Friday, February 8, 2008

The Indignity of Commuting by Bicycle: Encounters Both Mechanical and Bacterial

As a turbulent week finally draws to a close, I'd like to share with you two highlights from my morning commute.


The first was a charming concerto of incompetence, which you can see below:



I can't find a single thing in this photograph that isn't stupid. The truck is stuck between the parked cars. The car on its right is parked on the wrong side of the street, in front of a fire hydrant. (If you're going to park illegally, you might as well make it count.) As such, the truck's driver is routing traffic around this gangbang of stupidity by guiding it onto the sidewalk. Here he is shown bidding adieu to the driver of a green minivan, who, having successfully passed, is once again free to roam the streets in search of victims.


The second was decidedly less charming and more organic. Some of you may have at some point or another longed for the opportunity to spit in my face. Well, here is a person who actually has:




Of course, he did so inadvertently. I happened to be nearby when he discharged, the wind was in his favor, and it was only a fine mist by the time it reached me. But that doesn't make it any less disgusting, and as cyclists we must all adhere to a collective pact: look before you spit. My first instinct was to chide him verbally, but I opted instead to follow him and photograph him. And it wasn't easy. Despite his innocuous, upright, nerdy appearance, he rode in a reckless fashion that would make a messenger blush. He spent more time on the sidewalk than a Bichon's leavings or one of those Sarah Lawrence students who panhandle on the Lower East Side over the summer. In fact, note that he's still on the sidewalk in the photo. Eventually, we parted ways when he abruptly turned west on an eastbound one-way street.

The heedless spitting combined with the heedless riding was enough for me to once again make an exception to my policy of not taking candid photos of other cyclists. In this case though I do it less to avenge a wrong than I do it to help my fellow commuters, so that should they encounter this windbreaker-clad phlegm dispenser they can be sure to stay upwind of him.

101 comments:

pablo said...

podium

Peter said...

Here's to hoping your weekend gets better.

herkimer said...

on a step

Boz said...

TRES!!!

Boz said...

No, not quite

ZiP said...

top10

big moe said...

taht was u who was behind me ?
why didnt u slow so i could take ur pic ??
i htought youer windbreaker was uglier than mine 4 sure

Cameron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bikesgonewild said...

I'm a beautiful dancer, big fella

Anonymous said...

Hincapie!

Mark said...

What was the schmuck riding? A Walmart special or something with some quality?

Cameron said...

I've found that if you spit downward, between your arm and torso, you can minimize the threat of any fliers finding their way onto innocent bikestandards behind you. Nevertheless, I always look before luggie'n.

vigorelli said...

blow

mr.complaint said...

Let's put on a show!

http://tinyurl.com/2ah7mh

Chunk said...

An English chap I ride with once taught me the most civilized way to hock a loogie while on riding in a group.

Once you figure out which is the best direction to spit- left, right, up, down, you hold out your hand so that it's at the apex of your phlegm's intended trajectory.

That way if your loogie goes off course more than likely you'll catch it in your hand.

Bad for you but good for your friends.

Anna said...

speaking of idignity and hectic weeks, commuting in thickly falling snow was the worst advice i was ever given. talk about your drowned fixie rat.

i've had someone inadvertendly spit on my too. doesn't anyone know not to spit into the wind?

erik k said...

I try to spit onto cars, if you hit a Mercedes Benz two points.

leroy said...

Thanks for the public service announcement.

I think I've seen that guy.

If I see him again, I'll stay up wind of him.

After I tell him he's now famous, of course.

I mean, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really fall? Does it change things if the tree was fat, stupid and ugly, infested with parasites and noisome fungi, and really, really had it coming?

Just wondering.

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AH said...

"Despite his innoculous, upright, nerdy appearance..."

I'm sure you mean "innocuous." Or was it a clever play on words, in that he inoculated you with his germs?

(I have become grammar nerd.)

pinchfinger said...

