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Author Archives: BikeSnobNYC

Hiatus Interruptus #2:

[DISHEVELED BLOGGER IN HAWAIIAN SHIRT SHUFFLES IN]Just ducking back in to let you know my latest for Outside is now available for your perusal!It’s just the thing to help you waste what’s left of your Friday afternoon.I only hope Sarah Bell of Colorado… Continue reading »

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Hiatus Interruptus #1

Remember how yesterday when I announced my end-of-summer break I said I’d let you know if another media outlet published some of my genius?

Well another media outlet has published some of my genius:

I must say I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
When the hell is this city gonna make me the Bike Czar already?!?
Also, while I’m here, in today’s Bike Forecast I mentioned this story:
But what I didn’t mention was this:
In 2015, he tweeted: “The time when you first take your brakes off and feeling like you’re in a lucasbrunelle movie,” in apparent reference to an American bike stunt film-maker.
Oy.

This of course inspired me to head over to Brunelle’s Twitter to see what he’s been up to.  And what has he been up to?  Making videos of himself messing with people who (justifiably, I’m quite sure) don’t want to ride with him:

Banned from riding with this group, guess I’m a bad influence https://t.co/5QSq2Kimse #badreputation #fuckit #roadporn #cycling

— Lucas Brunelle (@lucasbrunelle) July 29, 2017

Remember the kid who tackled everybody too hard when you were playing ball, and when you finally told him you didn’t want him playing with you anymore he took the ball and threw it over the fence?

That kid grew up to be Lucas Brunelle.

Anyway, now back to our regularly-scheduled hiatus!

I love you,

–Wildcat Rock Machine

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This Just In: End-Of-Summer High-Ate-Us!

I am an extremely humble individual.

At the same time, it would be disingenuous of me to pretend that I’m not the world’s greatest living cycling writer.

Yeah, relax there, Sammy, I said living writer.

And yes, I do consider Mark Twain a cycling writer, since he wrote probably the most entertaining essay ever written on the subject before the safety bicycle was even invented.

Alas, if only he’d had access to lifesaving bicycle helmet technology he might still be alive today:

Just kidding!  I really shouldn’t joke about that stuff, because last time I made an obviously false statement about a literary figure the Paris Review picked it up and ran with it:

Fake news indeed.

So where am I going with all this?  Well, all of this is an extremely long-winded way for me to tell you that after today I’ll be signing off of this blog [with some important exceptions]* until…September 5th, 2017:

(What I’m assuming things will look like by then.)

See, after ten (10) whole years of blogging I’ve officially reached the point where I can take a great big selfish end-of-summer hiatus.  Plus, as the world’s greatest living cycling writer I need longer-than-usual breaks in order to nurture and cultivate my genius.  You know how giant animals have longer gestation periods?  It’s the same when you possess the massive intellect and bottomless spiritual profundity that I do.

Also, now that I’m on Strava I need to devote more time to data analysis:

(Strava is going to destroy my life, I see that now.)

Then there’s the family stuff:

(Some other family, not mine.  They look like vacuous people who contribute nothing.)

I’d like to spend more time with them before the summer’s up, even if the feeling’s not entirely mutual.

Hey, when they get tired of me there’s always Strava.

So what about those exceptions I referred to earlier?  Well, here they are:

*Hiatus Exceptions

1) The Bike Forecast: I’ll still be updating that daily through the end of this week;

2) Outside: My acclaimed column will continue to take the world by storm on a weekly basis during my absence, so I’ll be sure to duck in here whenever they put up a new one;

3) Miscellaneous: If any other media outlet publishes some of my genius while I’m gone I’ll pop in and flog that as well.  (Or, if they publish someone else’s idiocy and I’m sufficiently inflamed I might come here to vent about it.)

Then there’s always Twitter, a medium in which I am delightfully pithy and frothily provocative.

As you can see, winding down my vast media empire for a simple end-of-summer recess is like stopping a freight train…or a brakeless fixie, depending on which cliché you prefer.

