Wednesday, 25 November 2009

BSNYC Pre-Holiday Fun Quiz!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, which means it's time for me to make my annual trip back to the Idahoan tuber farm on which I was raised. Seeing my family is always a bittersweet experience, for my new life in New York City is in many ways at odds with that of my parents and my seventeen siblings, and I sometimes find myself chafing under their simple rural ways, conservative tastes, and strict Jainist mores. When I enter that bleak farmhouse reeking of incense, sit on that austere Bauhaus furniture, and clasp hands with my siblings as we say the Namokâr Mantra over our traditional Thanksgiving dal, I am instantly transported back to a childhood in which I was forced to harvest potatoes, watch Herzog films, and contemplate a universe without beginning or end. One year, when the harvest was particularly bad, Paw was forced to sell his favorite Francis Bacon painting. His nature has been tempestuous ever since, and the void in his soul is as palpable as the discoloration on the wall above the hot tub where the painting used to hang.

Anyway, the point of all this oversharing is to say that I will not be posting tomorrow or Friday, but will be returning on Monday, November 30th with regular updates. If you're American or you observe American Thanksgiving for some reason, you probably won't notice my absence since you'll be embroiled in your own holiday mishegas (that's a word Paw used to say; I think it's Hindi for "dinner"). If you're not American, I should briefly explain that Thanksgiving is a very big holiday here, and it's one in which people eat turkey. (Or, in California, giant turkey burritos.) Also, people--even hipsters!--engage in random acts of altruism:

Riding fixed-gears and shopping are the twin pillars of the urban "hipster" lifestyle, and when they combine them for a good cause everybody wins. But let's not forget on this Thanksgiving eve that "hipsters" can also be needy. A reader forwarded me this New York Times slideshow which offers us a glimpse into the squalid conditions in which many of them are forced to live:

Not since Jacob Riis has a photographer exposed this level of urban adversity. As you dig into your "epic" Thanksgiving burrito tomorrow, try not to choke on the fact that somewhere a "hipster" is going to sleep in an apartment without a second stainless steel refrigerator.

Incidentally, if you're taking part in one of these "Cranksgiving" things (personally, I'm waiting for my favorite holiday season folding bike alleycat, "Dahonukkah") but you don't want to suffer the rigors of fixed-gear riding, you can look like you're riding a fixed-gear thanks to coaster brake technology and "Coasties," to which I was alerted by another reader:

Once again, the great and charismatic Shane Stock of Oso Bike has proven himself to be a true pioneer. It's worth noting though that "blowing out your knees" has become the "You'll shoot your eye out" of the cycling world. I'm sure there are people somewhere who have suffered knee problems as a result of fixed-gear riding, just as I'm sure there are people who have indeed shot their eye out with a BB gun. However, if "blowing out your knees" was really that big of a problem then by now it would be an epidemic and I'd expect to see it happening daily on the Williamsburg Bridge. Imagine the horror you'd feel when you heard the twin bangs and the "shants" of the Nü-Fred in front of you exploded in a gristly rain of blood and ligaments.

Lastly, as the cycling world continues to obsess over the problem of doping, it's important to keep the whole issue of drugs and sports in perspective. To that end, we would all do well to watch this "epic" video, which I saw recently on All Hail the Black Market:

That's what I call "tripping balls."

It's now my pleasure to leave you with a brief pre-holiday quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see "The King of Customs." (He really likes purple.)

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and may your Thanksgiving burrito be stuffed full of "epic" deliciousness.


1) The new Cadel Evans t-shirt (now sold out!) bears the following complaintway:

2) To whom does this chin dimple belong?

3) This look can best be described as:

4) "If you're thinking of buying the Nü-Fred in your life one of these [hats], be sure to pick the color that most closely matches his facial hair, since ideally it should sort of look 'combed into' his beard and coiffure like a good toupee." --BSNYC

5) This integrated handlebar/stem is called the:

***Special Competitive Edge-Themed Bonus Question***

"That's the spirit!" Motivational number curation at the:


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