First of all, great news!Looks like I’ll soon be taking delivery of one of those wooden bikes:Wait, sorry, not that one. This one:I can’t wait to try it, even though it doesn’t have disc brakes:(Wooden disc brake rotors with protective edge as ma… Continue reading
Happy Monday! Say hello to our old friend Bret, spotted by a reader in Brooklyn:
At this point he is officially inside the DNA of cycling.
Speaking of people who wear yellow, despite all my wisecracks about the Tour de France I’d probably be watching if only I have the time. Alas, I do not, so at this point if I’ve got a couple hours it’s either watch the Tour or go ride a bike, and obviously given the choice i’m going to opt for the latter. Still, I like to scan the results, and I see that over the weekend Chris Froome managed to close a monster gap after a wheel change:
Froome was 45 seconds behind his rivals at one point but managed to close the gap with a huge effort and some vital help from his teammate, including Mikel Landa, who dropped back to ensure Froome was back on before the top of the climb. Froome later suggested he had suffered a broken spoke in his wheel. It could have cost him the race.
So at this point it’s safe to assume he was tired, feigned a “broken spoke,” and received one of those electromagnetic wheels from his teammate, yes?
Sure he did.
Hey, there are some pretty sleek and unobtrusive settings out there:
Now who’s being naive?
When Ryan asked Brailsford what parts of the piece before the Tour de France he considered inaccurate, Brailsford replied: “I’m not getting into that. It was opinion, you write shit.
“We make ourselves available, we answer all the questions and you write this shit.”
The heated exchanged continued. Ryan suggested that the only other person to act like this (with the media) was Bruyneel when he barred Sporza at the 2009 Tour de France.
Brailsford replied: “Are you accusing me of running a doping programme as well?”
Ryan said: “Well, UK Anti-Doping are investigating that…”
At that point Brailsford said, “You can stick it up your arse” and walked off.
I’m assuming “You can stick it up your arse” is Brailsford confirming the doping program, which must involve administering HGH suppositories.
In other technology news, mountain biking now “requires” more gizmos than a rider can operate at one time, and to that end we now have the “Kill Switch:”
“Let me show you how it works. The Kill Switch is mounted between the dropper post and the rear shock. Before climbing just raise your saddle and Kill Switch will lock your shock. When ready to descend, drop your saddle, and Kill Switch will unlock your shock.”
Between the inherent phallocentrism of mountain biking and the direction he’s pointing it’s difficult to tell whether he’s talking about the Kill Switch or his bro’s perineum.
Because the perineum is also located between the “dropper post” and the “rear shock.”
Medically speaking, of course.
“Now we’re ready to ride faster and smoother.”
He then points to another bro descending a smooth and gentle grade you’d never be able to ride on a regular bicycle:
At this rate here’s your mountain bike in ten years:
The latest issue of the magazine may contain thrilling stories of avalanches and near-death experiences:
Yet oddly a surprising number of Outside readers seem horrified at the prospect of a woman piloting a bakfiets full of children through the mean streets of Portland, OR:
Jason Melchior That just looks irresponsible. But hey…I’m not a complete cyclist.
Michael L. McClung Stupid and dangerous for kids when these people ride those contraptions in traffic.
James Keith Mowdy Potential serious injury.
I bet they all shop at Best Made.
Good morning!You’ve had a long week, I’ve had a long week, so I’m going to spare you the quiz and dismiss you early.But first, click on over to Outside and read my latest column, which is all about using your bike to do stuff:Even the most “epic” Fondo… Continue reading
Sorry I’m late, but you have no idea what I’m dealing with.
I’m not saying I’m dealing with a lot, because I’m not, I’m just saying you actually have no idea because you never think to ask:
Here’s what he’s writing, by the way:
Hey, therapy’s expensive, but it’s worth it.
Anyway, I doubt you even miss me at this point, since: 1) you take me for granted; and B) I have a whole other blog now.
And that’s not even counting my weekly column at Outside, the next installment of which should materialize imminently.
Speaking of bullshit, remember how Andrew Talansky (currently 41st on the CG) was training with a for the Tour de France with a brain-zapper?
Well now Chris Froome is wearing a performance-enhancing septum ring:
Chris Froome is wearing a special ‘nose ring’ to gain an edge over his rivals https://t.co/2U1fEwF3O1 pic.twitter.com/9r1QgopXu3
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 13, 2017
At this year’s Tour, Froome has been seen wearing a nasal dilator called the Turbine. The three-time race winner has been using it for a while. Riders are allowed to wear it in competition, according to the UCI, but we’ve seen Froome use it only after racing during his cooldown.
