Books, crooks and sideways looks.

The Bike Snob is a sell out.
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Maaaaan, I used to like that guy back when he was underground, but now he’s just another pawn in The Man’s attempt at co-opting our scene.
Screw that.
Sure, I’ll take the graciously comped book, chock-full of beautiful illustrations and the standard comedic wordscape that we have all come to know and love, and I’ll read it. I’ll read it just so I know what sort of enemy we’re up against.
Truth be told, I’m reading it right now. I should make it understood that I read half as slowly as I type, so at this rate I should be finished with the book sometime around November. I would also like to note that I am using a spoke card, completely unironically, as a book mark.
I couldn’t help but notice that while he thanked his wife and his family, who I suppose are fairly pivotal members of support and inspiration in his life, he never once thought to thank Click and Clack, who for all intent and purposes have basically drawn the blueprint for his particular brand of irreverence.
Well, selling out is never a pretty process, so I don’t suppose it should come as any surprise that some people might be forgotten along the way.
And know this.. If I enjoy it, which I am committed not to, I won’t say anything because that will only serve to undermine the coreness of my values, which are ironclad by truth, integrity and a commitment to eat out of dumpsters forever.
If he was ‘down’, he’d feel the same way.
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While I am partially on the topic of my nightstand, and what sits atop of it.. The book that rests below the book (in the photo above) is one called ‘A Long Slow Screw’ by my old acquaintance, Eugene Robinson. Like The Snob, Eugene is a man of many words, and little fear of using them.
I first read this eight years ago when it was but a manuscript bound and tucked neatly in a FedEx envelope. While works of fiction are generally not the first style of writing I am drawn to, I read this cover to cover immediately because not only was I generally taken with his particular literary aesthetic, but moreover because I was afraid if I didn’t, he would come to my house and beat me up.
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Photo by Julien Dodinet
‘A Long Slow Screw’ is a terrifying ride for an innocent young man from a small town, like myself. Eugene weaves an ugly and gritty tale, painting images with his words that are equally difficult to process as they are to forget. It’s not a story of hope and triumph, but rather one of claustrophobia and graceful despair.
I loved the book, and as difficult as some of the pages were to turn, I simply couldn’t put it down. While I am using a spoke card as a marker in The Snob’s book, I used a flap of my own skin for Eugene’s and as the story unfolded, I couldn’t have had it any other way.
Oprah’s book club ain’t got nothing on us, biotches.
Alright, seeing as I just shaved my face and am getting light headed from the blood loss, I suppose now would be as good a time to delve into the mail bag as any.
From out in Colorado-way, Slappy gives ‘running with scissors’ a whole new spin;
“Hiyo STevIL, well since the middle aged white male set seems to get nervous with the stompaRILLAZ I determined to make them comfortable, hence the rusty knife and scissors adorning the front wheel of the boombike, lest anyone get the wrong impression.
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and you know, just cuz you were nervous there wouldn’t be enough of your type at SSWC09, (there were) you’re invited for a private stompathon in durango anytime, any bike, any night, . hope all is well. . . slappy”

Personally, I would throw a couple extra zip ties on those bad boys to be safe.
Actually on second thought, I would probably have just left them in the dank took box from which they came.
From Amigo #4 we get a report on how his new steed is coming along, plus a whole bunch of blurry photos;
“My new road bike is going to be Roberts greatest creation to date. It should be done in no time at all. In fact I forgot how easy building a one off is.
First we simply turned down some old chrome stock;
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Then we just smash the turned down stock with a hole saw;
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Robert thought it would be cool to add what he calls “pecker holes”;
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He also decided there should be 3 pecker holes since this will be the third Blue Collar he has built for me;
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Once the fancy detail work is done we went back to the trusty hole saw and loped it off;
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Now we just guessed where it would hit the BB;
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And 5 hours later you have a paragon BB30 with what looks like a down tube lug;
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Piece of cake. At this rate I will be on the road in time for your 50th birthday celebration ride.”

