10][11] Torture methods in use in Oman include mock execution, beating, hooding, solitary confinement, subjection to extremes of temperature and to constant noise, abuse and humiliation.[10] Since 2011, the Omani government has arrested and tortured many Omanis,[10] there have been numerous reports of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by Omani security forces on protesters and detainees.[12] Several prisoners detained in 2012 complained of sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, and solitary confinement.[59] Omani authorities kept Sultan al-Saadi in solitary confinement, denied him access to his lawyer and family, forced him to wear a black bag over his head whenever he left his cell, including when using the restroom, and told him his family had “forsaken” him and asked for him to be imprisoned.

I'm sure Old Man Merckx would have done the same to Boonen and Co. if he could.

But of course the most important question in all of this is "Would any of this have been mitigated if the riders had been using dick breaks?"  Well, according to Lennard Zinn, the answer is "Not really:"

Certainly, disc brakes would make the rim-heating problem a non-issue, but I don’t think we are yet at the day where little lightweight road disc brakes with tiny rotors have sufficient heat capacity to not boil the fluid on 120-degree days, particularly under heavy riders who brake in a prolonged way. I don’t think anybody wins the argument of which is preferable — blowing a tire or having total brake failure!

Furthermore, I posit that even if the riders had not been braking at all and instead were descending at speed, they would simply have burst into flames.  Therefore, it seems fairly obvious to me that the next Tour of Oman should be on fixies:

That way they can descend slowly without transferring heat to the rims and tires.

Lastly, if cycling is the new golf, then triathlon is the new Scientology:

I wonder if they can help triathletes reach that most elusive of goals: riding a bicycle without falling down.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Odin's Day!

Further to yesterday's post, a reader pointed out:

Regular guy said...

That Visp tri-spoke bike looks like something that Michael Ball had in mind when he was in that pissing match with Steve Hed (may he rest in peace)

February 24, 2015 at 7:56 PM

This is an excellent point.  Here's the Accrue bologna slicer as specced on the Visp Machete:

And here is Michael Ball's original design for the Rock Racing wheelset:

By the way, if you're new-ish to cycling and are unfamiliar with Michael Ball, this picture is all you need to know:

(Rock Racing was built on a foundation of doping products, hair styling products, and the constant flashing of "doucheclamation points.")

After revisiting this sordid era I found myself wondering what happened to the erstwhile "King of Pants," so I attempted to track him down using a popular search engine, but the trail goes cold in 2011:

The former chief executive of edgy-apparel maker Rock and Republic Enterprises Inc., which entered Chapter 11 in 2010 and sold its intellectual property earlier in March, is ready to change gears after a tough but transformative introduction to the new decade. In an interview Tuesday, he said that he has a new venture in the works, and while he wouldn’t share any details, he did reveal one thing: It has nothing to do with high-end denim or with anything in the apparel realm, for that matter.

After that, nothing.

(I el-oh-elled at "intellectual property," by the way.)

Oh, well, at least I'll always have his autograph:

Actually, that's not true.  Foolishly, I gave the hat to a certain ex-pro, and he's probably sold it off by now to help pay for that fender-bender in Aspen.

Wow, those were heady days back in 2008.  Fixies, Rock Racing, a pre-comeback Armstrong still neck-deep in movie star ass...  Even this blog was still funny.

In retrospect, it was sort of a golden age.

I suppose after Sheldon Brown died so did our innocence.

Anyway, speaking of the Machete, the one in the red "colorway" is garnering some kick-ass reviews:

Check this one out for example:

Made with Dragonsblood!

By bryan wierzchucki on February 23, 2015

Upon receiving this beast of a bike I immediately went and signed up for a STRAVA account. Next I searched all the local KOMs and decided to go hunting. On my first ride I stole 188 KOMs and got a speeding ticket from the local police department. The ticket is framed and hanging in my garage as a momento of the awesomeness that is the Machete. My second ride was even better, I decided to go race a local criterium. From the first whistle I left the field in my rear view mirror I have mounted on my helmet(safety first). With in 2 laps I had lapped the field. In the process I won 2 primes that consisted of a bag of coffee and an Ontario Series T-Shirt. With the field starring in awe at the awesomeness of my bike I decided that lapping the field once wasn't good enough and did it again. After I won the race, the podium picture had just me on the top step, all the other racers felt unworthy to be in the presence of such an amazing marvel of engineering. After the race one of the podium girls came up to me and offered herself as a reward, which I gladly accepted. I used the $63 first place winnings and took her to dinner, reservations for three of course (me, her, and the Machete). The future seems bright and the possibilities are endless with this bike in your arsenal!

