Tuesday, April 28, 2015

All Or Nothing: The Rapidly Eroding Middle Ground Between Caution and Throwing It to the Wind.

Are you planning your next vacation?  Do you like death?  How about roads?  Well, why not visit Bolivia's "Death Road?"

YOLOSA, Bolivia—Nearly two dozen cyclists have been killed on Bolivia’s so-called Death Road, which descends 11,000 feet from the snow-capped Andes to the rainforest. That peril is part of its allure.

Sure, there are stunning vistas and sparkling waterfalls along the winding 40-mile ribbon of dirt and gravel that clings precariously to vertical mountain faces. But it’s the occasional tragedy, like when a rider overshoots a hairpin turn and Death Road lives up to its name, that’s made it one of Bolivia’s biggest tourist attractions.

The accompanying video was rather tepid, so I wasn't sure why people kept dying, but it turns out it's because many of the people who visit Death Road are both lazy and stupid:

In addition, the fact that it’s all downhill and requires minimal pedaling attracts people of all shapes and abilities. Some commit rookie mistakes, like squeezing only the front-wheel brake which can send them flying over their handlebars. Mr. Symons says that cut-rate tour agencies provide beat-up mountain bikes with faulty brake-pads. Still, he chalks up many of the mishaps to dunderheaded behavior.

Some tourists, he says, show up for the ride after a night of partying and are hung-over—or still drunk. Others are speed demons. Then there was the guy who taped a Handycam to his bike frame and, while adjusting his viewfinder, pedaled off a ledge.

Does it make me a bad person that I kinda wanna see that Handycam footage?

Speaking of flying off cliffs, let's talk about helme(n)ts:

As you'll recall because you hang on my every word, yesterday I mentioned I'd been flitting about the West Village this past weekend, and in addition to seeing cargo bikes I saw children wearing helments in situations in which helments simply aren't warranted.

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Who are you to say when my child should and should not wear a helment?"

Well, I'll tell you who I am.  I'm the voice of common sense, goddamn it!  Because there's no reason whatsoever that a child should be wearing one of these:

On one of these:

Yet that's one of the many instances of gratuitous child-helmenting I've witnessed since the weather turned in our favor--and it was exactly that helment, too, lest you think I'm exaggerating for effect.

Now, it's important to remember that kids live in a world of fantasy, and oftentimes they like to wear helmets while playing because it makes them feel like they're race car drivers or Iron Man or Genghis Khan.  (Are you kidding?  Kids love Genghis Khan!)  In fact, sometimes kids will even insist on wearing helments when they don't need them, because children are demanding little shits.  However, this was definitely not the case here.  As it happens, I personally witnessed this adorable little girl scootering about, bare of head and happy as you please, and then the nanny called her over urgently and cowled her with that hideous plastic abomination.  Instantly she went from delightful vernal sprite to Darth Fucking Vader.  It was depressing.

(And please note that I am not blaming the nanny.  I'm sure she was under strict orders to make certain the poor kid wore that stupid thing at all times while scooting.  I'm also sure she'd have been fired if the parents caught her allowing the kid to ride a scooter on a lovely April afternoon without a head encased in packing materials.)

And that's not all. Not too long ago I also witnessed a child wearing a helment as he rode one of these...on the freaking grass:

"Rode," by the way, is putting it charitably as the kid could hardly get the thing moving.  (You know, because of the grass.)  So why make your kid wear a helment in order to sit on what is essentially just a stool?  Because it has wheels?  Please.  Look how low it is!  His head is already closer to the ground while sitting on this than it would be if he were standing up!  Letting the kid simply walk around the living room is far more likely to result in head injury than somehow falling off this thing and onto the grass--and even a child would have a hard time dumping this contraption, because it has three wheels and it looks like it weighs as much as an Ikea entertainment console.

"But that's not the point!," I can hear some of you crying.  "Wearing helments while using three-wheeled toys instils good safety habits in children!"


