Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not Your Father's BMX...Oh Wait Yes It Is.

First of all, further to yesterday's post, various Gran Fondon't participants commented to testify on behalf of the Toyota Matrix driver I pilloried therein.  Apparently the Matrix driver was not honking at us, and was instead honking at the Porsche driver.  Or something.

Inasmuch as I was at the front of the ride (owing both to my responsibilities as ride leader as well as my formidable climbing prowess), I admit I did not witness the genesis of the event, and therefore I will defer to those whose vantage point allowed them to watch it unfold in its entirety.  And if I did indeed mistakenly berate the Matrix driver, I'd like to apologize to him, as well as to Matrix drivers everywhere, assuming they are not assholes:

As for the Porsche driver, there seems to be unanimity in the opinion that he was a gigantic douchebag, so screw him.

Moving on, as you've probably heard by now, metal band Slayer (whose music is currently blasting out of roughly 2/3rds of the Toyota Matrices on the road today) have embarked upon a bicycle "collabo" with the BMX company Subrosa:

And in addition to both 20" and 26" BMX bikes, the new Slayer line will also include a 700c whatever-this-is:

As well as a balance bike:

Because apparently the amount of time it takes for a metal band to go from penning adulatory songs about Josef Mengele to co-branding bikes for toddlers is exactly 30 years.

This is not to impugn Slayer by any means, for they were just doing their job in an era when subjects such as Nazi war criminals, virgin sacrifices, serial killers, and good old-fashioned corpse-fuckers were very much in the zeitgeist.  See, you have to understand that the 1980s were a much quainter time, and there were still delicate sensibilities left to offend:

I also don't mean to impugn Slayer's embarking on a commercial venture with a bicycle company.  Indeed, I only want them to succeed, which is precisely why I'm so concerned.  Frankly, this smaks of a major marketing misfire.  Consider, for example, Subrosa brand manager Ryan Sher's comments regarding that 700c whatever-it-is, which carries the unfortunate moniker "Cradle to Grave:"

“And we love the Cradle to Grave concept,” Sher adds. “We want to create lifelong fans of our brand and lifelong fans of cycling. Once a kid gets on a BMX bike—sort of the dirty little brother of cycling—that’s the gateway into cycling. You’ll become a mountain biker, a road cyclist... so the theme starts and finishes your life on a bike.”

Those ellipses are very disturbing.  So you start with BMX, move on to mountain biking, then take up road cycling...and then you die?!?  Hey, I realize Slayer sing about death and stuff, but I don't think most people want to "finish their life on a bike."  Some of us want to at least survive well past the Fred phase.  We want to live long enough to covet Rivendells and Bromptons and lugged steel and touring bikes with a bunch of leather and canvas accessories and all that other stuff old people like.  Plus, if Slayer really wanted to push this "finish your life on a bike" concept, they'd sell a Slayer-branded trailer that doubles as a coffin:

That way when you're ready to finish your life you just crawl into it, launch the "Cradle to Grave" app, and Slayer Graveside Assistance comes to bury you alive in it.

Even better, with a Slayer line of recumbents, you wouldn't even have to climb into the trailer, and they could just bury you in situ:

Plus, by selling BMX bikes, is Slayer really tapping into their core market?  I mean look at them:

These guys are old and so are their fans.  Bassist and lead vocalist Tom Araya may have ridden BMX bikes as a kid, but the guy hasn't even been able to headbang for six years, and I'm willing to bet if he tried to straddle one of his own band's branded bikes he'd break a hip.

And sure, I know what you're thinking: "These bikes aren't for Slayer's aging fanbase, they're for their kids."  But do kids really want bikes branded with the music their deeply uncool Toyota Matrix-driving parents like?  Slayer formed in 1981, and their landmark album "Reign in Blood" is now 30 years old.  Thirty years old.  That's fucking ancient.  Look at it this way: I was deeply into BMX when I was 12 years old, and you know what rock album was 30 years old then?  "Rock Around the Clock."  And I can assure you there's no fucking way I would have ridden a Bill Haley and His Comets BMX back in 1985, no matter how badass my parents assured me it was.