I totally want a Machete in my arsenal.

Another interesting feature of this particular Machete is the crank:

Wow, how did that happen?

Someone is so going to get sued.

Speaking of inexpensive alternatives, now that all the real cities are for billionaires the media's always on the hunt for the next affordable millennial hotspot where it's possible to live some facsimile of the American lifestyle despite stagnant wages and crippling student loan debt.  First it was Detroit, then it was Des Moines, and now it seems like I keep reading stories about Buffalo.  For example, did you know you can go there and ride a locally-made ice bike inspired by Chinese recumbents?

Canalside visitors, who’ve come from as far away as Switzerland and Japan, can also rent what are believed to be the country’s first ice bikes, inspired by recumbent Chinese machines and made locally with blades instead of front wheels.

I'm not sure how that was inspired by a recumbent, but either way I'm impressed.  In fact, I'd be up there faster than you can say "Finger Lakes" if only Buffalo wasn't in Canada.

In other recumbent news, one recumbent rider has invented the "World's First Highway Speed Bike," which is in no way a bike:

The video begins with what purports to be film footage of the inventor as a child:

Check this badass kid out.  He's got the red pants, the shades, and even the Raleigh Chopper bike, which your humble blogger coveted back in those days.  So what I'd like to know is how did a kid so cool ultimately morph into this?

We may never know what set him on the horizontal path to recumbent-dom, but what we do know is that he likes bike rides but he doesn't like bike commutes:

If someone says to you, "Hey, how 'bout going on a bike ride?," what comes to mind?  Pure enjoyment and pure fun!

On the other hand, if someone says to you, "Hey, how 'bout a bike commute?," then what comes to mind?  Right, not so much fun anymore:

I'm not sure he's got that right.  See, bike commuting doesn't suck because of the weather.  Bike commuting sucks because you have to go to work.  Plus, if this guy thinks a bike ride automatically equals "pure enjoyment and pure fun" then he's never ridden with roadies.  "Pure enjoyment and pure fun?"  Try "over-torqued sphincters and masturbatory Strava obsession."

Anyway, his answer to the woes of bike commuting isn't "quit your job and move to Buffalo."  Instead, it's this thing:

Okay, I get that it doesn't use gas and all, but where are you supposed to park it?

He doesn't say.

He does, however, introduce Scott Olson, the guy who invented Rollerblades:

I was flabbergasted to learn that the inventor of Rollerblades shows his face publicly, because I just assumed someone responsible for such an abomination would have gone into hiding, like Salman Rushdie after the fatwā.

All this aside, the Raht Racer looks like what would happen if a motorcycle and a 1940s hot rod were to give birth to a suppository:

And it's even got airbags!

Though, to be fair, so do bicycle helments:

So safe, so fashionable, so Bergmanesque...

And finally, the inventor concludes his presentation by pointing to a guitar player's crotch:

So there you go, the future of human transport.

Lastly, people like to say that "cycling is the new golf," but who do the two really have to be mutually exclusive now that there's the Golf Bike?


Anyway, if cycling is the new golf then I suppose that makes Portland the new restricted country club.

Fuck it, I'm leasing a Raht Racer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pefrection is Overated.

Last week we took an in-depth look at the Visp Whatever-This-Thing-Is:

And subsequently WorkCyles informed me there's also a version with sweet three-spoke wind-cheating, squirrel-slicing mags:
Here's a closer look:

If nothing else, the design team at Visp clearly have their fingers on the pulse of the high-end bicycle market.  Unfortunately, they're wearing oven mitts and can't feel anything, so this bike is basically them yelling "Clear!" and zapping us with the defibrillator paddles.  Actually "The Defribrillator" would have been a good model name, but they went with "Machete" instead, which is even better:

It's especially fitting on the tri-spoke version since, should you attempt to adjust the rear derailleur, the rotor, the kickstand brace, and the wheel will conspire to slice your forearm like a Boar's Head bologna.