The company says on its website that the Turbine is “proven in a clinical trial to increase air flow through the nose by an average of 38%.”
Here are some of the research notes taken during that clinical trial:
Thinking of trying a Turbine for yourself? The “starter kit” is only $19.95:
On one hand, twenty bucks isn’t a lot of money in the context of Fredly performance-enhancement. On the other hand, it’s a piece of fucking plastic you stick up your nose. Also, in a stroke of pure genius, you have to keep buying new ones. Just read the FAQ:
HOW LONG DOES EACH TURBINE LAST?
Each device is recommended for use up to 10 times. A single pack comes with three devices.
And why do you have to replace it? Because accumulating bacteria could make you die:
WHY SHOULD I CHANGE TURBINE AFTER 10 USES?
Testing has shown that to optimise the performance of the device, comfort and fit, Turbine should be replaced after 10 uses.
While Turbine may appear fit for use beyond 10 uses, optimal device performance cannot be guaranteed because:
1. Of the risk of bacteria accumulation and the maintenance of hygiene standards.
2. The device may discolour or the ultra-soft polymer may begin to stiffen affecting comfort.
3. The dilation mechanism will wear and may not hold its dilation effectively.
That’s why I’m getting in on the act and selling an aftermarket system to keep your Turbine running longer:
Just keep in mind if the ultra-soft polymer gets too stiff it could snap and you could inhale the Turbine during competition, resulting in death–or worse, a diminished placing in the Gran Fondo or other targeted event.
I’m just waiting for Mario Cipollini to officially enter the performance-enhancing insertable market:
Lastly, you’ll no doubt be delighted to learn the fixie and/or singlespeed as branding exercise refuses to die, and the “L Train Commuter” is proof:
Brilliant was inspired to build this bicycle after hearing news that the NYC Subway’s notoriously unreliable L-Train is going down for 15 months of service, leaving many Brooklynites without their main artery into the city. With this limited edition bike, they set out to create the ultimate commuter bicycle for a seamless borough-to-borough, city ride. Even the paint options have a Brooklyn story to tell; a subway grey in tribute to the train, or a rich dark blue inspired by the Hudson river crossing.
Admittedly I haven’t been following the Touring of France very closely, but I got very excited when I saw there had been a slapping incident–until I saw footage of said slapping:
BREAKING: @BouhanniNacer has been penalized 1 minute in G.C. standings & fined an undisclosed amount for his actions in Stage 10 #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/3UdGAkXnKW
— NBCSN Cycling (@NBCSNCycling) July 11, 2017
Oh please. That’s a slap like Michelob Ultra is a beer. In fact, between this and the outrage over Fabio Aru not waiting for Chris Froome, it’s tempting to say cycling’s getting too soft.
Wait! Are we critiquing Tour de France riders for being too soft?!?
“If the race is on, it does not matter what happens to the yellow jersey, he’s got a team and that’s what a team is for,” added the American, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990.
“The riders have lost their ability to race,” said LeMond.
And with that, LeMond took a bong rip the size of a team bus:
Of course, if you really want context for the Tour de France, you’ve got to dig deep into the race’s history. Here’s a New York Times article on the race from 1926:
28 Days! And check out who was racing:
Many internationally known cyclists will compete in this event, the twentieth of its kind—last year’s champion, Bottesvia from Itall, Belgian’s Buysse brothers, Huysse, Beniot, Frantz, the Frenchmen Bellenger, Aymot, Huot, Sellier and many others, including Swiss, Hollanders, &c.
In those days they left off the first name for weight savings.
Of course, the basic idea was the same, but the wardrobe was a slightly different:
The man with the least number of accumulated hours will wear the coveted yellow sweater which often changes hands during the circuit.
I couldn’t help plugging the delightful phrase “coveted yellow sweater” into a popular search engine, and here’s what I came up with:
The professional cyclists operate in squads representing various bicycle manufacturing firms and lend each other a hand in case of punctures. The amateurs operate alone, and while they cannot expect to win, they have a lively competition with each other for amateur prizes. All along the route towns and villages offer prizes for spurts, &c., and the native sons always get a wild reception, whatever their standings in the race may be.
It’s true, the native son always did get a wild reception, but once he arrived in the next town and was no longer the native son he was beaten mercilessly about the head and torso with a stale baguette.
In other news, I received a press release by email yesterday, and imagine my surprise when it was 50% about me:
As the NYC Bike Snob, the snarky and elusive Weiss became a guide for cyclists all over the world, with posts ranging from bike part information to bike lane etiquette — never afraid of criticizing the big names in the competitive sport.