("Raining blood, from a lacerated sky..."--Bill Haley and His Comets)

I'd have been way into a Slayer bike though...just like, if I'm to be totally honest, I'd probably be way into a Slayer folding bike today.  Their logo even looks kind of like a folded up Brompton:

A hand-chamfered Brooks with a pentagram burned into it and it's ready to go.

You're welcome, Slayer.

It could even come with a hand-painted denim Slayer smart jacket:

Imagine if you could control your phone and favourite mobile apps with a simple touch of a jacket sleeve while cycling along.

Science fiction? Maybe, but it's soon to be science fact in the shape of Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket with Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP’s) Project Jacquard technology woven in.

Incidentally, if you're wondering how to pronounce "Jacquard," it rhymes with "Jack-Tard," which is the smart jacket equivalent of a "Glasshole."

Project Jacquard is designed to make it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard industrial looms. By combining thin metallic alloys together with more commonplace yarns like cotton or silk, the garment can almost invisibly add smart capabilities.

Incredible!  I can't wait for Project Jack-Tard.  Just think of the possibilities.  Indeed, it's only a matter of time before your KuKu Penthouse is equipped with a "smart chamois" which allows you to run through the functions of your "smart glasses" using only your scranus:

Just don't let your "smart jacket" wet, which shouldn't be a problem because nobody ever gets caught in the rain while riding:

"Detachable brains" indeed.

Soon you'll be able to say you left yours in your other pants.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Things Are Going To Get Worse Before They Get Worse

Well I'm back.

And of course the highlight of my absence was leading the BSNYC Gran Fondon't, which took place this past Saturday.  It is vital to keep the Gran Fondon't shrouded in mystery in order to maintain its considerable mystique.  Therefore I did not take any photos (though feel free to share yours if you took them), but you can safely assume it was nothing like this:

Instead, a goodly-sized group of hale cyclists did gather at the pointy end of Manhattan at about 7:30am, and then we embarked upon a 40-ish mile mixed-terrain jaunt through the quasi-bucolic precincts north of the city.  Finally, we concluded the ride by drinking beer and eating food at a brewery in Yonkers.

And that's how it's done.

I'm also pleased to report there was only one (1) frustrating interaction with motorists (at least as far as I know).  Ironically, this occurred at the point furthest from the city, on quiet, lightly-trafficked country roads.  We were making our way up a hill, and the fact that we were taking up more than six inches of roadway absolutely infuriated the driver of some sort of late-model Porsche, and so he (it had to have been a "he") roared past us while laying on the horn.  Then, moments later, he was followed by the driver of a shitty Toyota Matrix who did exactly the same thing.

It was an amusing display in that it represented the broad spectrum of douche-tastic motorist behavior: on one end the entitled asshole in the $90,000 car who can't wait a few moments to pass courteously, and on the other the pathetic shitbox pilot attempting to emulate him.  However, it was also infuriating, in that it was indicative of the sad fact that the more fortunate people are the more insufferable they become.  Here's someone fortunate enough to have access to a fancy car, and to live in a wealthy area surrounded by rolling green hills, where the biggest transportation-related problem he has to face is occasionally sharing the roads with people on bicycles coming up to enjoy it.  Yet instead of enjoying it all he's got to throw a temper tantrum and wave his impotent dick in the direction of his good fortune.  (As for the Matrix driver, I'm assuming he doesn't have as much money as the asshole in the Porsche, but fuck him too.)