Making kids wear helments anytime they get near anything with wheels just makes them think riding things with wheels is a dangerous pain in the ass, and instead of associating bikes with freedom and fun they'll associate them with hot sweaty plastic and shrill, panicked admonitions of "Put your helmet on!!!" as mommy and daddy chase them down in the playground.  On the other hand, piling into the family Range Rover entails no such concomitant neuroses or safety apparel, save for the seatbelt and perhaps a booster seat.  So which form of transport do you think the child is going to associate with convenience and safety and normalcy?

(Hint: it's the one I don't own.)

And they'll become good little victim-blamers when they grow up and get Land Rovers of their own.  "Look at that irresponsible cyclist with no helmet on, he must have a death wish.  I think I'll teach him a lesson."  BEEEEEEP!!!

Look, we all want to protect our kids, but no matter what you do they manage to hit their heads somehow.  This is because they're clumsy and stupid.  Deal with it.  They get big, purple contusions on their foreheads trying to retrieve toys from under the coffee table.  They run after the pretty butterfly then go sliding face first down the asphalt.  They bait the cat, with predictable results.  This is why they can wear a helment all day on their crappy scooter and then eat shit that evening attempting to climb over the couch.

I'm not saying kids shouldn't learn there's a time and a place for helments, I'm just saying people need to realize there's a difference between safety and brainwashing:

("The magic symbol on your helment tells the drivers not to hit you.")

And we've been so thoroughly brainwashed by this point it may be too late.

Speaking of punishing you in the name of protection, it's springtime here in New York City, and that means it's time for the annual bicycle crackdown!

And what would a good old fashioned New York City-style bike crackdown be if it didn't involve ticketing riders for stuff that's not even against the law?

It turns out that Park Slope's police lead the city in tickets for texting while cycling, having written 151 tickets for cellphone use in 2014. There is an argument to be made about how such a crackdown would further road safety, but there is a much more glaring problem: texting while cycling is not illegal.

Although an NYPD spokesperson has previously claimed that it technically is:

State law currently bans texting or making phone calls while driving a car, and NYPD Legal Affairs Bureau spokeswoman Susan Petito confirmed this morning at the hearing that traffic laws applying to motor vehicles also technically apply to the operation of bicycles. However, she said summonses for texting bikers are currently "very rare": only six were handed out last year.

While I full acknowledge that using your smartphone while cycling isn't a good idea, I vigorously oppose any new law that would ban it, for the simple reason that it would put an end to my career as New York City's premier Cat 6 adventure photographer:

Sure, I could just duct tape tape a selfie stick to my head instead like that guy who plummeted off Death Road, but as the Lucas Brunelle of Citi Bike I live for the thrill of barreling down the Manhattan Bridge bike path at relatively conservative speeds while taking lousy pictures.  After all, every saddle I have is a razor, and I play to roll.  (After inserting my blue Citi Bike membership key and patiently waiting for the green light, of course.)  Plus, I don't dare go faster--at least without dick breaks.  To wit, consider this, the greatest "Spurious Anecdote" to date about why you NEED dick breaks on your rhode biek--or else!

Saved by These Discs
A section of Ballard Canyon turns downhill, and when you look at it on Google Maps, the road looks like the outline of a soft-serve ice-cream cone. I was coming around the last, sharp turn here with lots of speed, and passed another rider going the other direction. I looked over because I thought it might be Mike or Matt, and when I looked down the road again, I was practically on the shoulder. I thought, this is really bad. But here I am, recounting the misadventure without a scratch on me, which is real-life proof that disc brakes work. The Specialized Tarmac Disc is a crazy-fast, thoroughly fun bike that corners so well it makes you think of curves not as potentially dangerous challenges, but as yummy—and oh-so-tantalizing—treats.—Louis Mazzante

See that?  If you move your head even slightly while descending on a bicycle YOU WILL DIE...

...unless you upgrade to dick breaks immediately.

There's no way he could have slowed that bicycle with primitive rim brakes.

Best of all, this life-saving bicycle can be yours today for a mere $9,500:

"What You Need to Know" indeed.

That's not nearly enough information, they really should add a second box:

And if all else fails, just lay a massive drunken guilt trip on the whole family by insisting that you need a safer bicycle, and that if they don't support you in this they clearly they want you to die.