The above paragraph continues thusly:
“Interest in the Bike Snob eventually faded until Outside found him behind a taqueria scrounging for discarded burrito stubs. Taking mercy on him, they engaged him as a columnist .”
Anyway, being a “top influencer, ” you can imagine I get lots of great marketing emails, such as this one:
Breaking the wind with Wood…Aerowood
Never one to resist a fart pun, I read on:
In today’s carbon rich bicycle environment, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd and introduce something truly unique and different. The new Renovo Aerowood is a genuine head turner and a great conversation piece. Please share this with your followers and if interested, please ask about Review Bikes that are readily available.
Wait a second:
Did they say review bikes are available?!?
I may have to try one of these things:
The new Aerowood combines wood with carbon to produce Renovo’s FFSVD© (full frame shock and vibration damping) engineering technology which creates an incredibly fast and smooth ride. In addition, the hollow wood frame is a unique departure from mainstream bicycles that Renovo has found to absorb vibration better than other frame materials and has been expertly engineering since 2007. Completing the package the Aerowood sports a shrouded rear wheel, aero downtube and seat mast fairing to reduce wind resistance.
Not only will that give me at least two weeks’ worth of wood puns, but I’ll finally have an appropriate bike for my $45 wooden bidon:
Not to mention my wooden combination bottle opener/tire lever:
Not only is the shape highly ergonomic, but if you’re using a tubeless system it can also be used as a sealant injector.
Best of all, I understand Best Made Co. has a travel bike conversion kit available specifically for wooden frames. It consists of one of their axes:
And a set of hose clamps:
They’re like S&S couplers, only more artisanal.
Still, being a top influencer comes with a lot of pressure. For example, I’m woefully behind on all the different road bike categories, and I need to get caught up. To that end, I recently browsed the VeloNews Buyers’ Guide, where I was stunned to find that ther eare now “All-Around Road” bikes:
And “Aero Road” bikes:
And “Endurance Road” bikes:
And of course “Gravel” bikes;
Even more confusingly, the top Aero road bike was a track bike:
And in case you’re wondering, the last place Gravel bike was a Cannondale Slate:
Cannondale’s Tim Johnson calls the Slate “the Swiss Army Knife of road bikes.” Do you really want to dress a deer with a folding knife? Isn’t that can-opener a nuisance? That’s not to say the Slate isn’t a fun, versatile bike. It just seems like a complicated design that tries to do too much for a very specific person. But maybe you’re that person.
Anyway, I don’t know much, but it seems to me that maybe one day they can come up with a bike that’s just kind of a regular road bike you can use to do pretty much anything:
Nah, it’ll never catch on. Continue reading
Good morning!Welcome to your Official BSNYC Tour de France Recap, brought to you by the Best Made Co. “Bowl Dancer” Toilet Brush:We designed the Bowl Dancer from the ground up to evoke the act of butter-churning each time you clean your commode. … Continue reading
I’m not on the Facebook, but subsequent to the publication of my Outside thing about the Tour de France I went to their Facebook page, which Zuckerberg and Co. graciously let non-Facebookies look at provided they are willing to peer around this annoyingly-placed rectangle:
Then again, I should probably work a little harder to understand the outdoorsy demographic, since I’m assuming there’s got to be something in between the types of people who buy stuff from Best Made and chop wood in photography studios:
However, if there is I have yet to encounter it.
Alas, I’m a lot more familiar with the cycling demographic–who, when you retweet a found stolen bike:
Recognize this bike? #BikeNYC
— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) July 10, 2017
Reply with comments about bike setup:
Hey, I practically invented making fun of fixies, but it’s 2017 now and I just wanna see that person get their bike back.
Speaking of the Tour de France, yesterday’s Stage 9 was certainly exciting, but not for the right reasons:
Knowing a route like the back of your hand comes into play in the Tour de France. While I thought today’s 182-kilometer course into Chambéry was really stupid—a supposed “queen stage” that doesn’t end with an epic climb—the GC contenders still needed to know it like they do their home terrain. A twisty-turny descent as critical as today’s demands that you and your team ride it in training three to four times. I mean, you really need to know it. Not to say Porte didn’t know the downhill, but today either an overcorrection or a bad line sent him to the ground, and then straight across the road and into both Dan Martin and the rocky hillside. No way for Martin to save that crash, and Porte goes to the hospital, reportedly breaking a collarbone and his pelvis. I totally disagree with this kind of dark, moist, dangerous downhill before a queen-stage finish. Because of it, the 2017 Tour has lost another one of its big names.
