This is a gordon, not a bidon.

This is a gordon, not a bidon.

To Bidon Or Not To Bidon

by / / 144 posts

This is serious, people. I hope you’re sitting down. Really. Sit down. Not a half sit. A real sit. Both cheeks. If you’re reading this on your phone, put the phone away and wait until you are sitting behind a computer like a civilized person.

Ready? Deep breath.

I have it on the excellent authority of my French friend Anne that that this is what a bidon looks like, not this.

I told you to sit down. My initial reaction was one of defiance and disbelief. I even suggested that I understood Le Langue du Peloton better than she does. In her infinite grace and my infinite obtuseness and ever-increasing volume, she almost conceded this as a possible explanation to this ground-rattling revelation.

There is something seriously fishy going on in this here petri dishy if what we as a collective of Cyclists – even those in France – have referred to as bidons are actually giant plastic jugs that are more commonly strapped to backs of Jeeps and motos than bicycles. Maybe we would take a bidon in the car to the start of a big ride, to fill up what we should probably be calling une gourde. Madness.

Cornered, I sought the advice of my good friend William, who represents one half of both Pavé Cycling Classics and Malteni Beer. He replied with his usual delicacy and the natural charm that I assume made him a good sprinter:

Tell her to fuck off. Was she born in the 50’s? For fuck’s sake. We haven’t called them gourdes since before the war when they were metal and were stopped up with corks. For fuck’s sake.

The only conclusion I can come to is that when the plastic bottle was introduced, some bright spark called it a bidon half as a pisstake and half as a way to distinguish this novelty from the traditional bar-mounted bottle. And we’ve been confusing the non-Cycling French population ever since.

// Accessories and Gear // Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. @LawnCzar

    @frank

    @LawnCzar

    I like that “bidon” effectively means, “jerry can.” You wage war on the mountains, attack the roads… May as well equip yourself appropriately.

    I enjoy joy using terms like bidon, casquette, and gillet, but usually avoid the them unless I know the person I’m speaking with will understand me. If they do, we get to enjoy saying them together. If they don’t, I’d just confuse them. Words are better used as markers of affinity than of exclusion in my experience.

    I love all of this. Spot on.

    Hey, cheers.

    I do use the words as a litmus test to see whether someone understands; I don’t wait to find out if they understand before using them. If they are confused, I explain myself and depending on the level of confusion, I will either then continue using the word assuming they now understand it, or will stop.

    That’s a fair point — there are times when a moment of incomprehension is replaced with a deeper understanding.

    While people are posting photos of tea cups, here’s a little number in “fine bone china” that I got for Christmas. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make me smile each morning.

    A Rouleur mug. Beautiful. I want this one. But with the exchange rate, I have hard time justifying spending 19 pounds (plus postage) for it. I need to be like you and find someone to give to me as a Christmas (or birthday) present.

  2. @chuckp

    @LawnCzar

    @frank

    @LawnCzar

    I like that “bidon” effectively means, “jerry can.” You wage war on the mountains, attack the roads… May as well equip yourself appropriately.

    I enjoy joy using terms like bidon, casquette, and gillet, but usually avoid the them unless I know the person I’m speaking with will understand me. If they do, we get to enjoy saying them together. If they don’t, I’d just confuse them. Words are better used as markers of affinity than of exclusion in my experience.

    I love all of this. Spot on.

    Hey, cheers.

    I do use the words as a litmus test to see whether someone understands; I don’t wait to find out if they understand before using them. If they are confused, I explain myself and depending on the level of confusion, I will either then continue using the word assuming they now understand it, or will stop.

    That’s a fair point — there are times when a moment of incomprehension is replaced with a deeper understanding.

    While people are posting photos of tea cups, here’s a little number in “fine bone china” that I got for Christmas. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make me smile each morning.

    A Rouleur mug. Beautiful. I want this one. But with the exchange rate, I have hard time justifying spending 19 pounds (plus postage) for it. I need to be like you and find someone to give to me as a Christmas (or birthday) present.

    Tea does taste particularly good out of bone china…

  3. @LawnCzar

    Great stuff! Well done! I have been looking for a print of that scene for sale online and have not found one yet. I’ll keep looking as I do not have a good quality printer available to me at the moment.

  4. @chris

    Tea does taste particularly good out of bone china…

    I drink tea every now and again, but not regularly. Mostly I just drink the “hard” stuff, i.e., espresso.