Lastly, in other speed-related news, the Red Hook Crit happened this past weekend:

And the winner of the men's race appears to be a former pro who rode for Saunier Duval--you know, this guy's team:

Meanwhile, scanning the results sheet, the erstwhile hipster alleycat heroes of old placed down in the double digits.

It's the end of an era.

Or maybe the beginning of one.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sorry I'm late, the alarm on my Apple Watch didn't go off, then I realized it was just an apple.


During the course of this week you can expect increasingly fervent reminders concerning my presence at Bike Expo New York:

(Why is he trying to lick his front tire?)

I'll be at the Walz booth at the following times:

--Friday May 1st, 12pm-2pm;
--Saturday May 2nd, 12pm-2pm.

The first 12 visitors on each day get a free limited edition collectible cap that will be worth thousands of dollars if I sign it and millions if I don't.

Also, I'll be "leading" a ride down to the Expo on Saturday.  Let's meet at Indian Road Café in Inwood at 10am.  I'll have 12 caps to give away there too.

And since I plan to ride in the morning before that anyway, if anyone wants to join me for a super-secret early morning ride just email me with the subject "I WANT TO GO ON THE SUPER-SECRET EARLY MORNING RIDE!!!" and we'll set up a meeting place.  (Email address is in the profile in the right margin.)  Plan on a civil, loping, stretchy-clothes-and-clicky-shoes ride of about two hours which will be decidedly non-epic apart from the fact we'll almost certainly ride on some dirt at some point.  We'll finish up at the Indian Road Café, and if you want to continue on to the Expo then great.

All of this is subject to change owing to weather, blogger whims, or acts of Lob.

Speaking of riding bicycles for purely recreational purposes, this past weekend I rode an all-terrain bicycle:

This was the first time in 2015 I've ridden such a bike without a solid layer of snow and ice between my tires and the earth:

See, I don't do shit when it comes to helping maintain the mountain bike trails, so I figure the least I can do is wait until they've thawed and drained before using them:

As for the dried mud on the downtube, that's from sometime last year.  In fact, this past January before the snow hit I had one wheel of this bike out the door for a ride when my latest child announced his imminent arrival and we had to pile into THE CAR THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK and head right to the hospital.  I barely had a chance to put on proper pants, let alone clean my bicycle before putting it into hibernation.

I mean, it's not like I would have cleaned the bike anyway, but at least it's an excuse.

Anyway, it was profoundly enjoyable to finally engage in non-snowy fair weather all-terrain cycling again (especially astride a custom artisanal bicycle), though the first mountain bike ride of the year is invariably like drunken coitus: you throw yourself into it way too eagerly, you're incredibly sloppy, and before you know it you wind up asleep in a bush.

Of course, recreation aside, bicycles can also be useful tools for transportation, especially when combined with public transit.  For example, last week I used a Big Dummy to bring one of my kids to school (I don't even know which kid, they're like bikes, I just grab one and go), then I ditched it on the sidewalk (the bike I mean) and hopped a train:

Then, while I was in the Manhattan/Brooklyn Bike Share Hyper-Gentrification Zone, I grabbed a Citi Bike, where a professional Cat 6 very nearly put the ol' wheel chop on me:

By the end of the day I'd been on two (2) bikes, two (2) commuter trains, and two (2) subway trains, and I'd fulfilled various responsibilities and obligations along the way.  See, that's what the smuggies call "multi-modal," and the ability to operate this way is one of the relatively few things that makes New York City livable.  Indeed, as I flitted about that day I thought about that New York Times cargo bike article, which had just "dropped," and which I wrote about on Friday.  In particular, I thought about the doofus who dismissed the subway as an "ordeal," and I wondered why there's this notion that you have to pledge allegiance to a single mode of transportation and then sever all your ties to everything else.  People would have you believe there's no middle ground between carrying a MetroCard and being one of those people who wears a cycling cap at all times, but he fact is that with a little forethought and a judicious mix of vehicles and fare cards you can fine-tune your commute here pretty well.

Though now that I've pointed this out the Times will run a supremely annoying article about "multi-modal millennials" under the headline "The Commute, Curated."