According to police, officers responded to the intersection around 3:59 a.m. Saturday where they found a black Cadillac “in the middle of the Hubway Station with multiple damaged bicycles surrounding it.’’
The vehicle was unoccupied.
Seems pretty innocent to me. Clearly the driver decided to exchange his Cadillac for a bike so he attempted to dock his car and then rode off. Hey, I read the Hubway instructions, and nowhere do they explicitly say the docks won’t accept Caddies:
Lastly, Bret sightings continue unabated, and here’s one via a reader in which he’s inspiring students at a London secondary school to pursue a career in biology:
Given Bret’s omnipresence and ability to bend space and time physics would seem a more appropriate course of study, but then again his soul patch no doubt harbors untold biological mysteries, so I’ll allow it.
Longtime readers of this blog may recall that back when it was good I wrote extensively (perhaps too extensively) about a designer camping supply and artisanal axe-bedazzling concern called “Best Made Co.” In fact, my first post on the subject appeared seven years and one day ago, on July 6th, 2010. It was, characteristically, both insightful and hilarious.
By the way, if you’re wondering whether or not I ever heard from Best Made, the answer is…sort of. Evidently someone named Jack forwarded my post to the axe-bedazzler himself, Peter Buchanan-Smith, and in turn forwarded me his reply, which was as follows:
Jack! Thanks so much for the link. I’ll comment when he shows me his face, tells me his real name, or is willing to test drive my product… then he’ll have grown a pair of balls big enough to slap down on the proverbial glass table… Thanks so much for sending the post. Always a pleasure to see Best Made inspiring such critical thinking. All the best, Peter
In my reply to Jack (which I told him he should feel free to forward to Mr. Buchanan-Smith) I pointed out that both my face and name were featured prominently in the mainstream media, and that I was more than happy to try one of Buchanan-Smith’s axes and see if it was worth over two times its usual retail price because he painted the handle.
I never received a reply from either party.
Anyway, let’s skip ahead to late June, 2017, when I received an invitation to “An evening with Specialized Bikes, whiskey, and Best Made Co.,” described thusly:
In addition to celebrating good people and tasting fine whiskey, we’ll be displaying our new adventure/gravel bike, the Diverge. The crew from Yonder Journal is making the trip out from Oregon to talk about their latest documentary, Project Y, which aims to discover the motivations behind gravel racers, and how the popularity of gravel racing events have seemed to explode over the past few years with events like Dirty Kanza and Grinduro. It’ll be a great opportunity to dive headfirst into the experience and hear from the folks who are living it!
I like bikes, I like whiskey, and I think Best Made is freaking hilarious, so you’d better believe I RSVP’ed in the affirmative faster than a ticket-buying bot scoops up the first row of a Taylor Swift concert.
The event was last night, and so it was that on the seventh anniversary of my first Best Made post, I ventured forth into the belly of the beast:
The Best Made store is located on White Street, just off of Church Street in Tribeca, and if you’re: a) a longtime New Yorker; and b) depraved, you may recognize this as the erstwhile location of the no-longer-extant Baby Doll Lounge:
Like The Best Made Axe, the American Longbow is a timeless instrument fabricated around a hickory core, harvested locally in the USA. Black fiberglass laminates and bubinga risers add power and beauty for an elegant merger that is equally effective on the range as it is on the hunt.
Now I’m no Archery Fred so I’ll tread carefully here, but I did enter the phrase “best longbow” into a popular search engine and the sense I get is that this thing is overpriced by about $300.
If any William or Willemina Tells would like to weigh in please do so in the comments below.
Book in hand, I then graciously accepted a modest pour of some artisanal bourbon:
1) You can put weed in it;
2) It makes this smaller $600 box seem like a total bargain:
Sure, you could pay a lot less for Geier gloves elsewhere, but they don’t come with the prose:
Hello and welcome to the Official Bike Snob NYC Tour de France Recap!
Okay, so with that out of the way, let’s get down to the recap!
So wait…what stage are we on?
The last thing I remember was that they kicked out Peter Sagan:
He seems really bummed about winning a stage and then going to Monaco.
But don’t worry. Even though the Tour has lost its most popular rider there’s still plenty to get excited about:
Did you notice Taylor Phinney’s shoes at the the Tour? He’s wearing these new super-light Giro Prolight Techlaces. https://t.co/7wj5vSTyYW
— VeloNews (@velonews) July 6, 2017
And that’s pretty much all I know about the Tour.
Sorry, Soft Scrub.
