Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday's Here And It's Equipped With An Aerodynamic Fairing!

Firstly, as part of my increased commitment to bringing you top-quality blogging content in 2015, here's more gratuitous triathlon crash porn:

Yep, that's the entire spectrum of human expression, right there in a single image:


Oh, and if you're wondering what else my increased commitment to bringing you top-quality blogging content in 2015 entails, it basically means I'm going to remind you even more often to buy jerseys and hats:

The hats will caress your head like a "Magic Kippah," and so silky smooth is the jersey that when Mario Cipollini sampled it at Interbike he immediately commissioned Walz to make him 20 pairs of underwear and a set of king-sized bedsheets out of the same fabric.*

*[This is not true.]

But yeah, it's a really nice jersey, and I can't wait until the winter's over so I can actually ride in the thing instead of just wearing it around the house and air-cycling** in the bathroom mirror.

**[Air-cycling is the bike equivalent of air guitar; it's when you put your fists out in front of you like you're in the drops and then squint intently like you're descending at Fred "Wooo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed.]

Speaking of cycling accessories you can't do without, remember Überhood?

Of course you don't.

Regardless, it turns out Überhood was merely ahead of its time, for behold...LEAFXPRO!

Do you hate straining against gale-force winds and horizontal rain while wearing an ordinary poncho?

Well, this guy does, and so he cut stuff:

And drew lines on paper:

And sewed stuff:

Until finally he'd created sort of an aero-umbrella to fend off the elements:

Not only is it ideal for fighting your way through squalls on those seaside slogs:

But it's also great for mountain biking:

And in addition to transforming your bike into a sort of "upright recumbent," it also administers a much-needed "wedgie" to you while you ride:

I'm also reasonably certain that's Bret mixing it up with a little offroad action for a change:

Sure, you might look a bit strange riding around the city with this thing on your bike, but you can draw attention away from the fairing by wearing a velvet king's hat:

Until I come out with my own BSNYC version you can buy yourself a similar velvet king's hat at Party City:

He looks nonplussed.

I should also point out that if you need a plastic windshield just to ride your local trail you should probably stay off it altogether until it dries out, lest you invoke the ire of your local IMBA chapter:

Or at the very least you could lay off the gratuitious skidding:

Best of all, when you get to where you're going all you do is unzip:

Extricate yourself from your rolling garment bag:

Throw the whole system over the shoulder of your corduroy jacket:

And run off into the sea due to sheer embarrassment, never to be seen or heard from again:

Speaking of shame, you know how parents don't like to talk about sex with their kids but they do it anyway, because they figure better the kid hears about it from them than from some friend who thinks HPV is the cable channel that "Hoarders" is on?  Well, I feel the same way about this video that was forwarded to me by Klaus of Alps and Andes--I'd prefer not to address it at all because it kind of creeps me out, but if you're going to hear about it from someone it might as well be from me.  Anyway, basically it's a video for some cheesy brö-metal song that features a cameo from that guy who lost all his Dauphiné Libéré titles:

Evidently, it's supposed to be some kind of statement about doping:

Appropriately, the accompanying track, the hard-rocking "Mountain Lion," concerns the misplaced outrage over performance-enhancing drugs. "The amount of attention given to PEDs is incredible," says Commerford, "especially when you consider the amount of drugs – recreational, illegal and pharmaceutical – that America supports and profits from."

Wow, man.  Now that's deep.

But what I couldn't get past was this:

"Lance is a friend, an awesome person and, as far as I'm concerned, a punk rocker," he says.

Really?  "Punk rocker?"  Are you kidding me?!?  I find that offensive.  Hey, I'm fairly pragmatic when it comes to his Tour wins (and yes, he did win them), but Lance Armstrong is categorically and objectively not a "punk rocker."  I don't care what your definition of punk is--whether it's Discharge or David Byrne or something in between, this guy ain't it.  Come on, even post-Oprah he's as corporate as they come!  If Lance Armstrong is punk rock then what does that make Thom Weisel, Malcom McLaren?

(Cash from chaos.)

Actually, there may be something to that.

Nevertheless, I suppose we should remember that this guy's old band, Rage Against The Machine, did change the world with their politically charged frat rock/rap, assuming your definition of "changed the world" is "got college dudes pumped to get tribal armband tattoos back in the '90s."