I will give the Times one thing though, which is that they were dead right about how much rich people love cargo bikes.  This past weekend I was knocking around West Village and I saw all manner of smug-tastic washtubs on wheels:

Between the protected bike lane in the background and the human-powered stroller you'd be forgiven for thinking that New York City was indeed the most bike-friendly city in America--and hey, maybe it is, assuming you can afford to live in a neighborhood where they've got that kind of bike infrastructure.

Try riding that bad boy on Queens Boulevard and report back to me.

(And no, that's not a criticism of cargo bikes, that's a criticism of New York.)

Meanwhile, I was perusing Twitter when I noticed this tweet from Cadel "Excuse Supreme" Evans:
I realize I occupy the maturity level of a seventh grader, but "swapping off like keen juniors" sounds fairly lurid to me.  Maybe that's normal Australian English, but here in Canada's butt zit almost everything sounds dirty if you put the word "off" after it.  This is why "swapping off" sounds like something you'd do furtively in the bathroom--and why, by proxy, "Keen Juniors" sounds like an adult film.  (Plus, we all know a "Gran Fondo" is a kind of hot tub.)

On top of it all, note the number of "favorites" it had when it appeared on my smartphone:

Sorry, I take back what I said before.

I have the maturity level of a sixth grader.

In any case, Hincapie looks pretty happy in the accompanying photo, but there's one retired pro who was none too pleased:

It's not a party without the Cipo.

Friday, April 24, 2015

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Cargo bikes.

They're practical, they're efficient, and they're fun for the whole family.

Unfortunately, many of these families will make you wanna puke:

When Dave Hoverman, 38, a business strategy consultant in Berkeley, Calif., goes to Costco on the weekends, he ditches his Audi Q7 and instead loads his four children into a Cetma cargo bike with a trailer hitched to the rear.

“We do all sorts of errands on the bike,” Mr. Hoverman said. “We try not to get in the car all weekend.”


Firstly, if you're new to the world of smugness, "We try not to get in the car all weekend" means "We totally get in the car every weekend, we just know we're supposed to feel guilty about it when talking to reporters about our cargo bike."

20 bucks says he's got a "One Less Car" sticker on the bike to boot.

Secondly, I don't give a shit how you get to Costco, but if you're going to try not to use your car for whatever reason, why own one that costs FIFTY-FUCKING-THOUSAND DOLLARS?!?

It takes a special kind of arrogance to rationalize this sort of conspicuous consumption.  Do they think buying a car that costs more than a lot of people make in a year and then not using it is endearing somehow?  I suppose they also spend $500 on caviar and then try not to eat it, and have a $10,000 bed but do their best to sleep in the backyard.

Come on, spare us the guilt.  Most of us have no problem with your owning both a cargo bike and a car, and we'd respect you a hell of a lot more if you simply said, "Hey, the cargo bike's great, but so is the climate control and buttery leather interior of my Audi Q7."

Thirdly, leaving the car at home once in awhile is not ditching your car.  This is ditching your car:

Try that with your $50,000 German luxury car.  Then I'll be impressed.

This was also somewhat vexing:

Cargo bikes initially catered to the “hard-core D.I.Y. crowd — people who wanted to carry around really large objects like surfboards or big speakers or kayaks,” said Evan Lovett-Harris, the marketing director for Xtracycle, a company in Oakland, Calif., that introduced its first family-oriented cargo model, the EdgeRunner, in 2012. Cargo bikes, he said, now account for the largest proportion of the company’s sales.

“When we first started selling these bikes 15 years ago, we were the total freako weirdos,” said Ross Evans, the company’s founder. “Back then, a basket on your handlebars was considered fringe.”

Okay.  I love Xtracycle.  I have an Xtracycle.  (Well, a Big Dummy, but same thing.)  But at no point in bicycle history anywhere on the planet was this considered "fringe:"

Timeless?  Charming?  Precious?  Sure.  But not fringe.

This is fringe:

("Look at me, Mom and Dad.  LOOK AT ME!!!")

Surprisingly, it takes the article about self-important smuggies ten whole paragraphs before it starts talking about Brooklyn:

Cargo bikes are making inroads into New York, too. It is not unusual to see them parked outside Whole Foods in Gowanus, Brooklyn, or Union Market in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

Yes, or really any place overpriced groceries are sold.