Moving on, great news for all you Freds out there! According to the New York Times, you can now wear your stretchy clothes off the bike:
From the biking shorts at Louis Vuitton to the “Tour de Ralph” racing jerseys at Ralph Lauren and an actual designer-branded bicycle at Balenciaga, this season we saw fashion merging with bike culture on the runway. Combine your biking gear (like cycling shorts) with everyday clothes (hoodies and baggy shirts) to attempt the look on the street. (It’s also one way to embrace that ubiquitous short shorts trend this summer.)
By the way, I used a popular search engine to search for the term “Tour de Ralph” and I’ll be gosh-darned if Ol’ Man Lifshitz didn’t totally rip off Rapha:
I mean come on:
Lifshitz is lifting shit if you know what I mean.
Though I will say “Tour de Ralph” is a perfect name for the line because that’s exactly what it makes you want to do:
Oh, and what about that Balenciaga bicycle?
For those eager to peddle into Balenciaga-branded action, it’s your lucky day. The Balenciaga bikes will be sold exclusively at colette, and will retail for around $3,900 (listed at 3500 euros), and are available to purchase in-store today.
It was only a matter of time before the New York City food delivery bike look had its haute couture moment, though you really need to jack that rear filth prophylactic up and point the nose of the saddle way down to get the full effect:
Lastly, not to ralph up content I’ve already shared on the Bike Forecast, but those of you who reside in the New York City area will be amused to learn that officials in Tarrytown and Nyack are plotzing over the prospect of 24-hour Tappan Zee pedestrian and bicycle access:
For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Nyack and environs is where all the Freds head on the weekends, and the locals have a long history complaining about the people who keep their cafés in business:
I know this is real tin foil helmet stuff, but I suspect there may be a relationship between irresponsible motor vehicle operation:
And hurting people with your car:
This occurred yesterday, and you can read all about it on the Bike Forecast.
Disasters aside, yesterday was a lovely day to be on a bicycle:
So I headed downtown, where the NYPD had my customary reserved parking space waiting for me:
I then went about my business secure in the knowledge that these apiarists would dispatch a swarm of bees to sting any would-be bike thieves:
Presumably this was a presentation by the New York City Beekeepers Association:
But I didn’t bother to watch because I’ve got enough going on in my life without having to grapple with the concept of Bee Freds.
Indeed, the deplorable state of my bicycles reflects just how busy I am. Consider the bicycle I was riding yesterday–the iconic Ironic Orange Julius Bike–whose rear hub currently looks like this:
This is probably because: 1) I have not used the fixie side of the hub since like 2008; and B) prior to yesterday I hadn’t ridden the bike since my “epic” post-snowstorm citywide bike lane survey back in March, after which I put the bike away without so much as a cursory wipe-down:
Indeed, the bike was in such a sorry state yesterday morning that instead of lubing the chain I simply threw it away and installed a new one–and by “new” I mean I went to my drawer full of chains and picked one more or less at random. What’s mildly concerning about this Drawer of Mystery is that I can no longer remember why I relegated most of those chains to it in the first place, so who knows what manner of defects they may be hiding. Similarly daunting is Tube Mountain, which is made of tubes I’ve set aside for patching, and which at this point would require at least five years in solitary confinement to repair completely.
I suspect if said it before but I will say it again: while some dream of exotic bike vacations, I would give almost anything for a week of uninterrupted bike maintenance during which I could perform badly-needed overhauls on all of my bicycles.
Pending that, I only service or replace parts when they stop working, which means riding the Ironic Orange Julius Bike in particular keeps me in a thrilling state of suspense.
Moving on, yesterday I touched upon the sorry state of American professional men’s cycling, and as we head into the Tour de France this VeloNews story underscores just how sorry it is:
Two rookies and a GC hunter is the threadbare American presence in the 2017 Tour de France.
Matching a two-decade low from two years ago, only three American riders will race in cycling’s marquee event. It’s even worse for Canada, with zero representation.
In your face, Canada!
All three — Taylor Phinney, Nathan Brown, and Andrew Talansky — wear Cannondale-Drapac colors.
But only one of them wears headphones that zorch his brain.
Alas, if we’re to be totally honest, who among us does not long for the heady days of America’s doped-up supersquad?
I mean these riders are still doping anyway, so why the hell shouldn’t America be the best at it?
Yes, apart from the fact that Alberto Contador is still being supported by a team of EPO-addled domestiques it truly is a new clean era in professional cycling.
Honestly the only thing surprising about any of this is that the Tour de France is only three days away.
It snuck up on me like that rusty drivetrain.
At this point I’m really going to have to scramble not to pay attention to it.