Lastly, some town in Colorado is putting bike racks on the ambulances:

The bike-friendly ambulance "is eliminating some of the concerns that our patients had in the past when they were like, 'I'm not going to the hospital if I have to leave my bike here,'" Steve Main, PVH's director of emergency medical services told The Coloradoan.

This is bike-friendly?  Oh, come on!  Yeah, like I'm gonna visit the town with the bike racks on the freaking ambulances.  Clearly the local officials already know where I'm going to wind up.  How far is this town from where Matthew Beaudin was hit, anyway?

Seems to me that riding in a town with bike racks on the ambulances is like eating in a restaurant where they put Imodium on the table as a condiment: nobody's expecting it to end well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Blizzard To Snow Job

Well, that didn't happen.

New York City, which was shut down overnight, was spared the worst of a snowstorm that swept across the Northeast early Tuesday and slowly returned to its normal rhythms as travel bans were lifted and transit services gradually restored.

My sympathies to those of you residing in areas that did receive or are currently receiving the full cockwallop of the storm, but here in my woods of the neck it was something of a bust, and it skipped New York City like the march of time has skipped Cleveland.  (It's still 1989 in Cleveland, which has confounded physicists for decades.)  This is ironic given the unprecedented level of storm preparedness, which included shutting down the entire New York City subway system last night for the first time ever in anticipation of a blizzard:

Juno becomes first snowstorm in history to shut down MTA

New York's subways, commuter trains and roads were shut down Monday as an overnight travel ban went into effect, the first time in history that subways have been shut down due to snow, the MTA says.

New Yorkers will debate as to whether or not this was a necessary precaution or gubernatorial exuberance for days to come, especially since the trains ran all night long anyway, just with nobody in them:
See, they have to run the trains anyway to keep the tracks clear.  You just couldn't ride on them.  I believe that's called dramatic irony as opposed to regular irony.

Even more incredibly, they closed the roads to non-emergency motor vehicles!
Ah, now that's what I call "Vision Zero."  If only he could do this every day!  While shutting down a train system that runs largely underground was probably unnecessary in this case, I'd argue that they should close the streets to private motor vehicles and their incompetent operators at the first sign of snow all winter long.  After all, it's the dingbats who take to their cars in snowstorms who block the roads for plows and emergency vehicles--the very emergency vehicles that need to rescue them from their own cars.

It's situations like these that underscore our skewed perception when it comes to danger.  When a storm is bearing down on us (or even possibly bearing down on us) our officials are willing to declare a state of emergency and close the roads to prevent deaths and injuries that might occur.  However, hundreds of people are killed and thousands are injured by drivers every day, yet that's not an emergency.  It's just business as usual.  One death in a snowstorm caused by a driver who lacked the common sense to stay home?  Not acceptable.  Hundreds caused by drivers who fail to yield?  No big whoop.

Oh, they also closed Citi Bike, which should surprise nobody:
And further warned riders to make way for the plows:
Given the shitty weather we had last night you'd think these sorts of warnings would be unnecessary, but I'm sure somewhere out there some schmuck on a Citi Bike decided "Screw that, I'm taking the lane!"

There's a time to take the lane, and there's a time to get the fuck out of it.  A snowstorm is generally an example of the latter.

Finally, even the revived Yehuda Moon comic strip tackled the blizzard with its trademark brand of dry irreverence:

By the way, that's the NSFW version, and the "NS" stands for "Non-Sequitur."

Meanwhile, in other NSFW-ish news, a Twitterer alerted me to this post on Mario Cipollini's Instagram:

Oh, Cipo.  Classy as always.

(I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume there's a bowl of cereal between her thighs, in which case it's technically safe for work.)

Speaking of class, what's classier than caviar?  Nothing, that's what!  (With the possible exception of marble columns, of course.  And I grew up close to the location of the fictional Mike's Marbleopolis, so I know what I'm talking about.)  Well, just when you thought no company could possibly want to invest in the shitshow that is pro cycling, here comes the luxury fish-gutting industry with an infusion of cash:

Actually, I have no idea if this is a cash sponsorship, and maybe they're just paying them in fish eggs.

Expect a "Bicycling" article on the recovery benefits of caviar in time for the spring riding upgrading season.