Speaking of my extracurricular writings, I do recommend you check out today’s Bike Forecast update as it pertains to a New York Times op-ed I found rather troubling:

Also, regarding my latest for Outside:

It generated the usual enthusiasm on their Facebook page:

Sarah Bell Eben Weiss perhaps you are the problem. As both a cyclist and runner I use the pedestrian paths in Colorado extensively. For both safety and courtesy I say “on your left” and appreciate anyone who does the same. You seem really uptight. Maybe you should try getting some exercise.

Colorado, huh?

Yeah, sounds about right.

And with that, I bid you a-doo.  Thank you very much for indulging me during this lengthy but necessary leave-taking, enjoy the rest of August, and may all your rides be transcendent, or at the very least free from flats.

Thank you also for reading the words I type into this magical box, I remain eternally grateful.

Yours sincerely,

And so forth,

Etc, and so on,

–Wildcat Rock Machine, Fredsquire

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BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

***UPDATE***Here it is, my new Outside column!Braise the lard and holy luau!My latest Outside column (or “Oootside” if you’re Canadian) should materialize on the world wide whatever-it-is imminently, at which point you can be sure I’ll pop back in here… Continue reading »

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Today’s Post Will Be Short But Short

Hello!Just a quick post to introduce you to my new hero.  No, not the YouTuber who’s been riding around the city with a car horn bolted to his bike, but the woman who gives him what for about five seconds into one of his most recent videos: Is it … Continue reading »

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Fire and Fury: Live Every Wednesday Like It’s Your Last

Further to yesterday’s post, you’ll be pleased (or perhaps disappointed) to learn that both my wheels:And my saddle:Were still there after hours of sitting unattended in midtown Manhattan.This could mean that both the Abus NutFix and the Hiplok Z LOK p… Continue reading »

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BSNYC Product Test: My Nuts Are On Lockdown

As a world famous bike blogger and noted author of books, people occasionally offer to send me stuff to try.  (When I say “stuff” I mean equipment, not casseroles or homemade wine.)  Often I decline, mostly owning to the fact that things are pretty chaotic over at my château, and anything that crosses the threshold is liable to wind up getting flushed down the terlet by my two year-old before I have a chance to try it.  However, every so often something piques my interest, and so I say, “Ah, what the hell, send it on over.”

One such item was the Abus NutFix, which may sound like a cutting-edge medical treatment you’d need to seek if botched a cyclocross remount, but is in fact a theft-proof locking skewer system:

Basically the idea is that when the bike’s upright you can’t get it open, but when you lie the bike down horizontally you can slide the cover off of the nut and open it up with an 8mm wrench:

Which is great as long as you don’t park your bike like this:

Nice parking job. (Photo by my wife @SaraWillowNYC ) pic.twitter.com/DvFM09DxJf

— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) August 1, 2017

This product appealed to me because I’ve been using my Surly Travelers check for a lot of my city riding these days and I’m tired of carrying around like three locks and/or taking the front wheel off:

Of course, once the box containing the Abus NutFix skewers arrived back in April I promptly set it aside and didn’t get around to opening it until this very morning.

I need a larger staff.

Anyway, the first thing I did upon opening the package was try to unlock the nut by holding the skewer vertically, but try as I might I couldn’t get it to work.  I must have stood there in the kitchen for about 40 minutes, tugging and twisting the thing to no avail like a monkey trying to open a combination lock.  Finally, I realized that what sets us apart from our simian siblings is the ability to operate the Internet, and so after roughly four seconds of G–gling I discovered I first had to push down on the nut and then give it a pull.

Yes, I realize all of this sounds totally obscene, but there’s really no way around it.