  5. @chris

    I need these. http://cyclingsouvenirs.com/cycling-gifts/retro-cycling-team-espresso-cup-saucer/

  6. @chris

    @chuckp

    @LawnCzar

    @frank

    @LawnCzar

    I like that “bidon” effectively means, “jerry can.” You wage war on the mountains, attack the roads… May as well equip yourself appropriately.

    I enjoy joy using terms like bidon, casquette, and gillet, but usually avoid the them unless I know the person I’m speaking with will understand me. If they do, we get to enjoy saying them together. If they don’t, I’d just confuse them. Words are better used as markers of affinity than of exclusion in my experience.

    I love all of this. Spot on.

    Hey, cheers.

    I do use the words as a litmus test to see whether someone understands; I don’t wait to find out if they understand before using them. If they are confused, I explain myself and depending on the level of confusion, I will either then continue using the word assuming they now understand it, or will stop.

    That’s a fair point — there are times when a moment of incomprehension is replaced with a deeper understanding.

    While people are posting photos of tea cups, here’s a little number in “fine bone china” that I got for Christmas. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make me smile each morning.

    A Rouleur mug. Beautiful. I want this one. But with the exchange rate, I have hard time justifying spending 19 pounds (plus postage) for it. I need to be like you and find someone to give to me as a Christmas (or birthday) present.

    Tea does taste particularly good out of bone china…

    Excellent choices, gentlemen.

    Yeah, the shipping to the States definitely made this one for the Christmas list. Luckily, my sister in law likes a) good design and b) bikes.

    Now, I just need someone to take a similar attitude to those Moments prints…

  7. @chuckp

    @chris

    I need these. http://cyclingsouvenirs.com/cycling-gifts/retro-cycling-team-espresso-cup-saucer/

    Damn! I am ordering one of these ASAP!

  8. @LawnCzar

    I bought this print a while ago. Just love it!

  9. @Buck Rogers

    That print is hanging in our service course as well. We love it too. Emerson and company are also coming out with an limited serigraph this year and you should be one of the first to know when it is ready — a series to focus on memorable episodes of the Giro d’Italia. And welcome back now that I understand you’ve been out and away in the wilderness.

  10. @emerson

    Thanks, man! Yeah, for some weird reason my work computer would not let me post on the site for over a year but now it is fixed and I am able to spread my reign of terror all over the site once again!

    As for the Giro prints, I’ll be standing by with credit card in hand! Thanks for that info! (hope they have a Hampsten version–although a blank piece of white paper is all that is probably needed to truly capture that moment in time)

  11. @Buck Rogers

    That’s a good example of using negative white space for sure.

  12. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank

    Ciao! This winter I tried successfully to ride for 110 km wit no water or food, but to tell the truth I always carry a borraccia in the middle pocket of the jersey!

    Here in Italy the most iconic photo of Coppi and Bartali, that everyone know and love, is this one…

    This photo, right here, is justification alone for this site to exist. Perfetto.

  13. @Barracuda

    @brett

    @Mikael Liddy

    Say hi for us!

    @brett Richie says G’day also (insert sarcastic smiley face etc etc )

    Is that before or after he laid down some heat (ok, V) on Wilunga today?

  14. @chris

    @chuckp

    @LawnCzar

    @frank

    @LawnCzar

    I like that “bidon” effectively means, “jerry can.” You wage war on the mountains, attack the roads… May as well equip yourself appropriately.

    I enjoy joy using terms like bidon, casquette, and gillet, but usually avoid the them unless I know the person I’m speaking with will understand me. If they do, we get to enjoy saying them together. If they don’t, I’d just confuse them. Words are better used as markers of affinity than of exclusion in my experience.

    I love all of this. Spot on.

    Hey, cheers.

    I do use the words as a litmus test to see whether someone understands; I don’t wait to find out if they understand before using them. If they are confused, I explain myself and depending on the level of confusion, I will either then continue using the word assuming they now understand it, or will stop.

    That’s a fair point — there are times when a moment of incomprehension is replaced with a deeper understanding.

    While people are posting photos of tea cups, here’s a little number in “fine bone china” that I got for Christmas. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make me smile each morning.

    A Rouleur mug. Beautiful. I want this one. But with the exchange rate, I have hard time justifying spending 19 pounds (plus postage) for it. I need to be like you and find someone to give to me as a Christmas (or birthday) present.

    Tea does taste particularly good out of bone china…

    I work with a bunch of young people, so I take great joy in drinking from this and staring at the youngster on the other end.

