Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This Wednesday, Treat Yourself To Something Nice.

Yesterday I wrote all about clothes, and then I got this email from Outlier:

Hey Bike Snob,

We used to think we wanted perfection, but what we really want is the transcendent. We want to make clothing that transcends the bullshit of the market. Clothing that transcends the disposability of fast fashion and the exclusivity of luxury. Transcends the unnecessary divisions between functional and social, between urban and outdoor, nature and technology, work and play.

Sorry, what?

Let's read that again:

We used to think we wanted perfection, but what we really want is the transcendent. We want to make clothing that transcends the bullshit of the market. Clothing that transcends the disposability of fast fashion and the exclusivity of luxury. Transcends the unnecessary divisions between functional and social, between urban and outdoor, nature and technology, work and play.

Yeah, no, I still don't get it.

Apparently they don't either, but they've made a t-shirt in the meantime, and it costs about $100:

We're still a long way from home on this journey but if we have anything to show for it, it's the Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt (and V-Neck). A simple t-shirt made from 17.5 micron merino, nature's finest performance fabric.


There was a time not so long ago when I thought the cotton t-shirt was just about the most basic and versatile garment ever invented, but evidently I was wrong by a dozen or so microns and about $80 or $90.

"But merino doesn't get stinky!," someone will no doubt point out.

What?  Who cares?  What the hell ever happened to doing your goddamn laundry once in awhile?!?

By the way, I don't mean to pick on Outlier, who are a local concern and do very good work.  (Three years ago they gave me some pants and they're still going strong, though I have no idea how the pair they gave to my erstwhile intern are doing, since after scoring free pants and a free bike he pretty much disappeared.)  It's just that I am who I am, I smell how I smell, and that's that.

Hey, for me, splurging on a t-shirt means buying one that doesn't come in a three-pack, but I seem to be part of an increasingly small minority.

Speaking of yesterday's post, I also mentioned my massive urban cycling "street cred," and yesterday I cycled urbanely all the way to Brooklyn, a borough whose "street cred" is rapidly going the way of the t-shirt three-pack.

It was blustery, like an aging blogger complaining about artisanal t-shirts (only with cold air instead of hot), and so I elected to ride my Fred Sled since I wanted as little bicycle as possible to slow me down.  This is a pretty accurate representation of how I was riding:



Except that suddenly, in the middle of Manhattan, my tire exploded with a mighty BLAM!, and when I stopped to examine the damage I found a gash like a bass mouth (or at least what I imagine a bass mouth to look like, because it probably won't surprise you to learn that I don't fish):


(To spare you the sight of my disgusting fingernails I've used Technology to give myself a French manicure.)

Anyway, I'm generally pretty good about scanning the pavement ahead of me and avoiding anything big enough to do that to a tire, but not this time.  You might think I'd be annoyed, but a flat like this is oddly satisfying.  No searching for some tiny bit of metal lodged in the rubber, no inflating the tube until it is comically oversized and trying to hear the soft hissing of the puncture over the sound of traffic, no irritating pneumatic ambiguity.  Instead, the tire's fucked, and that's that.

So what did I do?  Well, needless to say, given my massive "street cred" I simply sewed the casing back together with dental floss, booted it with a MetroCard for good measure, put a new tube in there and was on my way.

Just kidding!


No, fuck that.  It happened about a block and a half from a bike shop so I bought a new tire.  Not only that, but the guy in the shop offered to actually put it on the bike, and as an "urban cyclist" with massive amounts of "street cred" I was horrified at the idea of having a bike shop install a tire for me, but the guy was so goddamn fast that the "No, thank you" was hardly even out of my mouth before the tire was on--label perfectly aligned with valve stem no less--and he was kicking my ass out the front door.

The rest of the day passed without incident, apart from the legions upon legions of fuck-tarted motorists doing stuff like running lights, preening and de-lousing their pubic thatches while idling in bike lanes, and drifting across multiple lanes of traffic while communicating in a series of grunts with their fellow fucktards on their mobile phones.

By the way, I think the cabbies have been emboldened by the fact that they let that leg-severing driver off, because I watched one of them attempt to run a red light at a major intersection and he only stopped after being shouted at by the all the pedestrians already in the crosswalk.  So I figure it's only a matter of time before they start driving around with leg talismans on the hood, like Vyvyan in "The Young Ones:"


But make sure you don't ride your bike while playing music, because they'll put you in jail:

 

Silly cyclist!  You're only allowed to play deafeningly loud music from a three-ton SUV with tinted windows, everyone knows that!