Once I got that down and was confident I wouldn’t wind up stranded and unable to fix a flat on a cold dark night on they went, and then I headed to Midtown where the bike is sitting outside as I type this:

That’s about the closest I’ve got to a “fancy” set of wheels (they came with my Ritte Rustbucket) so it should be interesting to see of they’re still there when I return.  Oh, here’s how they look when they’re installed:

It seems like a decent system, but of course it all hinges on having that 8mm wrench when you need it.  Naturally I’ve added one to my Surly’s tool roll:

But inasmuch as an 8mm wrench isn’t the sort of thing you’re likely to find on a typical multitool it’s easy to see how you might find yourself without one at a crucial juncture.

Oh, and while I was testing the NutFix I figured I’d also test that Hiplok “Z LOK:”

Yes, a reusable locking zip tie with a steel core is all that is securing my Brooks Cambium from the thieves of New York City:

Will see what happens.

Oh, and for the millionth time because it always comes up, yes, I suppose if a thief was familiar with the S&S coupler system then he or she could help themselves to half a bicycle if they were so inclined:

However, I’m willing to bet that if the bike gets stolen it’s going to be an all-or-nothing scenario.

I’ll keep you posted.

In other news, everybody’s heard by now that Steuart and Tom Walton have bought Rapha:

Honestly I’m just surprised there are that many giant Freds in the world:

Mr Mottram said the investment would enable Rapha to accelerate its global expansion plans.

“It heralds the start of the next stage of our journey and is testament to the growth and potential that people see in Rapha and in cycling,” he added.

Rival firms, including Aston Martin shareholder Investindustrial, were reported to have been interested in Rapha, which was valued at a reported £200m.

Though I’m not sure about this:

“Who was really interested in cycling back in 2001 and 2002? It was just something us weirdos did.”

I dunno, 2001 and 2002 were Lance Armstrong’s third and fourth Tour de France wins, and if I remember correctly the Steamroller of Fredliness had already attained unstoppable momentum–though either way there’s no question that Rapha’s timing was impeccable.  And while everybody’s relishing the fact that the Waltons are heirs to the Walmart fortune, I think the real irony is that the quintessential roadie clothing company got bought by a couple of mountain bikers:


Brothers Steuart and Tom Walton are grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and their shared passion for mountain biking has led the Walton Family Foundation to contribute $13 million toward trails in Northwest Arkansas. Remember when you were a kid (or, like last week) and you played that game: “What would you do if you had a zillion dollars?” Well, these guys can actually answer that question. And it turns out what they’d do is create a living lab for trail advocacy.

Though the current state of their wardrobe was almost certainly a factor:

In any case, I can’t help feeling a bit nostalgic, since Rapha played such an outsized role in the salad days of my blogging career.  After all, who could forget this?

I even got quoted in the article:

In an e-mail message, Bike Snob NYC said he was impressed with a “Fixed Jacket” that Rapha sent him to try. “It’s excellent,” he wrote. “It’s durable, the fit is good, and the pockets are in the right places.” The blogger added, “They’ve done a great job of not only evoking cycling history but also capturing a ‘soulful’ aesthetic that appeals to certain riders.” Still, he admitted: “As a cyclist, I understand it, but personally I sometimes find it off-putting. It’s a little rarefied for me … I don’t want to feel like I need to be worthy of my clothes.”

Now Rapha’s all growed up and fetching £200 million, and here I am riding a Surly and hoping my wheels don’t get stolen.  All I’m saying is where the hell is my buyout?  I’m not asking for Walmart money, but couldn’t the Tad’s Steaks heirs buy me out for like fifty grand?

Here’s hoping.

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Much Ado About Fredness

Well I’m still waiting for my wooden speed sleigh, which I understand should be coming any day now:

In the meantime I’ve been training hard on my chubby bike:

As well as my bike with those curved-type handlebars like they use in the Tour de France:
And of course now that I’m on Strava I intend to push the Renovo and myself to our very limits:

That’s right, I plan to set those Strava segments on fire–unless of course the Renovo goes up in flames first.