  15. @Buck Rogers

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank

    Ciao! This winter I tried successfully to ride for 110 km wit no water or food, but to tell the truth I always carry a borraccia in the middle pocket of the jersey!

    Here in Italy the most iconic photo of Coppi and Bartali, that everyone know and love, is this one…

    This photo, right here, is justification alone for this site to exist. Perfetto.

    I would argue that that entire exchange is a prime example of why we’re awesome.

    Also, I’m not aware of any other site anywhere on the internet that can conjure up 100+ remarks to the notion that perhaps we are using the wrong incorrect term for “water bottle”. That, I would say, is why we are here.

  16. @PT

    @Barracuda

    @brett

    @Mikael Liddy

    Say hi for us!

    @brett Richie says G’day also (insert sarcastic smiley face etc etc )

    Is that before or after he laid down some heat (ok, V) on Wilunga today?

    That little whippersnapper positively dusted it yes? I just now watched the Stage V replay and dang that was a hot climb w/Richie P just about outa the saddle and laying down the hammer the entire jump… the Aussies overall wrapped up a great Down Under Tour. This just gets me super pumped for the season indeed. Cheers

  17. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank

    Ciao! This winter I tried successfully to ride for 110 km wit no water or food, but to tell the truth I always carry a borraccia in the middle pocket of the jersey!

    Here in Italy the most iconic photo of Coppi and Bartali, that everyone know and love, is this one…

    This photo, right here, is justification alone for this site to exist. Perfetto.

    I would argue that that entire exchange is a prime example of why we’re awesome.

    Also, I’m not aware of any other site anywhere on the internet that can conjure up 100+ remarks to the notion that perhaps we are using the wrong incorrect term for “water bottle”. That, I would say, is why we are here.

    Well, of course that … and the photo.

    I have to say that when I was stuck back in Iraq in summer 2009, riding my trainer day after day and surfing the web, what first brought me here was an AOP, if I am not mistaken. Seems like it was a King Kelly AOP back in 2009. But then again, I am getting as old as fuck (or Ivor–which ever is older) and I might be screwing up the whole memory en total!

  18. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank

    Ciao! This winter I tried successfully to ride for 110 km wit no water or food, but to tell the truth I always carry a borraccia in the middle pocket of the jersey!

    Here in Italy the most iconic photo of Coppi and Bartali, that everyone know and love, is this one…

    This photo, right here, is justification alone for this site to exist. Perfetto.

    I would argue that that entire exchange is a prime example of why we’re awesome.

    Also, I’m not aware of any other site anywhere on the internet that can conjure up 100+ remarks to the notion that perhaps we are using the wrong incorrect term for “water bottle”. That, I would say, is why we are here.

    Well, of course that … and the photo.

    I have to say that when I was stuck back in Iraq in summer 2009, riding my trainer day after day and surfing the web, what first brought me here was an AOP, if I am not mistaken. Seems like it was a King Kelly AOP back in 2009. But then again, I am getting as old as fuck (or Ivor–which ever is older) and I might be screwing up the whole memory en total!

    I am officially older than Fuck. Fuck is a mere child compared to me. However, I can still ride a bike and Fuck cannot throw a leg over the top tube.

  19. @Gianni: Glad I could help.

  20. @chuckp

    WANT

  21. @PT

    @Barracuda

    @brett

    @Mikael Liddy

    Say hi for us!

    @brett Richie says G’day also (insert sarcastic smiley face etc etc )

    Is that before or after he laid down some heat (ok, V) on Wilunga today?

    Before, he was ” next level ” on Willunga

  22. @wilburrox

    @PT

    @Barracuda

    @brett

    @Mikael Liddy

    Say hi for us!

    @brett Richie says G’day also (insert sarcastic smiley face etc etc )

    Is that before or after he laid down some heat (ok, V) on Wilunga today?

    That little whippersnapper positively dusted it yes? I just now watched the Stage V replay and dang that was a hot climb w/Richie P just about outa the saddle and laying down the hammer the entire jump… the Aussies overall wrapped up a great Down Under Tour. This just gets me super pumped for the season indeed. Cheers

    Yep indeed, we rode the course before the willunga stage about an hour before and it was packed. Willunga Hill is an amazing atmosphere, Let the season begin !!!