Above and beyond everything else, notice how many silver colored cars there are in the first picture. Gadzooks, could there be a more boring color for a car?

vigorelli said...

The rider was obviously loosing his mind. Literally. Aerosolized brain matter spreads disabilities:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22150940/

BikeSnobNYC said...

AH,

You're right of course, thanks. It's hard to proofread when you've got antibacterial soap in your eyes.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna patent the 'bag-a-loogie'. It's a small, recyclable plastic ziploc-type bag, attached to your stem via a spring-loaded string. You pull it to your face, spit into the bag and bring your phlegm home where it can be composted.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Pinchfinger,

The cars get more colorful as you get closer to Manhattan.

--BSNYC

simon said...

innoculous?????

something to do with vaccinations?

ZiP said...

PistaDex warning for NYC!

http://newyork.craigslist.org/
mnh/bik/560245580.html

Anonymous said...

a bikesgonewild... post with no ellipses

"I'm a beautiful dancer, big fella"

??? plus all his profile info and hit counter, has been deleted..???

Geoff said...

Note that the driver of the minivan is too stupid to take the painters tape off of his recently replaced windshield. I think the glue has probably already set by now, champ.

gewilli said...

Down... spit DOWN...

between arm and knee...

if it hits your knee is it any worse than the stagnant pothole water that the cars or your front tire kick up on you???

imagine how that jackass drives his car if he rides a bike that way...

Cool The Kid said...

BSNY I would bet the phlegm does too

Judi said...

BSNY,

You could look at it this way - at least he didn't blow snot on you. Far more disgusting than spit.

Anonymous said...

Bike snob...if you ever come to Los Angeles, bring your camera. You'll see stuff like what you've described in your entry on a constant basis. Hell, you don't even need to ride a bike...just stand on the corner and wait...'cause it'll happen.

- Stu

Anonymous said...

this is kinda funny - folks posting up here is like *HEY COME READ MY CRAPPY BLOG*

"I don't really have anything good to add to the conversation but i want to get my name/link/persona somehow connected to a current phenom"

pinchfinger said...

Bikesnob,
I've been to NYC a couple of times, and for the life of me I can't understand why private cars (no matter what color) are even allowed within the City. I can see the need for delivery trucks and taxi cabs; but with the availability of public transportation and the walk-a-bility of the City private cars create most of the traffic mess. I'm no commie, but there outa-be-a-law.

Anonymous said...

woogie woogie

Flash Gordon said...

it makes me happy to know that you're doing this at work.

Wipeout said...

I would have skipped the photo-op and pushed him over.

mr.complaint said...

pinchfinger

NYC Cabs are anarchy, just like the private car. But so are bicycles and pedestrians, but without the getting squished part.

Mark said...

What's the discount rate on the Pista index for just a frame?
http://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/566352925.html

Anonymous said...

I almost feel sorry for the unsuspecting spitter. Now there is an army of BSNYC acolytes wandering all over manhattan looking for this d-bag.

Whenever I see people who ride recklessly and without regard to their fellow cyclsts or others, it makes me ashamed to be lumped in the same 2nd class citizenship as him.

leroy said...

Anon 1:12 --

Ohmigawd, Ohmigawd, dude, you've like so nailed me totally!

If only I had a blog.

But no matter. You get me, you really get me!

Unlike those so-called mental health professionals and their "Primal scream therapy" nonsense.

I show up in the classic Shrek jersey on sale at Bike Nashbar and they act like that isn't what they mean by "Primal."

Then they look at my Black Sabbath LP collection, and the turntable and Marshall stack I brought so we can all listen to them together, and they claim that isn't what they mean by "screaming."

Hmmmph, imagine that, some folks trying to say that Ozzy Osbourne can't scream. Honestly, how dumb do I look? Some therapy, huh?

If it weren't for guys like you who get me, I might buy into some of the diagnoses those so called professionals keep trying to hang on me.

Keep on posting, dud!

