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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pie Plate

My friend Meghan pointed me to this link, the Bike Snob NYC. He's pretty funny, and I wondered for a minute if I should remove my own bike's pie plate.

Then I decided, no. Allow me to take a sip of Hamm's* from the can, dribble some ketchup on my eggs, bite the tip of my cigar, order a ribeye steak cooked well done and wear black dress socks with sandals and shorts for a moment.

Metaphorically, people, please. I always decant my Hamm's into a pint sleeve so it can express it's watery, cooked corn aroma, completely innocent of hops or, come to think of it, any other beer ingredient.

See, I'm a snob, too, just not a cycling snob. I have definite, strong opinions about beer, how to cook a steak, smoke a cigar, etc. I have rules for how it is and isn't okay to do these things, which is to say I elevate my personal preference to a sort of moral imperative when in fact, if you want that steak cooked to the point where you could re-sole a boot with it, it's your steak.

When he says the pie plate, aka dork disc, aka nerd coaster, aka idiot pucks, etc. "are like heavily intoxicated people and many triathletes in that they have no business being on a bicycle," I thought, who the hell does this guy think he is anyway?

I know he's going for comedic effect, but the triathletes I know are fantastically strong cyclists (in fact, I think for all three that come to mind it's their strongest sport). And I'm sure Mel Gibson has more business on a bicycle than he does on a telephone. For that matter, if you want to go railing against drunks on bicycles, what do you do with a thing like RAGBRAI?

Then I got to wondering: if you're supposed to take it off, why do manufacturers put it on to begin with? And I found an answer from Cyclelicous. I quote:

They protect the wheel and derailleur against damage by preventing the chain or dérailleur from going into the spokes if the rear dérailleur is misadjusted. I once had to replace spokes, chain, derailleur and chainring for want of a spoke protector because my dérailleur hanger got bent in on the train.

My Diamondback is 17 years old, people. I drop my chain to the outside three out of four times I ride (hell, I'd put another pie plate on that side of the cassette if it'd keep that shit from happening). It is not a precisely adjusted machine because every time I've paid someone to precisely adjust it the adjustment lasts about one ride.

So instead of getting rid of my pie plate, I made a label for it. Don't know how long it'll stick since the part is so greasy (I cleaned best I could with QuikTrip napkins) and has a grooved texture on its surface, but here ya go.

Don't tell the BJCP, I could lose my ranking. ;)

1 comment:

R.D. said...

Yeah, I was going to say something about your pie plate but I didn't *sorry* There were a bunch of riders a while back in Portland who replaced their pie plates with actual aluminum pie plates just to be ironic. Don't worry, though, it's not like people driving past would notice that you still had your pie plate on. If you really want to be cool, just remove all of your brakes and use your feet like I do ^_^

BTW, I totally made up that thing about those Portland dudes !! XD I never knew it wasn't cool to have one and I never even knew it was called a "pie plate". If people really are throwing them away, I bet in 20 years you could sell it on ebay for $300.

When I was a kid, I was always taking crap off my bike and throwing it away e.g. my chain-guard. Eventually, I envied my buddies with chain-guards whenever my jeans got stuck in the chain.