Somewhat less classy and infinitely more dorky is this "22-foot-long bike-powered 'Star Wars' star destroyer," of which I was informed by a reader, and which can be yours for nothing assuming you live in or near Portland:

Residents of Portland, Oregon are in for a treat, as a custom-made, bicycle-powered, 22-foot-long Imperial I-class Star Destroyer parade float is currently available for free on Craigslist. The Star Wars-themed float fits in a standard road lane and requires four bicyclists to operate it. The current owner gives a stern warning about the seriousness of adopting such a craft.

Here's the text of the actual Craigslist ad:

This is a ~22ft long, ~8foot wide STAR DESTROYER (like the ship from STAR WARS). It is best described as a bike-powered parade float. No bikes are included or attached; instead the craft is held up during flight* by 4 individuals on bikes. The design allows the bikes to move somewhat independently. 

The ship has been ridden and featured in 2 years of the Pedalpalooza "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" bike rides. This is a one-of-a-kind item that we unfortunately do not have the space for anymore. We want this to go to a good home, so we're letting it go for free.

A great deal of engineering effort and money went into this project. The ship itself is a PVC frame, re-enforced in certain areas with electrical conduit. The coverings are grey-painted weather-resistant coroplast. It's roughly 22feet long and roughly 8 feet wide. It fits in a standard lane of traffic--for scale, it is about as wide as a 2015 Ford Super-Duty, and a little longer. ( ) The craft is designed to split into 2 sections using convenient screw-joints for easier storage.

If you think your life would be enhanced by owning a 22 FOOT LONG STAR DESTROYER that you and your friends could ride around Portland, please let me know ASAP!


*Spaceship is bike powered; it does not actually fly.

It's good to know Portlanders are putting a "great deal of engineering effort and money" into important projects like this.  Admittedly though this does have other applications beyond Pedalpalooza attention-whoring.  For example, it could easily be repurposed as sort of a "Fred stockade" in order to teach Cat 5s how to ride in a pack without crossing wheels.  In fact, in addition to completing 10 mass start races, Cat 5s should have to spend at least 20 hours in the "Fred stockade" before upgrading to Cat 4.

Also--and it hardly warrants mentioning--triathletes should not be allowed to ride within 20 feet of another cyclist at any time on public roads unless they are confined by such a device:

 You can't be too careful.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm back and I'm twice as paternal now.

Firstly, thank you for indulging my absence as I took a week to get my baby-rearing legs back.  Thanks also for your well-wishings, for those of you who extended them.  Here are answers to some of your questions:

--Regarding genderway, to quote Luca Brasi, the child is a "masculine child;"
--Regarding nameway, after much deliberation we went with Masterlink Derailleur Hanger Pump Peg Rock Machine;
--Regarding the delivery, it was an artisanal birth, complete with kiddie pool in the living room, iTunes playlist consisting of Indian ragas, a Wiccan midwife, a highly-paid doula, a Rabbi who can juggle, and, for reasons I still don't quite understand, a live llama painted with fractals.

It was beautiful.

Oh, also, before I forget, a very special thanks to Riccardo Riccò for the fantastic baby gift:

We'll cherish it always--or at least until the cat punctures it while trying to make love to it.

By the way, I was just about to head out for a ride when I got The Call notifying me that Masterlink's birth was imminent--and when I say "just about" I mean I was stretchy-clothed out and in the process of lifting my bicycle off the storage rack in the basement when my dork-tastic smart watch started vibrating.  Of course, a true Fred would have said, "OK, breathe, just a quick spin, I'll be back in an hour."  However, being the chivalrous sort I abandoned the prospect of a ride, shucked the Lycra speedsuit, loaded up THE CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK, and headed down to the hospital.

Only when I was nearly there did I realize I'd forgotten both my wife and my pants.

As for that thwarted ride, it would be nearly a week before my scranus would know the sweet caress of a Brooks, and when it finally did I propped my bike up against an outcrop and took a photograph to commemorate the occasion:

A second later the bike fell over, scratching the crabon fork, which means it's now liable to explode at any moment.

My belated New Year's Resolution is to make my bicycle cycle fleet completely crabon-free by the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, no sooner has the storm of childbirth begun to settle than a new storm has brewed, and as I type this we New Yorkers are about to get slammed by Winter Storm Juno: The Blizzard Of Hades:

With the first flurries starting to fall Monday morning in what officials said was expected to be one of the most powerful blizzards to ever strike New York City, officials warned residents that the storm would gather strength and urged people to get off the roads before evening when winds would pick up and the heaviest snow was expected.