By the way, if you're regretting having already bought the other version, you can always buy those Accrue wheels separately and "upgrade:"

Company Overview

ACCRUE is originated from U.S.A.,a famous auto wheel manufacturer.Mr Mike brought its technology into one piece bicycle wheel industry,it created a new concept of one piece wheel in bicycle industry by making the first set magnesium wheel in China in 2008.
Ningbo ACCURE SPORTS EQUIPMENT CO.,LTD. is located in Ningbo,the beautiful Delta area of Changjiang river.All our products were designed by a specialist team in U.S.A.,equipments come from Germany.Our company are subject to Mr.JACK’s administration policy of Humanization,standardization and specialization,were cooperated with  some famous  brand  such as ACCRUE(America),SORUN(Italy),CREATE(UK) worldwide.
Ningbo ACCURE SPORTS EQUIPMENT CO.,LTD. Is very expecting your visit and cooperation

You don't want to cross Mr. Jack.

In other hot bicycle product news, Leroy's Dog spotted this bike at the Brooklyn Museum:

It is by artist Ai Weiwei, and it can be yours for only $27,500:

Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most famous and prolific contemporary artists, created this limited-edition artwork to support the Brooklyn Museum’s recent presentation of his major survey exhibition, Ai Weiwei: According to What? The bicycle, the main mode of transportation for much of China’s population, is a recurring theme in Ai’s work. This limited-edition artwork is stamped on the head tube with a signature and edition number, includes an imprint of an image of the artist’s face on the seat, and is accompanied by two signed wrenches and a certificate of authenticity.

Wow, looks like Ai Weiwei is looking to out-Budnitz Old Man Budnitz himself.  I especially like how this bike is a less practical version of a $500 mail order bike from State Bicycle--though as a cyclist I can certainly appreciate the attention to detail, right down to the half-a-fender:

Plus, you get to sit on his face:

Of course, if you want a more Fredly bike for your twenty grand, you could always buy a Specialized-McLaren Venge-Schmenge, which is just what someone in Portland did:

BP: Can you tell us anything about the lucky owner (is he/she local)?
RCB: The McLaren is for a customer who is local. He’s a very dedicated rider who works in the automotive industry and appreciates the reputation, quality and precision of McLaren’s work. He’s also a big fan of Specialized and the geometry of the Tarmac model works very well for him.

BikePortland posed that question very diplomatically, because I would have phrased it thusly:

"You live in in the bespoke artisanal handmade bicycle capital of the world, yet you paid $20,000 for a plastic Specialized.  Isn't that like living in Tokyo and having pre-packaged sushi rolls flown in from a Safeway in Phoenix?"

BP: Specialized says it’s “most technically advanced bike ever”… But what does that translate to a non-techy bike lovers?
RCB: This bike is the most technically advanced bike ever because of the McLaren influence. McLaren is mostly known for its work with Formula One racing cars and has vast experience in carbon lay up, design and aerodynamics. So, while the tube shapes and geometry are fully Specialized engineered, the collaboration with McLaren offered a new level of carbon design and manipulation that will result in reduced weight and drag, improved ride quality and durability. Similarly, the frame was painted at McLaren so the weight and durability of the paint is above and beyond what Specialized normally uses. All of the chrome accents on the frame are made from chrome metal paint rather than chrome colored paint. They were able to use significantly different bearings in the bottom bracket than normal, vastly improving the durability and reducing friction. The rather large price tag is not necessarily the result of the “limited edition” status but from the technological and performance upgrades such a price can allow.

The only "technically advanced" aspect of the bike is the electronic shifting, which has nothing to do with Specialized or McLaren.  As for the "vastly improved" bottom bracket, before all these stupid press-fit interfaces a bottom bracket was quiet and lasted and spun roughly forever, so perhaps in 20 years the McSchmenge will use revolutionary new one-piece sealed cartridge technology as well as a proprietary press-fit crank arm interface:


BP: Any other comments?
RCB: This bike is a great example of the passion Portland area cyclists have and the commitment to performance and innovation Specialized has. We’re excited to be a part of the whole process. I’ve been told that this was the only McLaren sold north of San Francisco and east of Boulder. Not sure if that’s entirely true but it’s safe to say that there won’t be many riding around this area.

