Sunday, May 23, 2010

The most useless bike in the world

Bikes are inherently uncomplicated things.  Frame, wheels, drivetrain, apply muscle power and go.  Despite attempts at pointless "new" spins (pun intended) on drivetrain technology, components like the bicycle chain remain the most efficient way transfer power from our thighs to forward motion.

The cost of top shelf rides seems to have no ceiling.  What's a Trek Madone cost these days?  $9,000?  Plenty of them on display even here in the 616.  Come check out our local wednesday night hobby race.  All that bike don't make no middle aged dudes any faster.  Just like Cat 4 racers wearing shoe booties and slathering themselves with embrocation cream, it's all just posing, and probably a lot closer to those fat middle aged dudes you see on $20k Harley Davidsons than any of those leg shavers wants to admit.  You want speed?  You gotta do the work, man.

With so many Lexus driving boomers brandishing gold Amex cards ready to spend big to look like El Pistolero, every glorified "designer" of luxury goods is taking a stab at building bikes.  So it's no suprise that  Land Rover has crowned a winner in a contest to design the world's most pointless, useless and expensive boutique bicycle.

Graham Hetherington is an automotive design student at Coventry University. His LR-1 bicycle design recently won a regional design contest sponsored by Land Rover. In the competition, students from selected schools across the UK were given the opportunity to create a bike based on the Land Rover design language.

What does it mean to design a bike in the "Land Rover design language?"  How does one apply the aesthetic trappings of grossly overpriced eurotrash SUVs to a bicycle?  The answer seems to be in ignoring the utility and simplicity of bikes as transportation and instead doing to urban commuter bicycles what Land Rover did to trucks.  Namely, building a crazy expensive piece of plastic that only the wealthy could afford to purchase, ride and leave pinned to a bike rack with a U lock.

his bike is “aimed specifically at a professional individual, with expendable income and a passion for cycling.” The bike is envisioned as a high-end urban commuter for that target customer. The belt drive drivetrain consists of a single 38-tooth chainring with a 14 speed internally geared hub to give the clean appearance of a single speed with the functionality of a geared bike. A lithium ion battery encased in the frame would power the integrated LED lights in the seat post and fork.
As is often said, it ain't the bike it's the motor!  And if the motor is a tool, I guess the Land Rover design language is an appropriate interpretation to jam between one's legs.  I have an old friend who's one of the most down to earth pro racers out there.  The guy wins a lot of races.  But it doesn't go to his ginger head.  A few years back after college and before he signed any kind of real contract the dude was winning races on a Burley steel road frame.  I remember going out on a ride with him once and he'd wrapped his drop bars with duct tape.  Guess what, none of that ever slowed him down.  He could knock your dick in the dirt if he was riding an 88 Schwinn Le Tour.  And while it's always fun to sport a slick new ride, it doesn't make you any faster.  

You can't buy cool.  Cool is something you make yourself.  Maybe a rule of thumb ought to be that whether you ride on top of or inside anything with a Land Rover moniker on it you've probably strayed way too far off the rails.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cool Shit for Friday!

Dans Dans Dans


Doin' it for the Homies!

Cats suck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Original Sin

Filippo Pozzato is one fast wop. The guy has some big wins under his olive oil stained chamois. And he knows it. He also has an interesting column over at cyclingnews. It's chock full of awkward babblefish translated english and smack talk. My favorite bits....

I'll try not to be boring in the blog because I hate anything that is bland, but hopefully via this blog you'll gain a better idea of what I'm really like as person as well as a bike rider.

During the Tour of Qatar you might have seen a photograph of my back showing my tattoos. I'm in the middle of having a huge carp done, because in eastern culture it's a fish that's supposed to bring good luck.

I didn't know that Pozzato was from China. Why doesn't anybody these days get symbolic tattoos that utilize the language of their mother tongue? Why is it that drunks walk into tattoo shops and immediately point to the Japanese "ichiban" symbol and say, "Yeah, stamp that fucker somewhere my parents won't see it!" Pozzato doesn't stop there, though. He goes on and on...

The writing across my shoulders says: "Only God can judge me". I had it done as a message to all those people who like to judge me without ever having really gotten to know me. It's easy to be judgmental but the truth is there's only one person who can judge us.

If people judge me on my hairstyle or the colour of my shoes, then they're the ones who are superficial because they judge me on how I look, not on who I really am.

I know that some people think I'm the David Beckham of the peloton, but since Beckham has played for AC Milan, he's proved he's a great athlete as well as a global sports star.

Huh? All that fast and you can't come up with something more original than that? No wonder Rome fell.