Of course, in dedicating so many words to this incident I've already blown it out of proportion in that it was really only a tiny blemish on what was otherwise a lovely day.  Nevertheless, while Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal may have pledged to love even the automobile drivers, I will continue to pray to God and Jesus that people like the motorists above lose control of their vehicles, have collisions that involve only themselves, and sustain somewhat improbable injuries in which their gear selectors somehow manage to penetrate their rectums.  So please, join hands with me, bow your heads, and implore Lord Jesus to fuck the motorists in the ass with their own cars:

("C'mere you little piece a shit!"--Corinthians 13:3)

I have faith in you, Jesus Christ, and I know that in your infinite mercy you will make it so.

A-meh and Holy Luau.

(As for the Fondon't, if you missed it there's always next year, and there's also the chance I'll organize another ride before that.  At this moment the chances of that happening are exactly 43.2%, and I'll keep you posted.)

Alas, according to the New York Times, God won't hear my prayer because He doesn't cause "accidents," He only lays out strange dietary requirements and plants fake dinosaur fossils to challenge our faith:

Even so, I was quite pleased to see this article:

Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”

Very true.  Unfortunately not everyone's convinced:

But use of “accident” has its defenders, as Mr. Larason discovered in 2014 when he posted his thoughts on the word in a Facebook group popular among traffic reporters.

“Why can’t human error be an accident even if the error is preventable,” one person wrote. “What is being solved by having this debate? What injustice are we correcting?”

What injustices?  Oh, I dunno, how about police believing the lies of killer motorists, or failing to charge drivers who kill children?

The person who wrote that comment was probably the same asshole driving that Matrix.

The article also provides some fascinating insight into how the word "accident" became the default term:

The word was introduced into the lexicon of manufacturing and other industries in the early 1900s, when companies were looking to protect themselves from the costs of caring for workers who were injured on the job, according to Peter Norton, a historian and associate professor at the University of Virginia’s department of engineering.

The business community even developed a cartoon character — the foolish Otto Nobetter, who suffered frequent accidents that left him maimed, immolated, crushed, and even blown up. The character was meant to warn workers about the risks of inattention.

“Relentless safety campaigns started calling these events ‘accidents,’ which excused the employer of responsibility,” Dr. Norton said.

When traffic deaths spiked in the 1920s, a consortium of auto-industry interests, including insurers, borrowed the word to shift the focus away from the cars themselves. “Automakers were very interested in blaming reckless drivers,” Dr. Norton said.

So basically, like "jaywalker," it's an example of business interests using language to fuck us.

In any case, while it's good to see the media waking up to all of this, it's too bad that those same business interests are always at least a few steps ahead of us.  Sure, by the time the self-driving cars take over the media may not call crashes "accidents" anymore, but everyone's still going to assume you're at fault when one hits you and you wind up stuck to its hood:

(There's that "A"-word, by the way!)

“Ideally, the adhesive coating on the front portion of the vehicle may be activated on contact and will be able to adhere to the pedestrian nearly instantaneously,” according to the patent description.

“This instantaneous or nearly-instantaneous action may help to constrain the movement of the pedestrian, who may be carried on the front end of the vehicle until the driver of the vehicle (or the vehicle itself in the case of an autonomous vehicle) reacts to the incident and applies the brakes.”

If you weren't yet paranoid that the machines are taking over then I'm willing to bet you are now, and I look forward to Google's next patent for a device that renders pedestrians and cyclists who fall victim to self-driving cars into Soylent Green.

No way I'm falling victim to any of that, which is why 10 years from now you'll find me riding around town slathered in marine grease.

Speaking of dystopias, those stratospherically high bicycle fines in New South Wales, Australia have been in effect for a few months now, and apparently they're really raking it in:

Cyclists fined for not wearing helmets rose to 1098 in March and April – up from 710 previously. They make up more than two-thirds of the total number of infringement notices.

The fine for riding without a helmet more than quadrupled on March 1 to $319.

It means the amount of fines collected from people riding without helmets totalled $350,262 in March and April, compared with just over $50,000 in the same period in 2015.

In contrast to the number of cyclists penalised, four motorists were fined for not passing cyclists at a safe distance during the period.