That's gonna seriously cut into my riding time.

That's also the cue for denizens of the northern reaches which suckle off Canada's arctic teat to start getting all smug:

Well, scoff all you want, but it won't be too funny when some poor schmuck freezes to death trying to un-dock a Citi Bike.

And before you even start:

I know you've waited all year to gloat about your stupid fat bike, but that doesn't mean I want to hear about it.

Here's something else I don't want to hear about:

During my absence various people informed me that some football player rode a bike around, but even a cameo from my most favoritest form of wheeled conveyance is not enough to make me care, because I hate football.  Sure, football brings together America's favorite twin obsessions--mass consumerism and helments--but that's precisely why I despise it.  In fact, I despise pretty much every professional sport both foreign and domestic (yes, even curling, mostly because of all the annoying people who like it ironically), and increasingly I'm inclined to include cycling in that list.  As a sports-hating cyclist I've made an exception for pro bike racing for years, but I've finally realized it's a sport no different than any other and I was merely distracted by all the pretty bicycles.

So now that the bicycle's aren't pretty anymore the spell has been broken.

Another race, another plastic bike.

This is not to say that racing plastic bikes can't be inspiring.  For example, here's someone who wants you to give him $3,999 so he can do just that, and in exchange he'll let you look at his ass:

Scoff if you will, but he's already on his way to being a successful amateur racer, since the very essence of bike racing is believing you're doing the world a favor by partaking in it.  Also, his goal to fight addiction is a noble one:

I need to give the world something nice to look at, in doing so make the world a better place. By buying a beautiful bike, I will bike most everywhere in most conditions. I also want to start racing here in Vancouver and my current bike is not an option. Being on parole and fighting addiction I need something positive to keep me occupied. This will do it. If you back me, you are going to help me stay clean and positive as opposed to being a leech on the community. 

However, it is also misguided, since amateur bike racing is itself an addiction, and there is no bigger leech on the community than the roadie.  So if he wants to replace one addiction with another he'd be much better off just chain-smoking cigarettes.  Really, both amateur bike racing and smoking are bad for you in the long run, but at least with smoking he'll still have some time on his hands to do something productive, whereas bike racers are only off the bike just barely long enough to disappoint everyone else around them.

If you have a roadie in your life then you know what I'm talking about.  Roadies aren't even wet blankets; they're depilatory wax the moment you rip it off.

Lastly, remember how some company asked me if I was interested in a drone?

Well, naturally I asked for one with the intention of crashing it immediately and/or harassing triathletes on the Hudson River Greenway.  (Hard to imagine anything more fun than buzzing triathletes with drones!)  Sadly, though, they're not going to send it after all:

Hello Bike Snob NYC,

This is Sabrina of the Hexo+ team. Unfortunately due to logistics reasons, we could no longer be able to offer a testing unit free loan. It would be most grateful if we could still be mentioned on your website. Regardless, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and we wish you all the best in future.

Oh, sure, I'll still mention you.  In fact, here's an advertising slogan you can use for free:

HEXO+: The Company Confounded By The Logistics of Putting A Crappy Drone In The Mail

You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Just In: I'm Going On Maternity Leave!

(The stork preparing to deliver a bundle of both joy and racism in Disney's dated and off-putting 1941 classic, "Dumbo.")

I am very pleased to report that over the holiday weekend our family welcomed a brand-new human child.  This means we now have eighteen (18) children, or two (2), depending on how you count.  This also means that I'll be exercising my contractually guaranteed right to maternity leave (the Blogger's Union fought long and hard for this), and will hereby be extending my absence to Monday, January 26th, at which point I'll resume regular updates.

That should be enough time to trade in the Big Dummy for a bakfiets:

Or else just a Canyonero.

In the meantime, thanks for indulging my absence (or, if you choose not to grant me indulgence, you know where you can stick your lack thereof), and I look forward to seeing you back here on the 26th.