Pozzato's column reminded of another well inked cyclist. One who's still pushing the pedals after a couple of decades of trash talk.

The difference between Palmer and Pozzato, of course, couldn't be any more obvious. Palmer didn't bother with babblefish and he wouldn't have compared himself to David Beckham. No, Palmer compared himself to himself. Shaun Palmer, like him or hate him, was an original. Maybe he was a world class asshole. But he was a Rock Star of an asshole. Pozzato not so original. Not even very rock star. If you're going to smack talk, tattoo lame shit on your back and start calling home runs when you get up to bat, you better be batting a thousand.

Barry Rigged

The SS Rig rises is primed and ready for action. Barry Roubaix in 3 weeks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rider Down

Another Michigan cyclist lost on the road.

At 77, Lawrence "Larry" Walcott loved riding his bike and by all estimates had ridden well more than 100,000 miles in too many races to count.
His son, Phil, said his father was training for the Jalapeno 100 mile bike race in Harlingen, Texas, on Feb. 8 with sea breezes from the Gulf of Mexico propelling him along a state highway not far from Corpus Christi.
The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that the Holland Motors retiree and Korean War Army veteran turned his bike in front of a vehicle traveling on State Highway 188 and was killed when he was struck in Rockport, Texas.
Walcott and his wife of 55 years, Jean, both of Jenison, were staying at an RV park not far from the scene of the crash.
Walcott was pronounced dead at the scene by a justice of the peace and no charges have been filled in the incident.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roll Call

What's going out there, cruel world? It's February and in the upper midwest we're all cooped-up, counting the days till that big thaw. This deep into the winter there's no way to describe the cabin fever that seeps into your bones. Unless you live above the snow line all I can say is that it's a Michigan thing, you wouldn't understand. What? you say you live even farther North? Well, then I probably come off as a real whining prick. I guess then it sucks to be you.

So what's the going's on these dark days in the 616?

A ways east of here our friends in Dexter (Washtenaw county) are fighting the good fight against a hoard of NIMBY anti trail nazis. Keep fighting, Jones!

There's a new mountain bike team in town. Farm Team Racing promises to promote the cause of Elite weekend beer drinking fast as Hell trail bike racers. Take your bike club membership apps somewhere else, cause Farm Team is invite only. You think you can hang with the Farm Team? Yeah, I don't think so...

Farm Team got itself a race. Couple of 'em. Versluis Snowcross 1 and 2 are in the bag. Results at the Farm Team Blog. Photos over at Jack's.

Were you hoping to race Lumberjack this year? Looks like you're too late! The Lumberjack 100 is full. Sold out in 12 hours. According to "Old Joe" over on the East Side, it's all the fault of a bunch of "chodes!"

The sellout frenzy was fueled in part by all the chatter on the bb....a lot of weekend warriors and chodes want to jump on the endurance race bandwagon and don't really care about the full NUE series..

Got that? If you ain't a real pro who races a million ultras a year, you're a frickin' chode who's taking up space. At least according to Old Joe.....or should we call him Art? And just what kind of a guy is Art?

This sounds completeley typical of this guy, but let's review what has lead to his belief that he is of the standing of "Legend". In 1996 he travelled to Australia and won a Masters World Championship in XC (his age group, whatever that was then). Yes, he is a World Champion. In 1997 and 1998 he returned to racing the local mtb Expert scene amongst the "chodes" in 50+ Expert and couldn't win. That's right, one year after an incredible victory he could not win locally in 1997. Two years ago he was diagnosed with DVT (blood clotting in the legs) while training for Leadville in Colorado. Typical of an arrogant person, he drove back home across the country to see his own physician with zero regard for what should happen if he were to pass out or have a heart attack and take out some innocent, unsuspecting motorists. BTW, DVT is linked to the possible abuse of EPO for those that may not know. He is in impressive shape for somebody his age, I would not discount that for a minute, but he loves to let everybody know just how great he believes he is too.

For Old Joe, I'll borrow a quote from your own signature on another board, "Be the person your dog already believes you are". Time to heed your own advice...

EPO, shitty attitude...thanks for representing, Art. Thanks for reminding us all that in every State in America there's some dip-shit who thinks he's better than the rest of us "chodes."

Gotta leave it there. Peace out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back From The Brink

Iggy Pop, 32 years ago on the Dinah Shore show. Iggy gives props to Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Then he rocks out, with David Bowie on keyboards and two of Soupy Sales' kids in the band. Thanks to boing boing...

Soupy Sales died last week. The guy was muched loved in Michigan.