In other news, ever since the first caveman installed a primitive hinge in a coconut shell, humankind has dreamed of perfecting the foldable helment--and now one man in a city with a big Ferris wheel believes he has finally done it:



Here it is folded and looking like a plastic fish:


Though I notice there are very few pictures of it actually unfurled and atop someone's head, possibly because it will make you look like your head is being humped by a plastic armadillo:


Given the London bike share system is sponsored by Barclays, I'm surprised they didn't just attach a helment to every bike with a ball chain, like they do with the pens at a bank.

Speaking of London, the city is reeling from a recent series of cyclist deaths, and mayor Boris Johnson is on the defensive:



Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, says cycling in the capital is 'getting safer' despite a spate of fatalities. Johnson insists that London has seen an overall decline in the number of cyclist deaths since he took office. The mayor says he will consider banning lorries from driving in the capital during peak hours

I'm sure many Londoners are angry with him, but if it's any consolation, most American mayors would rather be caught smoking crack than considering putting any additional restrictions on truck traffic.

Same goes for Canadian mayors, but that's obvious.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi!

FreeWheels for Kids said...

Podium!

Santa said...

wow.
L'Unch!

Flyover BC said...

top ten

g. said...

Top 10!

commentaterbot02348-2 said...

It's weeed scented...

Anonymous said...

Whats the over/under on the number of days till Robs fords implosion?

Nogocyclist said...

First with a folding helmet

Anonymous said...

Back!

cycle

Buffalo Bill said...

Tough on crime!

Anonymous said...

yoooo top10

Anonymous said...

BTW - another here bid on bike parts via ebay? I just lost an auction to the asterisk gang. You know - those guys who bid c******t. Are they a Russian gang?

cycle

Comment deleted said...

Is it spring yet?

mikeweb said...

I already have a helment that folds.

Ohh! You mean the kind that goes on your head.

Herschel Raney said...

Thanks, now that folding helmet shark attack music is going to be stuck in my head all day.

Tal F said...

Holy crap that looks like a Conti Gatorskin. Those things are supposed to be indestructible. What happened??!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Clothing that transcends scranus.

Anonymous said...

FUCK TARD

LOUD BIKE

NICE WORK

fxtersi

g. said...

I think I figured out why Robs Fords want to come to Florida and it ain't for the sunshine:
Just holdin' it for a friend, I swear!

Flyover BC said...

By transcendent they mean versatile. Unless, of course, they are planning to make a three-piece, pin-stripe suit that is suitable for bike commuting. That'd be transcendent.

dnk said...

I miss ironic intern Spencer Madsen. Wherever he is.

3G said...

In Russia, Olympic banner make you!

McFly said...

I am still reeling from those first two "italicky" paragraphs.

Normally I am a quick stud(y).

BikeSnobNYC said...

Tal F,

They are very durable tires but nothing is indestructible. I didn't go back to see what it was but I assume a large piece of broken glass or sharp metal. Front tire flips it up, rear tire rolls over it. Blammo!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a over sized foam 10 gallon hat with your favorite teams logo silk screened on it bive you as much protection as a folding helmet.

And it'd look better too, especially since it would match the big foam fingers I wear to keep my hands warm while riding in the winter.

The whole ensamble nullifies high rez gear, seem like everyone sees me now.

babble on said...

I love you. Thank you for French manicures- I'm pretty sure they heard my guffaw from half a block away!

Congestion charging in London was an ab fab idea, and ridding the roads of lorries is great, too, but you're right. Never, ever happen here. Why? Our Calgarian Prime Minister is just a figure head for the oil patch. Canada just ranked 55 out of 58 countries when it comes to curbing carbon emissions, in front of only Iran Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia. Go figure.

No wonder Canadians are on crack.

Hump day, yet it feels like we have such a loooooong way to go.



Anonymous said...

NYPD,

Hi, whats up? Oh, am I being arrested? Arrested for typing with only my index fingers??? But look, I use my thumbs on the space bar! Gahhh!!! Help!!

Sincerely, a person

Etherhuffer said...

Those words.
From that clothing maker.
Ghastly corporate speak is eating into everything, everywhere. Wait until someone in Asia says "Let's make a cheap fucking tee shirt out of sheep hair and blow their fucking Yankee running-dog hooligan asses out of business."