  23. @Barracuda

    TDU 2016 Willunga Stage – Main Straight at base of Willunga Hill prior to Richie Porte putting the hurt on, greeted by the V Flag

  24. @Barracuda

    I’m betting it was the V flag that inspired the move. Just speculation but if you see smoke and then fire, it is logical to think that the smoke came from the fire, no?

  25. @Barracuda

    That’s Geraint on the far left. Bet he loved seeing the V flag.

  26. @the Engine

    I am officially older than Fuck. Fuck is a mere child compared to me. However, I can still ride a bike and Fuck cannot throw a leg over the top tube.

    I am not old as fuck. However, for the first time in my life I’ve started to feel old. Or, I guess I should say, think old. Instead of just charging ahead every single day, I’ve found myself thinking about the future and about how long ago some great experiences were. They weren’t “a few years ago” anymore. And the more basic…what am I do? why am I here? Suddenly I’ve been slapped with an existential slump!

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point?

  27. @Ron

    “…what am I do?” HTFU

  28. This is a very good point, emerson!

    To be honest, I actually think that so many things are falling into place and I’m no longer an unsettled youth, which is why I’m having a Weak Senior Moment.

    Life is so good and easy that I have too much time to overthink things. I’d better get back to hunting & gathering all day and trying not to freeze to death. That’ll cure me!

  29. @RobSandy

    I think you mean right lol.

  30. @RobSandy

    @Barracuda

    That’s Geraint on the far left. Bet he loved seeing the V flag.

    Far right as you look at picture, but yes, was a great day, pretty hard to get a picture of me waving flag over peloton and get a picture of flag at same time so this had to do !

  31. @Ron

    FFS if you are still young enough to breed you are not old, and certainly not old as Fuck!

  32. @Oli

    @RobSandy

    I think you mean right lol.

    I haven’t got time to know my right from my left!

  33. @Ron

    @the Engine

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point?

    I remember thinking when my wife was pregnant that it would probably mean the end of all my fun. In reality, it’s just the start. Just a different sort of fun.

    Also, road riding is one of the most compatible sports I can think of with a baby/small child. You can get a lot done in 1-1.5 hrs, so as soon as they go down for a nap, get the lycra on and get out on the road.

  34. @RobSandy

    @Ron

    @the Engine

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point?

    I remember thinking when my wife was pregnant that it would probably mean the end of all my fun. In reality, it’s just the start. Just a different sort of fun.

    Also, road riding is one of the most compatible sports I can think of with a baby/small child. You can get a lot done in 1-1.5 hrs, so as soon as they go down for a nap, get the lycra on and get out on the road.

    Tip for new players – contrary to popular belief many, possibly most, babies do not require quiet to sleep. They’ve been surrounded by noise in the womb for 9 months and suddenly it all goes quiet… too quiet. It freaks them out.

    Parenting forums and groups abound with stories about switching on hairdryers, TV static and other white noise – I put many miles on our car because sticking our eldest in the back and driving around west London was the best way to get him into a deep sleep.

    A turbo trainer is the perfect thing. Feed him/her, plonk them down, jump on the bike and I guarantee you will get a good couple of hours riding. Better still, send your wife out and don’t let on, then reap the brownie points from your genius at getting the baby to sleep so well. She’ll probably let you go out for a ride !

  35. @ChrisO

    Exactly! I was going to say the same thing. The white noise of rollers/trainers are perfect for kiddos. Just make sure that you secure those kids in a crib or something. As they get older they start to move around and God help you if they get near the wheels!!!

  36. @Ron

    @the Engine

    I am officially older than Fuck. Fuck is a mere child compared to me. However, I can still ride a bike and Fuck cannot throw a leg over the top tube.

    I am not old as fuck. However, for the first time in my life I’ve started to feel old. Or, I guess I should say, think old. Instead of just charging ahead every single day, I’ve found myself thinking about the future and about how long ago some great experiences were. They weren’t “a few years ago” anymore. And the more basic…what am I do? why am I here? Suddenly I’ve been slapped with an existential slump!

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point?

    Dude, 50 is the new 30 and you – just outa grad school and preggers VMH – gotta be just a punk a** kid. Cheers

  37. @RobSandy

    I haven’t got time to know my right from my left!

    But do you have time to bleeeeed???

  38. @RobSandy

    @Ron

    @the Engine

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point?

    I remember thinking when my wife was pregnant that it would probably mean the end of all my fun. In reality, it’s just the start. Just a different sort of fun.