Yeah, for my 50th birthday I might even teach Amigo #4 about the macro setting on his camera.
Also, I am just days away at starting a pool to guess how many tools Robert throws across the shop as the production of this bike rolls along. For those of you who might not make the connection, the builder in question is Robert Ives. He was one of the first as well as the fastest individuals ever to throw a leg over a one speed, and if any of you might per chance remember the old Ventana Bicycles ad with the two nut jobs airing it out on a green tandem, Robert happened to the nut job on the back.
After an exhaustive three minute search through my possessions, I was unable to locate said image, so I’ll return that to the back burner until it crosses my path again.
Anyway, in regards to this bike, in the end I understand that it is going to look something like this DeSalvo that we found over on the Spectrum site, with the exception that it will be painted to match the forthcoming AHTBM kits, right down to a matching font;
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I look forward to many blurry shots of that as well.
In other news of the skinny tired world, the momentum re-building power house that is Mark Cavendish has always had a flair for the victory salute. Of course we all remember his revolutionary pose that was heard around the groin;
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Well, never one to stop innovating, as he won the second stage of the Tour de Romandie he apparently had a message for his critics;
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This message was plainly, “I have a muscle cramp in my right bicep, and would like two hotdogs with extra chili.”
There are obviously as many forms of the victory salute as there are personality types who throw them in a finish. Like a pre-teen lip synching with a hair brush, I have years of experience in front of a mirror practicing my own variations, but sadly, never a chance to try them out. We all know that the only thing nearly as pathetic as someone coming across the line not in first place displaying such an overt gesture, is someone coming across the line not in first place.
But I digress. Of the many variations of the tradition I’ve seen in my day, I would have to say one of my favorites has been the “I’m not gonna eat my spinach, and you can’t make me” salute;
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the “is it nap time now?” salute
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the “of course we have job security” two-man salute;
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At one point I had a favorite image that a reader had sent in of two fellas in what obviously was a regional road race. While one was claiming victory, arms raised in triumph above his head, the other was deftly sneaking past, nicking the win by an inch, not unlike this shot of Erik Zabel making the same mistake;
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Sadly, I am unable to find it, so I will instead put of a shot of a guy celebrating his victory, although all he really did was stand back there and yell at some dogs;
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And we can’t forget the infamous photo of Filip Meirhaeghe, which I can’t find now, but looked something like this, with the “EPO? What EPO?” salute;
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People who suspected Filip of being juiced were obviously too scared to say anything for fear that he might punch them so hard their grandmas would feel it, and only a crazy person would want to put their grandmas at risk.
It’s at this point that we’ve covered all of the bases in the title of today’s post, with the exception of the ‘crooks” and the ‘sideways looks’ part, but as long as Mr. Robinson doesn’t come a’ knocking between now and then, I can always cover those points on Wednesday.
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10 Responses to “Books, crooks and sideways looks.”

  1. pedalman May 3, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    I’ve always been amazed at how composed top riders look at the finish line. I won a few races back in the dark ages and my victory salute consisted of slumping over the handlebars, then falling to the ground panting like a dog and trying not to barf on myself.

  2. Jim May 3, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    I clicked through to Eugene Robinson’s website and read his bio. He is in fact distinguished, and I may need to purchase his book based on what I found. It seemed Mr. Robinson has written articles for Hustler’s Busty Beauties, which unlike Playboy, *nobody* reads for the articles. That makes his work art for art’s sake. The only higher commendation an auther could receive, would be editor of Modern Drunkard Magazine. Mr. Robinson, I salute you.

  3. Fdub May 3, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Here’s that shot of the local crit
    http://bp0.blogger.com/_vY3nvfHPtQ4/SAOBp4yUu2I/AAAAAAAAAwc/M4QoRq0ejsE/s1600-h/untitled.bmp

  4. Sean Hurl May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Sorry the pics were taken with my blackberry and the lighting at Ventana is real bad. I’ll have you know that no tools have been abused up to this point but a few end mills were laid to rest.

  5. Ghostship Matt May 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I’m a little late for the “create-a-contest” contest, but your posting has inspired me. Fire up the soul-stealer and snap a pic of your Best-Finish-Line-Salute. I’d love to see some flicks including stripper heels, Hulk-Hands, and flags. Radtarded indeed.

  6. VeelUndShpokeJa May 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    The crossed arms spinach salute is actually the very rare “double nipple grabber”only seen in women’s road races. I’m told this team salute is intended to cover up the nipply excitement that sometimes results during and after an exciting race win.
    Well, either that or she hates her sponsors.

  7. Bobo May 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    I remember trying to follow the V-Tandem crew down some crazy fast Humbug Hurry-Up descents and watching them float away…

  8. Jeff May 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    The young lady doing the Spinach salute is actually 17 years old in that picture and actually out sprinted the best women in the country on junior gears. She can salute any way she wants in my book.

  9. reeed May 4, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    nice wheels on that Cavendish bike! i think i’ve seen them before… oh yeah, it was in my Park TS-2 at Hed. i got carpediem-tunnel syndrome from making all the numbers on the tensionmeter the same. ow-wow!

  10. coby May 13, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    that last picture is Miguel. Sweet.