That is the language that is a little more understandable and most likely to happen.

McFly said...

If I may query how much is a LBS Gatorskin in your new city of York?

Anonymous said...

Borkhataria??
Bork hat area?!

fredchariot said...

What kind of lame sound system is that????

YOu people need to learn how to do it right.

Example 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVNrUx1Ole4

Example 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzUl8G5BKXk

Maybe the best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyHS8N2Lubk

I thought you people lived in the greatest city in the world or something. You don't have lowrider trikes with proper audio?

ouabacher said...

188 comments yesterday?! What a buncha bike/clothes dorks!

crosspalms said...

Boris looks like he paid careful attention to the clothing advice in yesterday's post and comments.

dnk said...

Wildcat Rock Machine,

Speaking of legions of fuck-tard motorists running red lights, did you happen to hear "Gabfest Radio" on our local NPR affiliate last weekend?

They had an episode called "The Pedaling Revolution" [sic; pedaling is revolving, get it?] in which they said a bunch of stupid pundit shit about riding bikes. And guess what? They concluded that drivers should not be prosecuted for hitting bicyclists EVEN IF THE DRIVER IS DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

I wrote a comment on the site in which I embarrassingly said on my bike twice in succession.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/pedaling-revolution-edition/

Dr. Feelgood said...

Hey Snob,
Corn Flakes, Corn Flakes, Corn Flakes, Corn Flakes......

sTONEdEADLAND said...

You can imagine how humiliated I am having just procured a SIX PACK of t-shirts from the big box consuming facility. crap. weed.

BikeSnobNYC said...

McFly,

I don't know, I just got a cheap wire bead tire since I've got a stash of tires at home.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BamaPhred said...

Hmmmm Gatorskin blowout conveniently near bike shop and expert tire pit crew also. Could this be evidence of a great tire conspiracy, or just the usual NYC street conditions?

BikeSnobNYC said...

BamaPhred,

I thought the same thing but given the city is thoroughly blanketed with sharp objects and bike shops I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

the Jimboner said...

Finally figured out it is the boat-billed fly catchers eating all of the cat food and not our terrier whom I have been blaming and thought was jumping up on the counter out on the veranda. Sorry Nibbles.





28 theOgat

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

The олимпиада 80 Велоспорт video is awesome. Thanks for that.

Bicycle Cycling Eckspurt said...

I am a self-proclaimed bicycle cycling eckspurt, and I say that merino is pilly. If you want a real luxury t-shit, you need to get yourself a cashmere t-shirt. If you're lucky, $100 should buy you an appointment with a qualified Brooklyn retailer to discuss the purchase of a cashmere t-shit.

841 echancel

Herschel Raney said...

dnk:

Those discussants on that gabfest are not intelligent enough to even lay the basic questions out correctly. That was irritating.

All of these people need to understand that the deeply urban environment is a special habitat. And the rules there need to be different from the rules out in flyover America. Urbanites are excessively vehicular. And the odds of the city rulemakers not being vehicularists are way way low currently.

Oh hell, this crowd knows the realities.

CommieCanuck said...

If you want a real luxury t-shit, you need to get yourself a cashmere t-shirt. If you're lucky, $100 should buy you an appointment with a qualified Brooklyn retailer to discuss the purchase of a cashmere t-shit.

Cashmere is for peasants and wrapping fish. My T-shirts are woven from the pubic hair of red-haired virgin females with SAT scores in the top 2 percentile.

(Dry clean only)

Anonymous said...

Outlier stuff is ugly and over priced, but apparently made in the U.S. so I guess they feel that that makes it okay to charge $198 for a basic pair of pants that you could pick up at old navy for less than $40. Transcend this Outlier.

babble on said...

Leave it to the eckspurts. It's true. Cashmere trumps merino. Specially over silk. Mmmmm... silk. :)

CommieCanuck said...

Snob, you obviously don't read Biek Forums.
This is why you carry a $20 bill. When a large gash is found in the tire, you can use the $20 bill to get change to call someone who has a car. While waiting, you can use the almost $20 <a href="http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/im-not-gay-but-20-is-20.jpg> for other things</a>.

CommieCanuck said...

balls

for other things

dnk said...

Herschel Raney,

True 'nuff. But I expected more from the NPR intelligentsia. Plus, two of them ride bikes.

Anonymous said...

My globals are cooler today than they were yesterday.

vsk

Eric said...