    Also, road riding is one of the most compatible sports I can think of with a baby/small child. You can get a lot done in 1-1.5 hrs, so as soon as they go down for a nap, get the lycra on and get out on the road.

    There is only one issue with kids. And that is that multiples of n+1 can be expensive and ultimately relegate your car to outside the garage. But if the little ones don’t make you laugh at least once/day then you’re not paying attn. Cheers

  39. @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    Parenting forums and groups abound with stories about switching on hairdryers, TV static and other white noise – I put many miles on our car because sticking our eldest in the back and driving around west London was the best way to get him into a deep sleep.

    A turbo trainer is the perfect thing. Feed him/her, plonk them down, jump on the bike and I guarantee you will get a good couple of hours riding. Better still, send your wife out and don’t let on, then reap the brownie points from your genius at getting the baby to sleep so well. She’ll probably let you go out for a ride !

    This man’s a genius. We used to sit ours in front of the tumble dryer.

  40. @Buck Rogers

    @RobSandy

    I haven’t got time to know my right from my left!

    But do you have time to bleeeeed???

    Also genius. I managed to get that line into a game of cricket. The ball came towards me at midwicket too fast for me to get a hand down so I stuck a foot out – it bounced off my foot and straight into my onrushing mouth. Spat some blood out, said ‘Aint got time to bleed’ and carried on with the game.

  41. @Ron

    I think a few things are at work. I’m finally calming down, some. I’m finally getting my arse outta graduate school and “growing up.” I own a home. I am married. And the VMH is pregnant. Maybe I’m just at a check-in point

    Congrats! Fatherhood will test your patience, but is a great thing. Share your passion for bikes, but let your child try everything and decide for themself what they want to do. My daugher rides, but I’m a golf dad as golf is what she excels at and loves to play.

  42. Thanks for all the words of wisdom! I really appreciate the serious suggestions and the fun ribbing as well. I’m excited. Most of my friends have 1-2 kids so I’m happy to be joining that pack. Grew up with lots of younger cousins, so got pretty used to babies, changing them, feeding them, etc. I know I’m not fully prepared, but I definitely not freaked out by young children.

    And great suggestion on the trainer, ChrisO! My parents are actually coming through town this weekend and I can ask them to bring my rollers, which have lived in my closet at home since I moved to a much warmer climate. Perfect timing!

    I’m sure riding will continue in some form, as the VMH knows I need to be active. She already gave the go ahead for me to serve for two more years on a local cycling advocacy group.

    Chuck – we have a local park and a local university that are great places for cross riding. Going to get the Velominipper on a back as soon as possible. I played all sorts of sports growing up and still play soccer, as well as ride. I think team sports teach GREAT life lessons, so I’ll encourage them to play. Mostly though, I’m sure they’ll just see the benefits of physical activity, whether organized sports or hiking or whatever.

    Thanks again! Always fun to hear good suggestions and tales from those who’ve broken this ground already.

  43. @Ron

    Chuck – we have a local park and a local university that are great places for cross riding. Going to get the Velominipper on a back as soon as possible. I played all sorts of sports growing up and still play soccer, as well as ride. I think team sports teach GREAT life lessons, so I’ll encourage them to play. Mostly though, I’m sure they’ll just see the benefits of physical activity, whether organized sports or hiking or whatever.Thanks again! Always fun to hear good suggestions and tales from those who’ve broken this ground already.

    Get a bike trailer. Great way to get a workout and spend some quality time with your Velominipper. Most of the time, they’ll just nap while you have to pedal harder to haul the extra weight.

  44. Oh yes, I’m looking forward to a bike trailer! I have been holding on to an old beat up mtn. bike to recondition and repurpose for towing the child. I live right next to a university with a large campus. It has a jogging path that is good for low-speed cycling (it’s allowed) and also a nice, long, straight campus road with a wide sidewalk and a bike path. Both good places to take the kiddo!

    In all honesty, my biggest fear is having to use a car more often, as I currently ride a bike exclusively. (and I can’t stand how inattentive, reckless, and rude drivers are to other motorists) Thankfully, I should be able to bike him to school once he starts. A neighbor already tows his kid to school with a trailer.

  45. @Ron

    Just the ticket for you………

  46. There are times I realise I love this site more than I should.

    Who knew such a thing existed back in the day?!

  47. @Teocalli

    @Ron

    Just the ticket for you………

    WANT.

  48. Woah! Thank you for bringing the Pram Car to my attention. Awesome contraption.

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