(Ooops, I meant "dude." Just a typo, not a Freudian slip. And anyway, what does some old Austrian guy's cross dressing proclivities have to do with anything, anyhow?)

Scott Gordo said...

I was riding in CP a few years ago. I was climbing the hill, looked over my left shoulder, and let a loogie fly. As I was turning my head back to the fore, I caught a bit of color in the corner of my eye. To my horror, I'd blasted a big wad of flegm onto the unhelmeted, bald pate of a recumbent rider.

As I was trying to explain and apologize, recumbent guy swiped his head with a sleeve, laughed it off and told me not to worry about it.

Keep on truckin', recumbent guy!

uncompressed said...

can we all just agree not to ride on the sidewalk anymore? not only is it dangerous, but it basically tells every so-called motorist "hey, this is where i'm supposed to be! please feel free to beam the next cyclist you see riding on the street in the face with your half-eaten cranberry starbucks scone. thanks!"

bikesgonewild said...

Anon 12:37, you're a piggly sumbitch, aren't ya?....

Marrock said...

I just aim for the windshields of cars with drivers pretending they can't see me.

BicyclesOnly said...

Here's the idiocy I confronted this morning:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bicyclesonly/2251151190/

nolucker said...

It's a good thing that not too many people chew tobacco in NY

dandy said...

Now here's a thought: I ride all the time and never spit. It may seem gross to many, but I tend to re-internalize the excess moisture that finds its way into my head / mouth. This has to be a lot less gross than spitting; plus it keeps you hydrated.
Is there any real reason people got to spit?

Anonymous said...

yep its official, bikesgonewild's name and profile has been hacked, and taken over by some douche bag with no life. the real bikesgonewild emailed me and notified me this morning.

I find this trouble though, because whats to stop any of use from getting hacked, or worse what if one of snobs crazy stalkers hacks his profile and hijacks the site, and thusly ruins a very good thing

Anonymous said...

BicylesOnly,

Please tell me your son is wearing a helmet under that hood.

chester cheetah said...

I think you folks need to relax, I've seen this happen on other blogs, you can create another account with the same username, it's the email address that cannot be the same. Bikesgonewild is a pretty catchy username, maybe it's just two different folks.

It's kinda funny though...maybe it was woogie....I saw him on there earlier

cyclediva said...

yeah, I could create a biksnobnyc account right now if I wanted to, since we have different emails.

silly gooses.

c-dub said...

Check this out:

http://www.luxist.com/2008/02/07/courtney-buys-jennifer-some-green-wheels/

It is simply excellent.

BicyclesOnly said...

Anon, My son always wears a helmet. This morning, he forgot his so I adjusted mine and he wore it.

Anonymous said...

cyclediva said...

"yeah, I could create a biksnobnyc account right now if I wanted to, since we have different emails."

But everyone would know because you apparently also have a different way of spelling "bike".

Anonymous said...

...its certainly not woggie...cause whats a woggie, anyway?...

...just like sayin you got a style cause you overuse periods & know where to find the ampersand key...

...BURN!!!...

Anonymous said...

BSNYC

I commute everyday without my digital camera handy. Its sort of strange that you seem to have one so close on hand to capture the serendipity on your ride in to work. Not bad, just odd.

AnnaZed said...

"...I commute everyday without my digital camera handy. Its sort of strange that you seem to have one so close on hand to capture the serendipity on your ride in to work. Not bad, just odd..."

This is odd why exactly?

Anonymous said...

c-dub,
Jen's bike looks a lot like a Jamus Commuter 3 all gussied up.

What you think?

Anonymous said...

BSNYC:
All things considered,you're actually lucky ! It could have been much worse:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330047,00.html

Scott Gordo said...

Regarding Jen's Jamis, I wish she lived in nyc so I could garbage pick it once she has a flat tire.

