Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rock/Rub/Slay/Palp…

Fixed gear bikes, especially when away from their traditional venue (the velodrome, for those of you new to the scene), often have wheels built up with a set of Velocity Deep V rims. Ask the next hipster you see on a fixie what kind of rims he or she “has” on his or her bike, and you will most likely be told that he or she is “rocking” some sweet non-machined candy-colored Deep Vs that really tie the bike’s colorway together. Why does he or she not just “own” or “have” a set of Deep Vs? Because that would be too easy. Anyone can get on craigslist, find a set of rims, meet up with the seller, haggle a little bit, and then return home as the proud owner of a new used set of rims. You see, by “rocking” the rims, you imply way more than ownership. It’s a way of saying that your style/method of using said rims is fucking awesome, or righteous. The Rub/Slay/Palp phenomena are extensions of the concept. Slaying a freestyle session is an exiting way to describe a boring event. Consider the following 2 scenarios:
1. Imagine an undernourished effeminate hipster walking up to Frilly and starting a conversation with: “Hey baby, me and the crew are heading over to an empty parking lot to ride our bicycles in circles, sometimes lifting the front wheel off the ground. Wanna join?”
2. Imagine the same dude walking up to Frilly saying: “Hey baby, we’re about to slay a wicked fixstyle session with Prolly’s crew at the other end of the silk route. Wanna join?”
Now, any aversion to the whole fixter scene notwithstanding, which line do you think is most likely to get Frilly to not think that dude is a douche? The funny thing is, were those two scenarios, along with the ensuing session, to be filmed in a 1920s silent movie style, they would be exactly the same. Same characters, same plot, slightly different words would pop up on the screen every now and then, but that’s just post-production.
Basically rock/rub/slay/palping is just a way for people who follow trends to make what they do sound a little less ordinary. Like calling a stupid Chinese character tattoo body art.

5 comments:

Wes said...

Longest first comment ever?

wishiwasmerckx said...

I have long suspected that if you could actually read Chinese, the tat would actually translate as: "I blow pigs for nickels," and somewhere someone is laughing their ass off.

Luck E. Seven said...

Third!


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Philboy said...

Count me in, I a fanboy too. Got a picture of me on bike wearing a custom RTMS APPROVE lounging smock to prove it.

Luck E. Seven said...

While I agree with the posted explanation of run/rock/palp/slay etc., I believe the parlance evolved from a basic differentiation between roadie and MTB speak. No?

Roadies "run" specific components while MTBers "rock" them. "Palp" was a hilarious extension of the joke and "slay" did in fact refer to sprucing up descriptions of otherwise boring-as-fuck fixed gear freestyle sessions.

From these origins, the practice of verb shifting began.

Now where is the post that kicked off this silliness...??


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