Their pants aren't basic, there's a huge difference between them and what's at old Navy.

g. said...

You mean like these aren't basic and not like what they have at Old Navy?

Etherhuffer said...

Sheep hair vs goat hair vs cotton: The new helment war.

Flyover BC said...

Herschel

An excess of vehicles, or an excessively high density of vehicles, doesn't mean that urbanites are excessively vehicular.

I'd be willing to bet that car ownership in New York is lower than almost any of our flyover communities.

ge said...

Pneumatic tires are just a 126 year long conspiracy of the tube industry. I used to stuff my tires with tibetan yak hair, shredded bamboo or whatever I had at hand (baby seal cartilage is easy to come by up here in america's folding helment, but smells bad). Now I'm running solids like it's 1886.

Shukri Sindi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BikeSnobNYC said...

Flyover BC,

I believe at least 50% of households in NYC do not own a car, David Byrne's being chief among them.

It's the highest percentage of car-free households in Canada's boxer briefs.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JB said...

Snob, you should ride tubeless. The sealant would have sealed that slash right up.

Also, what is the "Fred Sled" these days? The stainless Ritte or the Special plastic?

wishiwasmerckx said...

CC, I have a stable of human Chia Pets from whom I harvest pubes used in making designer jewelry. It's kind of a slog, but hey, somebody's got to do it.

babble on said...

It was like that in London, too, a few years ago. Lots of peeps didn't need to drive.

Vancouver is waaay to hick for that.

Comment deleted said...

wiwm, thank you for doing your part, as the human pube disappears from the wild.

Flyover BC said...

Out here in flyover country, my guess is that there are at least 1.5 motor vehicles per person.

But the population of whole state is only slightly more than one of your boroughs.

Herschel Raney said...

Flyover BC:

Yes, there would be virtually no one in this landscape of mine without a car.

But NYC creatures, when mobilizing around their habitat, choose the vehicle far more often than required I would guess. As in Chicago, LA etc. And taxi use, well, is vehicularization in the non-ownership form. Just suggest a zone in a major city with no motorized access, where the residents have to walk the last 2 3 or 4 blocks of any trip into the area, and watch the gunfire break out.

(Can't this thing remember I am not a robot?)

ge said...

Yeah, stat I heard was only 43%(?) of New Yorkers own a car, but not sure how that translates to households. That's why you have so many yellow rolling amputators.

purcios - a bowlful please robot

Dooth said...

That origami head piece should be called Morphent.

DB said...

Hey.
Who's in charge of Thanksgiving dinner next week? We need to make plans.
I'll bring the relish tray.

BikeSnobNYC said...

ge,

I'd imagine any car ownership statistic you see is going to be households and not individuals, since obviously not too many children own cars.

Herschel Raney,

Taking a train and then walking a few blocks to your final destination is the typical New York City commute.

Even people driving into Manhattan would be pretty psyched to find a parking spot that only required walking 2, 3, or 4 blocks to the office.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

NYCeWheels said...

Hi Bike Snob, great post as always. Maybe an intern who moonlights as an adjunct philosopher teacher found his way onto the companies email and decided to get creative. Who knows, people get a little loopy when it comes to marketing. A pleasure reading your blogs - Jack

Dave said...

Someone send that technician over here. I'm trying to install a new Continental Gran Prix 28-406 which is so goddamned tight I had to pry it on, which procedure of course then punctured the tube. The Durano 1.1 was tight but not that tight. And the sun is slowly setting. In the west.

And tell the tech to bring beer. We must shake off this melancholy.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Dave,

Have you tried it on the other wheel?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

paulb said...

Maybe WCRM, like me, grew up buying Fruit of the Loom three-packs on Orchard Street and so this trend of local boutique manufacture of the putatively sophisticated (and definitely expensive) looks ridiculous, but the mayor elect says it will be the salvation of NYC's private economy when he's squeezed the profit from the books of an unjust and rapacious Wall Street. I have my doubts about the viability of an economic model based on the ridiculous, but what do I know?

Herschel Raney said...

Well, then I cannot make sense of the New York snarl.

fredchariot said...

True 'nuff. But I expected more from the NPR intelligentsia. Plus, two of them ride bikes.

You mean ride bikes like "I LOVE MY STEEL CAGE but will only be seen riding bikes as temporarily reverting to childhood fun, not something adults do."

Not ride bikes like "hey, this is a cheaper, more efficient way to do some stuff than doing it in a car." That kind of discourse is forbidden in Canada's underpants.