--Wildcat Rock Machine

Friday, January 16, 2015

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

***Apologies!  I totally forgot to mention this blog will be closed on Monday, January 19th, 2015 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Well, I shouldn't say the blog is closed, because you're still free to come here and read it.  What I mean is that I won't be updating it.  I will, however, return on Tuesday, January 20th with regular updates.  Thank you very much for understanding, and if you don't like it may Dr. King come back and smite you.  Amen.***

You know how the second it starts snowing anyplace in America all the drivers lose what remains of their minds and crash into each other immediately, and how all the cyclists won't dare venture outside without first spending a few thousand dollars on an industry-approved fat bike they'll never actually ride?

Well here's what happens in the Netherlands:

It's worth noting that the typical middle-aged Dutch person on a city bike seems to have better bike-handling skills than most of the field at a typical American cyclocross race.  It's also amazing to see drivers who are considerate towards cyclists even when the weather is foul, because here it's the opposite, and the shittier the weather the more inconsiderate the drivers are towards pedestrians and cyclists.  This is because we're a nation of assholes who resent weakness and disadvantage, and therefore we enjoy punishing the unfortunate losers who are forced make their way through snow and rain without being hermetically sealed inside of automobiles.

In fact, we love seeing people suffer in the elements so much that our car dealerships use it for self-promotion:

And hey, I'm no better, because I too can't help enjoying the misfortune of others.  For example, I should feel really bad for this person, but instead I find it hilarious:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that bike must have cost at least ten thousand dollars.

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 good, and if you're wrong then you'll see some Fred bike freestyle.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and check those clearances.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

(His handwriting is sloppy because he's wasted.)

1) Which is not a form of annoying cyclist behavior according to Australian "Family Feud?"

--"Ring Bell"
--"Taking Driving Lane"

2) Why is this Fred smiling?

--He is enjoying a mid-ride coffee
--He is safe, thanks to his seatpost-mounted radar system
--He looks like a deranged Ewan McGregor
--All of the above

3) The latest must-have triathlon accessory is:

--A pair of smart goggles
--A submersible drone
--A pair of smart water wings
--A personal lifeboat

4) A saboteur in Portland is using _____ to booby-trap cyclists.

--Broken glass

5) Finally!  It's a superfluous roof rack stabilizer bar for neurotics, because the gentle rocking of a bicycle on a roof rack is totally going to crack your crabon fork!


6) Volvo is working on a:

--Crash-sensing bicycle helment
--Connected e-bike
--Self-lowering roof rack to avoid damage to bicycles due to insufficient clearance
--Superbowl ad in which Swedish pop group Abba reunites to perform a new original song entitled "Fuck Subaru"

("Any y'all squirrels try to get at my nuts and yer dead!")

7) If guns are outlawed only invasive tree species will have guns.


***Special "This Is Why You Pass The Lock Through The Frame"--Themed Bonus Video***

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Survey Says: There Is No Tri; There Is Only Duh.

Did you know the TV show "Family Feud" still exists?  Well, incredibly, it does, though presumably only so they can continue to use it as the premise for "Saturday Night Live" skits.  Even more surprisingly, it turns out they also have "Family Feud" in Australia--though unsurprisingly they use it to bait cyclists, since Australia is arguably the least bike-friendly country on the planet:

But Australian cyclist community were less than amicable when their national Family Feud broadcast chose the category "What is something annoying that a cyclist might do?" for its game show question, with horrific offenses like “ring a bell,” “wear Lycra,” and even more discouragingly, “everything,” appearing as answers.

You can watch the actual video here:

And cyclists aren't the only group Australian "Family Feud" has it in for either:

In October last year the show faced fierce criticism after it suggested jobs for women commonly include hairdressing, reception work and domestic duties such as washing clothes and doing the dishes.

All of this is certainly irritating, but at the same time it's difficult to get too upset.  After all, we're talking about "Family Feud" here, which is arguably the least culturally relevant TV show still broadcasting.  It's like when a nonagenarian makes a racist comment: sure, you're tempted to call them out on it, but ultimately it's not worth the energy since they've got one foot in the grave anyway and it's a lot easier to just let them die.*

*[I apologize to any and all non-racist nonagenarians reading this blog.  May you live to see 100, and may you remain spry enough to beat the crap out of your brittle-boned racist peers.  By the way, for your convenience, there's a special large print version of the blog available here.]