“It’s such a great transaction because here’s this family that’s ditching the car and transforming itself, and you get to be a part of that,” he said. “I love when the kids come in and jump all over the bikes.” (When parents show up without children, he lets them test-ride bikes with sandbags.)

Here we go, ditching the car again.  I don't doubt there are people out there who buy cargo bikes and then realize they don't need to buy a car, but I'll bet you the article of clothing of your choice that you can't find me five families in Brooklyn who had a car, then got a cargo bike, and then ditched (and by "ditched" I mean GOT RID OF) the car.  Sure, they'll talk your ear off about how they "never drive" the Outback anymore, but I promise you they're all keeping that goddamn car, because they can afford it.

I do like the sandbag thing though.  That's actually not a bad idea.  In fact, if only more parents spent a few years schlepping sandbags around as preparation before having kids the world would be a much better place.

But perhaps the most insufferable thing about cargo bike owners is the disdain they acquire for public transportation:

Manuel Toscano, 42, a design consultant who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, commutes to his son’s preschool in Chinatown and his job in TriBeCa on a Bullitt bicycle. “Every time we tried to take the kid into the subway, it was an ordeal,” he said. “People don’t move or let you sit when you have a kid.”

“We finally decided we’d had enough,” he said. “The only sustainable way to have kids here is not to get in the subway.”

What?  Are you insane?!?  Sure, I realize that people in Williamsburg have a martyrdom complex about the L train, but come on.  I love my Big Dummy, but as a New York City parent I can assure you that if I had to decide between owning a cargo bike and having access to the subway system then I'd ghost ride the ol' "smugness flotilla" right into the river.  The subway is a goddamn lifesaver if you're a parent!  Hundreds of miles of routes, access to the far reaches of one of the greatest cities in the word, a flat fare of $2.75 (with free bus transfer)...and your preschool age kid rides free!!!  Sure, every now and then you might have to share a car with someone who's soiled himself, but as far as family transportation goes you can't beat that anywhere.

This is an established pattern in New York City though: enroll your young child in a school in a completely different neighborhood (or in their case a different borough) because the local options aren't "good' enough for you and then complain about how annoying it is to take him there.

Aw, fuck it.  I'm leasing a Hyundai.

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 you've really accomplished something, and if you're wrong you'll see when it is in fact appropriate to wear a bicycle helme(n)t.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and be sure to ditch your car this weekend for exactly the length of time it takes you to ride a bicycle.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

(UCI president Brian Cookson)

1) The CIRC report sure has ushered in a new age of integrity in professional cycling.

--Come on, don't be stupid

2) It's crazy to think that pro cyclists might be using hidden motors because they'd never do something so ridiculous.

--Come on, don't be stupid.

(By virtually no metric* is this true.)

3) What are we carrying in our jerseys?

--Money and credit cards
--Flatulence-inducing energy gels
--All of the above

*[Conveniently we don't use the metric system, so we remain blissfully unaware of our increasing inferiority.]

4) A mural memorializing victims of traffic violence in New York City was hit by a:

--Giant truck

5) Philadelphia's new bike share system is called:

--"Gimme 'Da Fuckin' Bike, Asshole"

(The Automotive Industrial Complex subliminally creating another motorist.)

6) Mandatory helme(n)t laws would be another great tool for:

--Promoting safety
--Encouraging cycling
--Fostering goodwill between cyclists and motorists
--Oppressing people in poor black neighborhoods

7) The inventor of that idiotic bicycle periscope is planning to:

--Revise it so that it faces rearward
--Buy a new bike with more upright handlebars
--Start a charity ride for victims of Shermer's Neck
--Say "fuck it" and take advantage of Hyundai's fantastic Memorial Day lease specials

***Special "Cycling (Propaganda) American Style!"--Themed Bonus Video***

Don't try the "drop test" with a crabon bicycle, it could fail and void your warranty.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

You Can't Spell "Invention" Without "Vent"

Back in 2007 when I started this blog, I wrote it anonymously and avoided contact with people at all costs.