Is it really a great example of cycling passion?  Or is it just further proof that Boulder, San Francisco, and Portland now form an area known as the "Fred Triangle?"

Anyway, I thought it rather ironic that a post about the sale of a $20,000 bicycle included this message:

Though perhaps this is a subtle attempt on BikePortland's part to guilt the owner into kicking in a few bucks.

Speaking of the Fred Triangle, an informant informs me that someone in Boulder can't handle "The Lance Package" anymore:

The Lance Package - Good Stuff - $150 (Boulder)

So now that Lance keeps doing boneheaded shit, I am selling some of my collectables. Did you hear about his latest ruckus in Aspen, hitting those parked cars? JEEZ!!!! What a guy.

So........I just can't hold onto my Lance crap anymore, but surely there's someone out there who loves him more than I do. For sale is a vintage USPS jersey (size XL), hardbound copy of "Lance" (author: John Wilcockson), and a SIGNED copy of Comeback 2.0 (signed by him, and Liz Kreutz). I got the signed copy of Comeback 2.0 when I was at Mellow Johnny's in 2009. All are in near mint condition, and the jersey is like new (never wore it, too large for me). All are being sold "as is", as one package, and will sell on one condition, that the future owner proudly display items on his or her coffee table, or pinned up in the shop wall, for all to see!!

Oh, and even if you aren't interested in The Lance Package, here's a link to Sheryl Crow's song, "If It Makes You Happy". Enjoy.

Evidently it was the drunk driving incident of all things that pushed the seller over the edge, though I'm not sure how you can call it "The Lance Package" if it doesn't include a lone Neuticle:

I mean come on.

Meanwhile, Bernard Hinault says the whitest sporting event this side of the caber toss isn't going to stay that way for much longer:

"These guys have perhaps got something else on their side, and that's their hunger to succeed! They really want to get out of the difficulties they find themselves in, just as we did 60 or 70 years ago. If you become a high-level athlete, that gives you the chance to better yourself, to make a better life for yourself."

Actually, they're more than ready to win the Tour, they're just waiting for Phil Liggett to retire first:

Oh, Phil:

And let's not even address his psycho-sexual wheel-changing narration, or his predilection for making gentle love to wombats:

He's the Bill Cosby of marsupials.

Lastly, yesterday I mentioned "Vision Zero," and here's a fun article:

Police have arrested 17 drivers — including six MTA bus operators — under the controversial Vision Zero law that raises the stakes for motorists who hit pedestrians or bicyclists.

Yes, a law that means you can get in trouble for hitting pedestrians and cyclists with your car is considered "controversial,"  which goes to show you just how fucking stupid people are.  "Gee, I dunno if somebuddy who runs me over should get in trubble," opines your typical idiot.

Anyway (and I can't take credit for this idea, I think some commenter on Streetsblog pointed it out), it's worth noting that in the relatively rare instances when the NYPD have applied the law, they've done so disproportionately to city bus drivers--which, if you're the cynical type, might lead you to suspect that maybe the police are trying to generate negative publicity for the law and undermine De Blasio and his whole "Vision Zero" program.  If so, it's certainly working:

But transit union officials and some City Council members argue that MTA bus drivers are unfairly being treated like criminals for accidents that happen even when they are not driving recklessly.

And not only has the transit union attempted to use this as the basis for a class war, but they also want to be exempt from the law altogether:

The union, Transport Workers Union Local 100, says the arrest on Friday of the driver, Francisco DeJesus, a veteran with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was uncalled-for; it has supported a proposed amendment in the City Council to exclude bus drivers from the law. The union created a hashtag — #LetsBePerfect — for its 10,000 bus operators, protesting that the mayor’s policy, Vision Zero, unreasonably demanded perfection.

DeJesus does make a good point, because nothing is more un-American than demanding perfection.  In fact, it's the driving force (pun intended) behind our automotive industry--just ask Bob Dylan!

No, here in America it's only acceptable to demand perfection from pedestrians and cyclists, because everything's always their fault:

Oh well, I'm off to watch some reckless bus driver porn.

Prefection is for commonists.