I look forward to the end of the year, when statistics show that cyclists have not been made even remotely safer by any of this, and/or that large numbers of people have simply abandoned riding bikes altogether.

Lastly, for those of you brave enough to continue riding in this nightmarish future, here's the e-bike of your nightmares:

A "Sport Utility Vehicle / SUV" is defined as "a large vehicle that is designed to be used on rough surfaces but that is often used on city roads or highways”. The Carbon ebike is perhaps the most advanced concept of e-bike available today. It could be interpreted as a hybrid bicycle/motorcycle: a lightweight device which releases large amounts of power. Still a true bicycle that you can enjoy in every sense of the word, it offers you much more in terms of usability, performance and freedom: the SUV ebike®.

The Carbon SUV ebike is a superior e-bike in terms of performance, comfort, technology, and brand image.

Should look great stuck to the hood of a Google car.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This is not a post, I'm not here until Monday.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm gone until Monday, so what you're reading isn't a post.  It's just the blogging equivalent of popping back in because I forgot my umbrella.  Except instead of my umbrella what I forgot was to share with you this delightfully smug little piece I wrote for "Reclaim," which is Transportation Alternatives's magazine:

I'm not sure what the smugness equivalent of a "mic drop" is, but it's probably something like tossing your reusable hemp shopping bag over your shoulder, pivoting on your Birkenstocks, and walking briskly away.

And while we're on the subject of my absence, yesterday a commenter commented thusly:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if these "days off" were scheduled well in advance. As it is, they are just sprung on us last minute, leaving me to believe that the author doesn't care that much about this job. I would have thought he would take a few days off after the Fondon't, to recover, not take days off prior to the event. If you haven't put in the "fitness miles" by now, it too late.

May 17, 2016 at 4:32 PM

What?  I don't care much about this job, really?  I've been curating The World's Greatest Bike Blog for Nine (9) Goddamn Years!  They're going to teach classes about this blog in universities one day.  (That class will be called "Futility in the Digital Age.")  How dare you impugn my commitment to this blog, which has been nothing less than unwavering.  You don't think someone of my tremendous talent and intellect couldn't easily have forsaken this blog years ago for something more remunerative?  I have a BA in English from SUNY Albany, with a minor in Religious Studies!  With credentials like that I could easily drop this whole thing tomorrow and find high-paying work as a neurosurgeon, intergalactic space lawyer, or hedge fund manager.  (Granted, I'm not sure what a hedge fund manager does, but I think it has something to do with landscaping.)  And the idea that a cyclist of my caliber and experience needs this time to put in "fitness miles" for a jaunt I ride regularly is laughable.  LAUGHABLE!  Did it ever occur to you that maybe I need this time?  That maybe as a sophisticated urbanite with a rich and nuanced life I have to attend to something extremely important, even more so than this blog?

I mean I don't, not by a long shot, but that doesn't excuse your impudence.

Speaking of unwavering dedication to your job, the NYPD loves "crackdowns," and the latest one is on drivers who endanger cyclists--and if my commute yesterday is any indication, it involves parking a shitload of police cars in the bike lane all day to write a handful of tickets:

While I'm always pleased to see drivers with Jersey plates getting tickets, I'd also argue blocking a busy bike route (this is right by the Manhattan Bridge entrance, a major bicycle thoroughfare) for a full block might cause more problems than it solves:

The "unintended consequences" effect (or maybe they are intended) was even more pronounced as I made my way home last night, when instead of having to circumvent one douchebag on a heavily-trafficked avenue I had to circumvent said douchebag as well as the police car taking up the entire adjacent lane:

Also the usual NYPD bike lane blocking seems to remain in effect despite the crackdown, particularly in the bike lane in Union Square East, where a police car has been stationed since roughly the invention of the velocipede.

Of course common sense would dictate that the NYPD might consider conducting this crackdown on foot, but common sense is keeping its mouth shut ever since it received a little visit from Pat Lynch.