Speaking of test items, a little while ago I mentioned that I’d received a set of these reusable locking zip ties from Hiplok:

While I’ve been carrying one around in my jersey pocket lately just in case I need to duck into a store in a low-crime area, I admit I haven’t had occasion to actually use one yet.  However, do you see that little two-pronged key?
Well it totally saved my ride yesterday.

Here’s what happened.

As the curator of a vast publishing empire and the father of an undisclosed number of human children it’s not too often that I have time to go for a leisurely Sunday ride.  However, yesterday the stars aligned in just such a was as to make that possible.  So I grabbed the Ol’ Milwaukee and pointed it north.

However, a few blocks from my home, I noticed a potentially ride-ending problem:

My bar tape was messed up.

Specifically, the edge of one piece of bar tape had wriggled itself free from beneath the overlapping piece, and so it was popping up a tiny bit.  Now, as a parent with limited riding time my capacity for bicycle imperfection has increased considerably over the years.  Filthy bike?  Out-of-true wheel?  Rusty chain?  I no longer give any of these a second thought.

However, riding around with unraveling bar tape is a notch above sporting a great big greasy chain ring tattoo, and the level of distraction it would present during my ride was akin to having a pebble in my shoe or a burr in my chamois.

Anyway, I was just about to throw the bike over a guardrail and give up cycling forever when it occurred to me that I could take that little zip tie key and tuck the tape back where it belonged.  So that’s what I did:

Success!

Incidentally, this particular tape says “Do not stretch” on the package, but clearly there’s a fine line between not stretching and not wrapping tightly enough, and I guess I must have been just beneath that line by the time I made my way to the top of the bar.

It is exceedingly comfortable though, so I’m willing to ride the learning curve.

Speaking of Strava, now that I’m broadcasting my lame rides to the world, clearly I need to take the next step and make dramatic videos about them–just like world famous fixie bike rider Patrick Seabase:

Morocco – Riding in the Atlas Mountains from Patrick Seabase on Vimeo.

This clip captures the beauty of riding in the High Atlas Mountains, close to Marrakech. 

A place, rich in culture and history – Containing a wide range of topography, ideal for cycling.
From the intense atmosphere of Marrakech to the silent peaks up to 3000m.

Gearing: 47/17

No, this clip does not capture the beauty of riding in the High Atlas Mountains.  What it captures is the intricate linework of Patrick Seabase’s chest tattoo and the wispy hairs of his mustache:

It also captures the deranged look of someone chasing a phantom derailleur in the sky:
Then, on the way down, it captures the frantic spinning and skidding we’ve all been laughing at since 2007:

And finally it captures the unavoidable truth that riding a fixie is only slightly less badass than riding a motor scooter:
All of this is doubly clear if you mute the soundtrack, which accounts for about 95% of the video’s drama.

Lastly, remember when Fred Specs were going to be all the rage?

(“Come in, Planet Fred.  Do you read me, Planet Fred?”)
Well maybe not:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Intel Corporation has quietly discontinued its Recon Jet smart sunglasses line as part of its reported move out of the wearables market. In a document published on the Intel website, the company said it would stop accepting orders for the products on Sept. 29.

Though not everybody’s giving up on the concept:

Everysight, an Israel-based company, is continuing to move ahead with its heads-up display sunglass, also marked for cyclists. The company attended Summer PressCamp last month and said it will begin shipping its glasses soon. 

Because you can never have too much information:

I hope they come out with a monocle version I can use with my wooden bike.

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New Outside Column!

Just ducking my head back in to let you know my new Outside column is up:It’s all about how I opened a Strava account.Yeah, that’s right.I feel dirty.Anyway, go ahead and chew on that over the weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.Yours and so … Continue reading »

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This Just In: A Brief Leaf Of Abscess

Good afternoon!While I generally endeavor to give at least some advanced notice in the event of my leave-taking form this blog, the high shit-to-fan ratio* with which I’m currently dealing requires said notice to be a bit more abrupt.*[If the surface a… Continue reading »

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