Anyway, let's turn our attention to a group that really deserves ridicule: triathletes.  Just as technology is revolutionizing the sport of cycling (and by "revolutionizing" I mean keeping it exactly the same, only you need to charge all your accessories now), it's also helping triathletes continue to be as mediocre at three disciplines as they can be.  To this end, a reader informs me that the latest advancement is GPS for your goggles so you don't get lost at sea:

IOLITE is a high-precision tracking device that is worn on the back of your swim goggles. IOLITE will send real time feedback during a swim directly to your goggles through a small LED array to give you the most efficient swim possible. IOLITE will analyze the direction you are swimming and as you veer off course, the LEDs will notify you what direction you need to swim to stay on course with significantly reduced sighting throughout the process.

Yes, it's so simple even a triathlete can use it!  You've got your green light which means you're going in the right direction:

You've got your yellow light which means you're not:

You've got your red light which means you're wildly adrift and about to go full Tom Hanks in "Castaway:"

And then of course you've got the all-important "You're about to become chum!" warning:

Then if by some miracle the triathlete manages to successfully complete the swim, he or she will attempt to mount a bicycle with varying levels of "success:"

I never get tired of that video.

The developer who invents an app to help triathletes get on their bicycles will become very rich indeed.

Speaking of triathletes, here's a gripping psychodrama about a tridork disappearing down the emotional rabbit hole of swimming, biking, and running:

Run is a psychodrama set in the world of Elite Triathlon.

Tristan Selina is a top Triathlete preparing for a crucial late-season championship race. After life-changing revelations are made by his lover, he's forced to confront a traumatic past whilst he and his coach struggle to remain focused on the race ahead.

As you can imagine, making a Bergmanesque film set in the world of elite-level triathlon is fraught with challenges:

Cinematographers note: The challenge with Run is to tell a story that finds stillness in the whirlwind of professional triathlon and chaos in the eyes of an elite athlete. 

That's interesting, because I thought the biggest challenge would be telling a serious story about something as goofy looking as triathlon, which at every moment attempts to undermine the drama of the narrative with excess spacers above the stem:

And excessively low saddle height resulting in a bowlegged pedal stroke:

(Is this guy out for a training ride, or is he just air-drying his crotch?)

And of course the aero helment with extra-long straps fluttering in the breeze:

The most endearing quality of triathletes is that they need thousands of dollars of aerodynamic equipment just to attain the same level of efficiency as an average Cat 4 with a halfway decent bike fit.

Maybe this is just the sort of pathos the filmmakers were looking to achieve.

Moving on to more serious matters, you've probably read Matthew Beaudin's infuriating story about getting ticketed by the Colorado Highway Patrol for being rear-ended by a driver:

Walking toward me as I sat on the side of the road shivering under a heavy coat, one of them asked, without any precursor, if we were riding two across. If we were riding in the middle of the road.

Imagine for a moment what agenda it must take to approach a man, who has just seen his very short 32 years roll before him on old movie film, a question like that.

No, and no. Maybe if we were two across in the middle of the road, someone would have seen me and not ran into me square from behind. And even if I was, I have a right to be on the road — as a rider, driver, runner — and not be struck from behind, ever.

I was given a ticket for something amounting to failing to move over when being overtaken. I asked the officer to tell me why it was he though I was riding in the middle of the road. He responded that he wasn’t going to explain himself. That I could hire a re-creationist if I wanted. That he wasn’t going to explain himself, again. And for a second time that I could hire a re-creationist if I wanted.

Wow.  Maybe the officer moonlights as a "re-creationist" in his spare time and was looking to drum up some business.  Then if you pay up he runs to his cruiser, changes his clothes, and returns as "Crash" McGinty: Accident Scene Re-Creationist!!!

This week on "The Adventures of 'Crash' McGinty: Accident Scene Re-Creationist," 'Crash' tries to get to the bottom of a group ride tumble:

Holy freaking crap.

What I want to know is if the Fred with the Fly6 pointed out the offending obstacle:

I'm sure this will be a key component in 'Crash' McGinty's investigation.

Lastly, speaking of what's going on behind you, a reader has alerted me to the "Backtracker," which is basically a rear-facing radar to let you know what's going on behind you:

So basically just a helment mirror, only more complicated:

I'm not sure why the guy in the video doesn't just suck it up and use a mirror like the one above.  After all, he's already got the beard:

Which, in the café scene, has been rakishly fluffed by the wind:

Anyway, as the video says, with the Backtracker you always know what's behind you:

And what's behind you is Bearded Guy.

You know what they say: behind every good Fred is a wheelsucker.