Lastly, the BSNYC Gran Fondon't is shaping up, because look at my inbox:

If you emailed you can expect a reply with details by tomorrow-ish.

I'd say goodbye now, but I was never here in the first place.

See you back here Monday, May 23rd.  (Unless I realize I forgot something else.)

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This Just In: Your Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Post...Today!

Okay, first order of business, I want everyone to grab their hot dude calendars:

(I suspect some of these models may be airbrushed.)

Now flip past the Assos Freak and turn to the May page:

Then grab your crayons and mark it up thusly:

So what does this mean?  It means I won't be updating this particular cycling blog tomorrow, or the day after that, or even the day after that, but I'll be back on Monday May 23rd with regular updates.

Sorry, but that's just the way it's going to be.

Also, you might want to note on your calendar that this coming Saturday, May 21st is The BSNYC Gran Fondon't!

Please don't let the auspicious-sounding title fool you, this is merely an excuse to get together for a 50-ish mile jaunt on some of the roads and trails north of the city and east of the mighty Hudson River.  This is by no means a "hammerfest," meaning no pace lines, town line sprints, or anything like that.  (Well, I mean go ahead and sprint if you want, but the rest of us will probably just laugh at you.)  At the same time, while we'll make a decent effort to keep things together and not drop anybody, we also want to do more riding and less loitering, so you should expect to, you know, ride your bike for 50 miles.  (Yes, of course we'll do the obligatory coffee stop and all the rest of it.)

And please note when I say "we" I mean me.

Also, while there was a guy who showed up on a three-speed or something last year and acquitted himself rather well, I'd suggest riding a "normal" sporty-type bike with those curved-type handlebars they use in the Tour de France for maximum enjoyment.  Hey, I'm not saying you have to by any means--feel free to ride whatever you like--but don't expect everybody to wait for you just because you wanted to score some irony points.

As for the route, it will most likely be more or less last year's route, but in reverse.  Expect some hills and some dirt.  Yes, your road bike is fine.  No, you don't need special tires.  If you're a decent bike-handler your 23mm Fred tires will be fine, but in this Fred's opinion 28-32mm tires are ideal.  Your cyclocross or oh-so-trendy gravel bike is also a good choice, but by no means do you need knobby tires or anything like that.  Also, if you buy special tires for this you're a giant dork.

Lastly, don't use fenders unless they're the breakaway kind.  I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, that's far more words than an informal ride like this warrants.  If you want to join, please email me at bikesnobnyc [at] yahoo [dot] com with the following subject line:


Please email me no later than Thursday, 12:00pm EST and I'll send you the start time and place and all the rest of it.  (I'll also have a way to contact you if the weather sucks and I decide to stay in bed.)  Most likely we'll roll out at 7:30am or thereabouts on the northern tip of the Isle of Manhattan.

So there you go.

Moving on, remember that inverted bike lane in Brisbane, Australia I mentioned yesterday?

Well the very same reader who alerted me to it informs me it has already claimed its first victim:


If you're still puzzled as to why they put the buffer between the bike lane and the curb as opposed to between the bike lane and motor vehicle traffic, apparently it was to prevent this somehow:
Which obviously still makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

Just the latest cautionary tale from The Land Down Under, which as far as I can see is a gigantic experiment in creating an environment in which cycling cannot exist.

Penultimately, here's your next fat bike:

Just imagine, being able to ride without limitations:

So what does that mean?  Well, obviously it means you can ride in snow, which is sort of the whole point of fat bikes:

Though as nobody who sells fat bikes likes to remind you, even with a fat bike this is only possible if the trails are packed in and groomed first, meaning either you have to live where there are lots of snowmobiles, or else you basically just have to have no life or responsibilities and lots of spare time to flatten snow so you can ride a bike slowly on it.