Now, eight years later, I've abandoned both anonymity and pride, and here I am on my knees begging you to come see me at the Walz booth at the Bike Expo New York:

By the way, why are so many cycling event titles reversed?  I find it pretentious.  "Bike Expo New York?"  Why not just "New York Bike Expo?"  "Gran Fondo New York?"  Why not just "New York Gran Fondo?"

And so forth.

At least they don't call it the "Bike Tour Five Boro."  

Anyway, I mention the Bike Expo because I have more details for you about my presence there, and here they are:

--I will be at the Walz booth on Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd, from 12-2pm, where I will sign your personal effects and accept your lavish gifts;

--The first 12 visitors to the booth on both days get a free--FREE!--special limited edition BSNYC hat;

--On Saturday anyone who wants can join me for a ride in the morning.  For the ambitious among you, we'll meet early-ish (figure like 8am) and go for a two-hour stretchy-clothes ride.  For the more sensible among you, we'll meet somewhere in Manhattan (figure like 10am) and then make our way down to the Expo together.  Oh, and the first 12 people to the ride get a free Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" Speed hat, though I can't possibly imagine there are more than 12 people in New York who would want to ride a bike with me, since I've lived here pretty much all my life and I don't even have 12 friends;

--Once the freebies are gone, you'll get half off any Walz cap with the purchase of a BSNYC cap, and they can also do hat/book combos (meaning a hat and a book I wrote, not a book you can also wear on your head);

--There may or may not be a limited quantity of Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" Speed jerseys available, but if they're all gone and you still want one you can order it at the booth and Walz will ship it to you for free.


I don't know who's more desperate, me or Walz, but it sure works out well for you, especially if you like free hats.

Best of all, then you can wear that hat at the BSNYC Gran Fondon't on May 17th.

This is shaping up to be the best Bike Month EVER!

[end relentless self-promotion]

Meanwhile, by now you've probably heard about the Tampa police using bicycle laws as a pretext for targeting poor, black neighborhoods:

A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Tampa police are targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.

Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn't just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.

Distressing, but hardly surprising.  Last year a study revealed a similar pattern here in New York City.

This is yet another reason to oppose mandatory bicycle helme(n)t laws.

So what sorts of highly dangerous violations are Tampa police enforcing, anyway?

There was the 56-year-old man who rode his bike through a stop sign while pulling a lawnmower. Police handcuffed him while verifying he had, indeed, borrowed the mower from a friend.

There was the 54-year-old man whose bike was confiscated because he couldn't produce a receipt to prove it was his.

One woman was walking her bike home after cooking for an elderly neighbor. She said she was balancing a plate of fish and grits in one hand when an officer flagged her down and issued her a $51 ticket for not having a light. With late fees, it has since ballooned to $90. She doesn't have the money to pay.

So living their lives, basically.  Meanwhile, a typical Portlander will do all three of those things in a single afternoon.  Granted, instead of fish and grits it's usually a sustainably raised charcuterie plate, and the lawnmower portager runs an artisanal bicycle-powered landscaping business he funded through Kickstarter, but I'll guarantee you not a single one of them can produce a receipt for their Speedvagens on demand--and I'll put a frame pump through the spokes of the first putz who says that woman should have been using a CETMA rack:

So apart from not being black, what can you do to avoid getting a bike ticket in Tampa?  Here are some tips from the article:

This one's my favorite:

Riding too slowly

If there is no bike lane, keep up with the speed of cars, or ride close to the right-hand curb. Bike law doesn't specify how close.

Holy crap! Keep up with the speed of cars?  So if there's no bike lane I need to ride at like 30-40mph?

What the hell kind of fucked up city is Tampa anyway?!?

One full of extremely fit racists, apparently.

Speaking of Portland, BikePortland recently covered both on-the-bike air conditioning and that stupid bike periscope, and they did so with typical earnestness:

Though I don't know if you can call something that sits on your handlebars and ejaculates in your face an "air conditioner:

Because if so then that makes Mario Cipollini a Commando 8.

Note the description of the video:

Clearly they're very confident in their product, though I'm not sure why they made me sit through over a minute of drone footage before the guy finally started spritzing himself:

Nice Euskaltel jersey, by the way:

Those guys made Astana seem straight-edge.