Anonymous said...

my experience with Commuter Types is that they generally tend to have been raised by squirrels, and the whole lot of them oscillate between slavish attention to arbitrary rules like the hand signal for stopping, and a wholesale disregard for rules they don't like--for instance cutting hard to port in front of you to make it through the red light (swearing at the cars as they somehow survive) and breeze past an old woman using a cane. Here in Vancouver, we recognise them by their full-MEC rain suits, worn year-round, including the helmet capes.
M Burdge

joe mama said...

Anaon 5:05
what do u want, a commuter
or an SUV driver ?!?!?

Philly Jen said...

Are you sure it wasn't a vigilante hit by The Fat Cyclist? If Fatty had ridden all the way out from Utah, that would explain the need for a little hock-a-loo...and the abrupt westward turn. (Need to be home by dinner and all.)

Anonymous said...

can't remember where I saw this, but a guy blogged about literally getting pissed on by none other than Lance Armstrong. Apparently when Lance answered the call, he was shooting into the front spokes of the bike beside him, sending up a curtain of spray. Lance thought it was pretty funny. I guess if you're going to get pissed on, might as well be Lance. But I draw the line at #2.

Anonymous said...

I can make out that minivans license plate # isn't that illegal or something?

Peter said...

Anonymous said...
this is kinda funny - folks posting up here is like *HEY COME READ MY CRAPPY BLOG*

"I don't really have anything good to add to the conversation but i want to get my name/link/persona somehow connected to a current phenom"

February 8, 2008 1:02 PM

????

BicyclesOnly said...

I've always got my camera when I'm riding. You see all kinds of interesting things. Plus it came in handy on one occasion when a motorist who hit me was "in a hurry" and wouldn't stay at the scene after seeing that I didn't have any particularly serious injuries (just a wrecked bike!).

M Burge, we've got a different kind of "commuter type" in NYC. My impression is that here, the daily commuters are the most sane and considerate cyclists. It is the roadies training in the park or the Greenway, or the messenger wannabees, who are the most problematic.

Anonymous said...

in case anyone's interested, this a the piece on Sheldon Brown in today's Boston Globe

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/02/08/homepsun_wisdom/

fakebikesgonewild said...

Has the real bikesgonewild gone insane from copycats and given up his blogger name - only to have it immediately taken by an ellipse averse gay child molester?

God, I hope not.

...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...

bikesgonewildistillalive said...

nahh... hes still around he's just laying low for the time being,, ya i sure hope the fucking creepy douche bag child molester impostor goes away

Bluenoser said...

Eight million people Snob, eight million people.

Come to Nova Scotia, nine hundred fifty thousand people and all kinds of room. Halifax has everything you would ever want and as I think your job may let you... if it's digital you can do it from here.

Plus nice clean air to breathe while you ride.

-B

Anonymous said...

...gone?...and forgotten?...naw..

..copycats? fella, i'm an original & one of a kind...

...my stuff is unique...beyond imitation...i make it better here cuz i got something to say...enlightening the unlit...

Anonymous said...

yes, bikesgonewild, it's you we're all entertained by. "i make it better here...", "my stuff is...beyond imitation". oh my god you're serious aren't you? your comments on another person's blog are unique and enlightening? you never say anything unique, you self-important windbag, and the only thing you enlighten is your bowels when you post. you are preposterous.
oh hey, are you gonna call me babe because you're mad now?

p.s. note the correct use of the ellipsis here.

fakebikesgonewild said...

anon 7:22,
Can we even be sure that anon 6:58 is the real bikesgonewild?
FBGW

Bluenoser said...

This shit is getting too much. Can't you children go out and play??

Anonymous said...

...i can assure you...the 6:58 bikesgonewild...is an impostor...

...i ought to know...

fakebikesgonewild said...

Good point.
I'm going to ride my bike to the Beer Store now

leroy said...

Anon 7:39 --

Just because someone else is posting with the bikesgonewild screen name doesn't mean the original bikesgonewild can't keep posting using his same screen name.

Any doubts as to authenticity can be resolved by clicking on the screen name and seeing when it was first used.