But wait, there's more, because with the Growler you can also ride on smooth trails in fall, which is simply not possible with a normal mountain bike:

Not to mention spring, when those tiny sprouts along the sides of the trail can be very dangerous on a bike with a tire width of less than four inches:

And without a fat bike you can just forget about summer, when those tiny sprouts grow into killer ground cover, which means only a fat bike will allow you to conquer this verdant carpet of death:

Plus logs:

And water:

All otherwise insurmountable on your feeble all-terrain bicycle, which is really only suitable for pavement at this point.

And yes, I realize the irony of making fun of fat bikes when I ride a Marin Pine Mountain 1, and yes, it is technically mine now because I'm going to buy it, AND YES, I did say I'd never buy a fat bike...but in my defense the Marin Pine Mountain 1 is not a fat bike:

It's a plus-sized bike.  There's a difference.  Because it's 2016, and as soon as you change the width of a bicycle tire by more than 3mm it becomes a completely different category of bike.

That's marketing, baby.

Lastly, remember how someone in The Washington Post said cycling is 500 times more fatal than riding the bus?  Well, not anymore:

A fleet of London buses that have been fitted with mobile spinning studios are in the pipeline to be launched in London later this year, travelling across the most popular commuter routes in London to help busy workers to get the most out of their mornings.

The idea, which is the brainchild of boutique gym 1Rebel's founders James Balfour and Giles Dean, was born as a result of the popularity of their most over subscribed class, RIDE, and a desire to remove any hurdles that prevent busy Londoners from working out. 

Incredible.  Finally, someone has figured out how to put cyclists inside a helmet.

It was bound to happen.

In the meantime, see some of you on Saturday, and the rest of you on Monday, May 23rd!


--Wildcat Rock Machine

PS: Don't forget to buy yourself a book and a hat!

Or just a book, from your favorite bookstore.  Or just a hat, from Walz.

Whatever you do, just buy something.

Monday, May 16, 2016

On Your Left! It's Bike to Work Week.

Good morning.

It's officially Bike to Work Week, so if you're lucky enough to be among the roughly %.08 of Americans who A) have a bike; and 2) have a job, this is your chance to shine!

That's right, as counterintuitive as it may seem you really can use that two-wheeled vehicle with the pedals as a means of transport, and to that end the New York Times spoke to some dumb bike blogger about it:

Eben Weiss, the author of the blog Bike Snob NYC, offered some advice for the city: Institute a Drive to Work Week.

“That way, people can see how wildly impractical it is to drive to work compared to biking.”

Smug remarks aside, he said, “Riding in the city is freedom from traffic, timetables and transit delays.”

Oh, I'm so clever--but did I actually say "biking?"

Oy.  I've become everything I once despised.

Anyway, I was pleased to see the aforementioned piece is already attracting the usual brand of insightful bike-related commentary:

Lifelong New Yorker 

Bloomberg never should have started the CitiBike program without first impressing on would-be cyclists that the traffic laws apply to them too. They blow red lights, go against traffic and - on the fancy bike lanes on Queens Blvd. - completely ignore the helpful arrow on the ground and still go against traffic. Way too many of them are an ignorant and/or arrogant menace. I know this from daily experience and, I was knocked down by one while I was crossing in the crosswalk with the light in my favor.

Instead of complaining about cyclists, Lifelong New Yorker and Full-Time Imbecile should realize that he (or she, but let's just say "he") is a statistical anomaly in that he has not yet been killed by a driver on Queens Boulevard.

Meanwhile, via the aforementioned article, apparently the NYPD is observing Bike To Work Week with a "targeted initiative" to protect cyclists:

“This targeted initiative will make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes and safe conditions as more and more people take to the streets,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.

Hey, this sounds great in theory, but why do I suspect that as this directive makes its way down the chain of command it will go from "make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes" to "ticket cyclists for not riding in bike lanes"?