JLRB said...

Dave - sprinkle talcum powder all over the tire. It won't help but you won't get a prickly rash while trying.

JLRB said...

...and I think the intern is alive and well and creating the prove you are not a robot tests

fredchariot said...

Dave,

I have found the problem to be a tire that can't/doesn't sit the same everywhere on the wheel.

Step 1: take the tire off the rim again.

Step 2: Add some lube to the rim. Talcum powder or similar.

Step 3: Turn the tire around and put it on again.

Step 4: Move the tire around the rim a bit to get it to "settle"

Step 5: add slightly filled tube to wheel with some talcum powder.

Step 6: Work bead on by hand. It should go on easier. Wiggle the parts of the wheel/tire that are already on a bit all the way around. The powder should make that easier.

You should be able to finish it with no tools. If not, the tube is out of sight, right??? It should be totally inside the tire. Be sure you've got a good tire lever to finish it off. Not all levers are good.


Luke said...

The fabrics Outlier uses for pants are pretty awesome. I tear crotch holes in jeans from commuting within weeks but have a pair of Outlier shorts from the same run that BSNYC got his and they're still fine. Nearly 2 years ago I bought a pair of long pants and those are still alive as well.

The long pants are also the only pair of pants I've ever received compliments on as far as fit goes. Yes, multiple compliments. Frickin' weird. I wish more companies used the fabric.

PS, I passed an "end vehicular violence" protest on Vanderbilt and Willoughby last night. In pants.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

The difference between this enlightened commentariat and that of the Guardian which also posted the Boris and Chris B. photo: no-one here is belly-aching about the fact that neither gentleman (and these are people responsible for bigging up cycling in London) is wearing a helmet, or even a hi-vis vest, as are now being apparently recommended (just at the time when Rapha are getting over their disdain for any colour other than black or olive...)

ge said...

My stat was a bit dated but I would assume only adults. Apparently 77% of Manhattan households don't own cars which makes David Byrne's declaration all the more ridiculous.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Herschel, the New York snarl makes sense now that I know that they are all wearing cheap, binding whitey tighties purchased in a multi-pack on Orchard Street.

One Hole said...

Luke is Outlier

Anonymous said...

Tuff Tire Mountees,

your rimstrip might be too thick, if it is some of that foreign cotton stuff especially so. Try some fiberglass packing tape and hey presta (you see what I did there?) the tire don't fight so much

-BIKE TECH

Anonymous said...

Just a thought on the trucks... I know there are plenty of shithead truckers who will lefthook us given the chance, but removing trucks from the roadway at peak hours could increase traffic speeds. That would be bad. No?

Anonymous said...

We've got folding bikes, folding tyres and now, folding helmets.

My question; why haven't we got folding wheels yet? Perhaps something drawing on the concept of the folding umbrella?

I expect such a thing will appear on Kickstarter within 24 hours, now that I've so generously shared my genius on this majestic forum.

ouabacher said...

Just forget the tube. Fill the tire with talc and be done with it. The lumps will work out.

Anonymous said...

WCRM,
Wouldn't have happened with a unicycle - front flips it up and the cat 6er behind gets the flat. Or a tricycle cycle.

McFly said...

Make sure the 180 degree position of the tire from where you are working the last part on is down in the deepest part of the wheel channel. That little bit of circumference offset will really help to break it over. If you don't believe a little bit of circumference makes a difference just ask Babble.

Anonymous said...

Hey where are Boris and Chris B's fucking helments? For that matter where is Boris's hi-viz? He has dark clothes, no helment, and he is riding a black bike one handed, he's just asking for it - maybe he should ban listening to music. Or even that kevlar body armour is mandatory - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24998730

Dave said...

Well, I got the tire on and the tube is holding air. I appreciate all the helpful advice, although now I've got the White Lung from all that talcum powder. At least that's what the kid on the corner said it was, though the price seemed kinda high... And there was this belligerent fat fuck hanging around, too... kinda weird. AM I IN CANADA??

leroy said...

My dog told me he used to want perfection, but once he achieved it, it wasn't that big of a deal.

Perfect, I thought. Just perfect.

McFly said...

I don't know....maybe if they were Cool Ranch Dorito's.

Anonymous said...

saw your book in a book shop in Oban- west coast of scotland

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...

And I saw it at Restoration Hardware. Oooooooh, nice!

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