But what do I know? I'm still reluctant to invest too heavily in this whole computer internet thing. I mean, I wouldn't want to get burned like all those guys who bought 8 track tape players.

Nick said...

OK. Here's the obnoxious spelling post: You LOSE a race. When you get dropped, your are LOSING. When you forget to tighten a bolt it is LOOSE. When you turn a bolt counter clockwise, you are LOOSENING it. There is no such word as LOOSING.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

LOOSER

Nick said...

Yes, the bolt would become looser if you loosened it, but be careful...you don't want to lose it. That would make you a loser.

little jimmy said...

Mommy! What's a douche bag?

bikesgonewild said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm....Candy

Frank the Tank said...

That's the funniest shit I've seen in a while!!!! bikesgonewild is in hiding!!!!! ha ha ha ha!!!!!!

At least it made for an interesting day.

Woogie woogie, everyone (I guess instead of 'cheers'

loosey said...

nick..."loosifer"

Anonymous said...

smart guy nick:
loose (v) : to let loose
As in, I'm loosing some knowledge on you, you Loser.
. . .

hoss said...

In my NYC days, I used return the favor to spitting or ciggy butt flicking cabbies. Nothing more satisfying (or grosser) than a thick loogie on a yellow cabs windshield. Except maybe what happens when they put on the wipers, and that green chunky phlegm smears across their entire view.

mojito said...

Ah, but BikeSnob were you the spitter and not the spittee, would we have instead read a grovelling tome of contrition? I think not. For you must realize that to have indavertently shared mucus is a most satisfying experience.

Yes, I have known that pleasure and there is no other like it, sir. How could one not feel a soupcon of contentment on hearing the words "Your loogie just flicked up off my wheel and onto my leg!", or, "Nice pull, jerk! Thanks for phlegming my face." What to call the inward smile that marries an outward apology? Spittenfreude, perchance?

Snob, I encourage you most warmly to some day reciprocate. Strangers, friends, it matters not. Void the catarrh and savor the catharsis.

Anonymous said...

your terminology becomes accepted: "fixed gear freestyle." http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/568430490.html. price is a bit steep.

Cinelli Pursuit Fixed Gear - Hipsters Dream 52cm - $82500
Reply to: sale-568430490@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-02-09, 11:01AM PST


I have an Extremely rare Cinelli Pursuit track bike up for grabs. Made with Columbus tubing and beautiful Cinelli lugs. Top tube is 52cm C-C and the seat tube is 52.5cm C-T. I am 5"8 and it fits well. Complete with Campagnolo headset, GTB stem, Answer riser bars, vintage ADGA hard leather seat, Phil Wood/Velocity 24" front wheel, Cane Creek Volos rear wheel, Sugino cranks, etc. With current riser bars its setup well for cruising around or fixed gear freestyle. The other option is to run the Custom stem and Nitto Pursuit bars for actual racing use. Here is your chance to get an extremely rare setup. Looking to get $82,500 or best offer!!

Anonymous said...

$82,500?

Anonymous said...

SOLD!!

Anonymous said...

bizarre sales pitch on the new masi speciale commeter:

"Here’s a true chameleon- out of the box with one gear, but with a derailleur hanger and all the necessary braze-ons and guides to be converted to a geared bike. It’s all up to you and your imagination because we don’t like limitations any more than you do. How can you go wrong with classic touches like the simple randonneur handle bars, Dia-Compe long reach caliper brakes and long horizontal drop outs? It’s a classic bike that’s ready for further customization to suit your tastes, as well as your dreams."

http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/speciale_commuter.php

Anonymous said...

masi speciale commuter: so many braze-ons to file off.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/1225080450/sizes/o/

bike mojo said...

who gives a crap about another comment poster, don't we come to read bikesnobs blog....pardon me, but who gives a shiite muslum?

Anonymous said...

LOL. You dont seriously call that green car a minivan?

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