Officers from all 77 city precincts will be directed to focus on drivers who are committing traffic violations that endanger bicyclists. In addition, NYPD traffic enforcement agents will focus on parking violations most associated with bicycle accidents, like parking in a bike lane, double parking or parking in a No Standing zone.

Yep, there's that "A" word again.  Are they really "bicycle accidents" if they're caused by drivers putting their cars where they don't belong?  After all, when I step on one of my kids' Legos, I don't consider that a "dad accident."  I call it a deliberate attack on the authority and physical well-being of the paterfamilias, and you'd better believe I punish them accordingly.

Speaking of bike lanes and police, here's a member of the latter driving into a San Francisco cyclist as he rides his bicycle in an extremely awkwardly-situated example of the former:

(Via Joel)

Yesterday was not a pleasant Bike To Work Day for not one but two downtown cyclists.

Hoodline reader Tim Doyle, 48, was struck by a police car at 5:45pm while riding southbound on Second at Mission—in the street's recently installed bike lane.

A video of the collision that surfaced on YouTube today shows the SFPD vehicle pull into the right-hand turn lane behind another vehicle at the Second and Mission intersection. The squad car then pulled to the left into the bike lane and struck Doyle, throwing him and the bike to the ground.

Though this being San Francisco, I suspect this may all be part of an elaborate viral marketing campaign:

The video above was published on YouTube by Nexar, which recently-launched a free iPhone dashcam app for vehicles. With the company's mission to "rid the world of car accidents" and help drivers "stay protected on the road and avoid getting into tough spots," the dashcam begins recording as soon as the driver suddenly hits the brake, or initiates the app with a tap or voice command. 

Thank you Silicon Valley for your ceaseless efforts on the part of motorists everywhere.

As for that awkwardly-placed bike lane, to find worse you'd have to travel all the way to Brisbane, Australia, where they just installed this:

(Via Geoff)

Seems to me the island should be buffering the bike lane and not the other way around.  Maybe installing bike lanes in mirror image is an Australian thing, like how their toilets flush backwards.  By the way, here's some background on the above bike lane via the reader who forwarded it:

A couple of years a go Danish university student Rebekka Meyer, studying at University of Queensland was riding her bike to uni on Annerley Road when she stopped at the traffic lights.  When the lights turned green she was run over by a truck, killing her. 

There was a Coroners inquiry into the accident and one of the recommendations was for separate infrastructure.

Today Brisbane City Council created this in the area where the accident occurred.

Nicely done.

By the way, as you may recall from this very blog, Brisbane is the same place where residents are tormented by Freds discussing their sexual exploits:

FOUL-mouthed cyclists bragging about their bedroom exploits have sparked so many complaints from fed-up residents a councillor wants "keep quiet" signs erected along a popular cycling route.

Once again, it's important to note that Freds have nonexistent sex lives and the extent of their "bedroom exploits" is the pre-ride application of chamois cream, so this is clearly a group of people with some delicate sensibilities indeed.

Anyway, as Bike to Work Week in the auto-centric Anglophonic countries devolves into the inevitable shitshow, Copenhagen would like to remind you that their city is a cycling paradise:

Well la-di-da, good for you.

I'd happily emigrate there as a refugee from automotive tyranny, but apparently they don't look too kindly on asylum-seekers, so I guess I'm just screwed.

Of course, thanks to Kickstarter our problems will soon be over, because someone's working on a flying e-bike (though sadly there's no accompanying video):

I'll be adding safety features to the flying e-bike as well as a height meter, safety features will include something to stabilize, a backup battery that keeps it in the air if anything fails (which shouldn't be possible if everything goes according to plan). Price tag of this project is estimated on 50k as it will require a lot of technology, when the final product is available and tested properly for safety, everything will be reviewed to make this affordable for almost everyone, end price should not be more than double of a normal e-bike.

For the people that do not have any idea of what i have in mind, i am planning to make a combination of a bycicle and a drone/helicopter

I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong.