In any case, the gold standard of on-the-bike cooling systems remains the KoldRush micturating helme(n)t, which I examined a little over a year ago in great detail--but let's take a quick look at it again, because it's just that good:

Remember Super Dave Osborne and his insouciant helme(n)t strap slack?

The most ironic aspect of mandatory helme(n)t laws is that if you were to wear yours like this you wouldn't get pulled over, yet the risk of strangling yourself when your strap snags a truck's side view mirror vastly outweighs any safety benefits the helme(n)t might provide if it somehow stays on your head during a fall.

As for on-the-bike cooling systems, why not just use the water from your own water bottle instead?  I mean yeah, it's sort of a decadent use of water on a hot day--like the lip balm scene in "The Three Amigos"--but what's the difference really?  If these guys have such a problem with overheating I don't think these gadgets are going to cut it, and it's only a matter of time before they wind up on the side of the road sucking the last bit of moisture from their handlebar jizzers or urinating helme(n)ts as the case may be.

Then there's the periscope, and we've already taken a thorough look at that invention:

Though I was amused to note that the inventor himself left a comment on the BikePortland post:

Mike Lane April 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

Hey guys it’s the Pedi-Scope guy. Thanks for the feedback (albeit brutal, ha ha) and thanks Jonathan for posting. I’m going to take your feedback and go another direction (literally). I’m going to design a rear facing Pedi-Scope and will launch it sometime in late May (that’s the beauty of getting a posting on a real-deal bike blog, you get real-deal feedback from real-deal bikers). If you are interested please be sure to look for it on Kickstarter then. Thanks again!

Hey, I posted about your crackpot idea first!  What the hell am I, chopped liver?!?

"Real-deal bike blog" indeed.

I hope he's kidding about the "rear facing Pedi-Scope" thing though, because I'm pretty sure that's just an incredibly stupid way of saying "rear-view mirror," and he's about to enter a crowded marketplace:

("Rear facing periscope on the wall, who's the dumbest inventor of them all?")

They even make ones that go on your helme(n)t--though I'm not sure if they're compatible with the KoldRush.

Perhaps Mr. Lane should invent a helme(n)t mirror with a windshield wiper.

Penultimately, here's another invention that's going to make both the bike and the car obsolete my incorporating the least practical aspects of both into one vehicle:

It's got a windshield:

And doors:

And even a state-of-the-art dick-breaking system:

Yet beneath the sleek, modern exterior lies what is essentially just a crappy exercise bike:

It looks like Batman's velomobile swallowed a Citi Bike.

Seriously, they couldn't have made the cockpit just a bit more comfortable?

Hopefully there's a system to restore sensation to your genitals, because if you attempt to stand and relieve the pressure you'll hit your head on the ceiling.

And what is it about Americans that we can't envision a form of practical cycling that occupies the vast middle ground between "charity rider" and "fully-faired freak?"

Though I admit it's a very handy vehicle for the many, many people who live in quaint, seaside bungalows with bike lanes in front of them:

I'd love for the inventors to attempt riding this thing over any bridge bike path in New York City and report back.

Sure, I'll pull you out after you get stuck, but I get to take your picture first:

Lastly, here's a bike with a revolutionary "new" downtube:

Which was last seen on the Colnago BiTitan:

Here's the description:

Lattice space frame down tube

The lattice space frame down tube is an integral part of the frame's structure, reducing lateral bottom bracket pedalling flex, yet keeping some compliance for comfort. The space lattice frame on all our bicycles is engineered to put rigidity where it is needed and compliance where needed to ensure speed and comfortable ride. The space lattice acts in a similar way to an oversized down tube, however having two tubes further apart spreads the stress load as far out as possible on the 92mm-wide bottom bracket, while keeping some vertical compliance. Very aggressive riding styles, like singlespeeding, result in down tube flex and loss of power through the bottom bracket. OLSEN BICYCLES designed the space lattice to optimise lateral rigidity, so pedalling energy is translated very efficiently into forward motion.

As a bonus, it lets mud fly all over the place:

I suppose bespoke canvas downtube mudguard will be next.