Friday, May 13, 2016

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

On Wednesday I went for a bicycle ride, and I was so pleased with myself that I did it again yesterday:

And guess what?  This ride was even better--partially because I'd cleared out some of the metaphorical cobwebs from my legs, but also because I finally "donged out" the cockpit on the Marin Pine Mountain 1 by putting on a longer stem, which improved the climbing significantly:

Not only is the front wheel much less inclined to pop up now, but I can also get my considerable weight right where I want it when I get out of the saddle and unleash the full power of my formidable climbing prowess.

Then, after the ride, instead of eating a disgusting gluten-free sandwich I swung by the taco truck:

Weekday rides and taco truck stops.

Now that's just smart cycling.

Indeed, Westchester County could be a recreational cycling paradise--if only they gave a shit about cyclists, and if only the roads weren't filled with SUVs driven by people who moved there for the lovely villages with "walkable downtowns" and then never set foot on the pavement again.

Speaking of giving a shit about cyclists, Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal wrote a nice column about them:

But it’s exasperating to see how Bad Cyclist anecdotes receive equal treatment to voluminous statistical evidence that cycling makes communities better. It’s maddening to watch public meetings where bike lanes are raged over like they’re landing pads for Martian armies. The transportation data is incontrovertible: Streets that accommodate for cycling get safer. Fewer people get hurt. Fewer people get killed. People on bikes and people walking on the street. Everybody. Even people in automobiles.

I grow increasingly less tolerant of motorists as time goes on so I admit to cringing a bit at some of the lovey-dovey stuff, but on balance I think he did a very good job, and by any standard this is roughly a million times better than most of the drivel you'll read in the mainstream media during "Bike Month."

(And lest you forget, I was on his podcast the other day, so if you haven't listened yet please do.)

Penultimately, this is a thing that will happen:

And rest assured details will follow next week.

Lastly, tomorrow is David Byrne's birthday:

And I'm pleased to report I've crowd-sourced him a little present:
This is going to be his best birthday ever.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right that's fan-freaking tastic, and if you're wrong you'll see fietsacrobatiek.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and watch out for David Byrne because he hasn't been on the road for awhile.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) What is this?

--A new bike with an interchangeable downtube
--A new integrated bike-locking system
--A new folding bike
--A new gravel bike with adjustable bottom bracket height
--A convertible upright/recumbent

2) According to a recent piece in the Washington Post, commuting by bicycle is not safe because:

--A rider once fell on her elbow while riding after a blizzard
--It's more dangerous than riding the bus
--Cyclists are inhaling pollution
--All of the above

3) The most prestigious cycling-related accolade in Delaware is the:

--"Yellow Jersey"
--"Golden Bicycle Helmet"
--"Blue Ribbon for Bicycle Tolerance"
--"Joseph Robinette 'Joe' Biden, Jr. Award for Achievement in Scrapple Excellence"

4) The "Bike Mine" security system is a great way to:

--Prank your friend
--Lose a digit
--Give the trigger-happy morons in America's gun-toting states a great excuse to start shooting indiscriminately
--All of the above

(Scourge of the city.)

5) Which is not one of the "Worst things about bicyclists in New York City" according to a newspaper given away free at subway stations?

--They don't wear helmets
--Their bike races cause "traffic nightmares," despite the fact that there are precisely zero (0) bike races in New York City that involve street closures
--They ride in varying weather conditions
--They don't honor the Sabbath

6) Pro cycling saw its second-ever mechanical doping case when a rider's bottom bracket motor caused his crankarm binder bolts to fail during the Tour of the Gila.


7) This fixie comes free with purchase of:

--An Equinox gym membership
--A $7,500 Marc Jacobs messenger bag
--A Hyundai sports coupe
--A million-dollar apartment

***Special "Bike Month Can't Be Over Soon Enough"-Themed Bonus Video!***

She should shove that bullshit "85%" statistic back up her ass from whence she pulled it.