Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rectilinear or Obtuse? Cycling in the Media

In yesterday's post I mentioned a Salon article about bicycle parking and how more of it might increase the number of bicycle commuters. While I'm certainly in favor of more and better bike parking, I also can't help suspecting that the people who claim they don't ride their bikes to work because there's nowhere to park them are the same kinds of people who say they'll quit smoking when cigarettes reach $[insert number here] a pack: in other words, they're not looking for reasons to do it; they're looking for excuses not to do it. Once they've got bike parking, then they'll probably require an on-site shower. Then, when they've got that, they'll need special loofahs and moisturizers and so forth. Chances are that in 20 years we'll still be reading articles about what it will take to get people to commute by bike (though we'll be reading those articles in hologram form, since everybody knows the future is always full of holograms), except instead of the lack of bike parking the issue will be the lack of lilac-scented cruelty-free hypoallergenic body scrubs in the workplace.

So why is bike parking so important, anyway? Well, one of the main reasons people want it is because they're afraid of bike theft. Bicycles are great machines because they're reasonably light and reasonably portable. Unfortunately, these are the same reasons they're also stolen so frequently. Of course, this isn't unique to bicycles. If you leave your laptop or your flat-screen TV or even your small dog outside unattended and inadequately secured that will probably get stolen, too. Yes, I admit that you should be able to take your bicycle to work, while your TV or your small dog might better be left at home. Still I feel people tend to react with an inordinate amount of surprise and indignation when their bikes get stolen, so much so that it's often the subject of news stories, such as this one in the Wall Street Journal which was forwarded to me by a reader:

Sure, this article is as much about "social-media sites such as Twitter" as it is about bike theft, but it still illustrates how some people seem to feel that some of the darker aspects of life, such as theft, are somehow even darker when they touch their bicycles. Take Senan Gorman, the creator of "Karma Army," which appears to be sort of a support group for people who can't get over the theft of their valuable lifestyle sporting equipment:

Senan Gorman, of Farmington, Conn., had his bike stolen a decade ago, but the pain is fresh. "It's still like it was yesterday," he says.

Like most human beings living in a large society, I've had things stolen from me. Some of these things were bicycles, and others weren't. Yes, it's extremely unpleasant. But if you've had something taken from you over 10 years ago, it still hurts "like it was yesterday," and that thing was not an actual life, then you may have issues that an increase in secure bicycle parking alone is insufficient to address. This is not to say you shouldn't send out an alert if your property was stolen, or that "Karma Army" isn't useful in that regard. However, to a certain extent I can't help feeling that the indignation people feel when they leave their really expensive triathlon bikes in their cars overnight and they get stolen is almost as large a problem as crime itself.

Also, according to the article, police in some cities are taking bike theft more seriously. However, like so much else, this may cause more harm then good. For instance, it seems that police are now aware of the phenomenon of the "Frankenbike." Moreover, they're considering "Frankenbikedom" a sign that some or all of that bike may have been stolen:

This is potentially extremely dangerous. Many cyclists ride so-called "Frankenbikes." These may be beaters which they cobbled together from various spare parts, or else bicycles they "curated" simply because they enjoy a good kludge. What if the police begin to apprehend and question everybody who rides a "Frankenbike?" "Kludgie" winners would become criminals. Eccentricity like this could land you in handcuffs. The World's Greatest Madone would become America's Most Wanted. Indeed, our fundamental right to bizarre and pointless self-expression would be threatened.

Ultimately, though, we cyclists face a problem far greater than a lack of parking, or theft, or failing to lock your bike and then confusing "karma" with "vengeance," or even jackbooted "Frankenbike" crackdowns. This problem is misinformation. Take this Slate Dutch city bike review, forwarded by a reader. Like any article about cycling in a "mainstream" publication, I began reading it with apprehension since I knew it was only a matter of time before the writer would reveal his ignorance:

Yes, it certainly didn't take too long. First, he reveals the depth of his cycling experience and knowledge by explaining how he once saw a Dutch bike while he was stoned. Next, he drops some cycling jargon by using the term "primly rectilinear." (Actually, I thought "primly rectilinear" referred to a Dutch prostitute who will agree to let you perform "the pinky test," only she will do so reluctantly and demurely.) Then, he says that an upright position helps you "see over car roofs in traffic." As I've said before, there is no seating position that will allow you to see over car roofs in traffic in the United States, where thanks to the phenomenon of vehicular bloat the typical motor vehicle can barely clear a traffic light. Furthermore, you don't need to see over cars; you need to be looking at the cars directly in front of you and at the road surface. If seeing over car roofs was a necessary feature of a city bike then we'd all be riding tall bikes, or just skipping bikes altogether in favor of hang gliders. (By the way, if you've had a hang glider stolen recently, you might want to post about your pain over at "Karma Army.")

To the writer's credit though he does manage to properly explain the purpose of a fender:
That said, I think pretty much everybody in the world knows what a fender does, so the explanation is completely unnecessary. If he's going to assume this level of ignorance he should also explain that "pedals are primly rectilinear attachments which provide a surface for your feet and allow you to propel the bicycle forward." Granted, it is worth pointing out that Dutch bikes come with fenders, since bicycles are one of the few vehicles that are actually sold without them. But can you buy fenders separately in a bikes shop? Well, the writer wouldn't know, because he's apparently never set foot in one:
Absurd descriptions aside (yes, road bikes are designed for suburban riding, which is why the Tour de France takes place entirely in the residential neighborhoods of the Paris metropolitan area), to claim that American bike shops only carry mountain bikes or road bikes is absurd. This is like saying American car dealerships only carry dune buggies and race cars, or that American supermarkets only carry Cheetos and pâté. If anything, in an American bike shop you've got to wade across a floor full of hybrids with suspension seatposts before you can even get near a road or mountain bike. Sure, there may not be any Dutch bikes, but there will be plenty of bikes that do the same thing at half the tonnage. Then again, what do you expect from someone who begins the video that accompanies the article by salmoning?


Or who, a little while later, actually explains that the Abici Grantourismo is a "fixed-gear" because it has a coaster brake?


Or who lost one of the test bikes because he left it outside overnight secured only by a cable lock?
I'd also love to tell you how an Electra Amsterdam rides. Actually, I did tell you how an Electra Amsterdam rides. This is because I did not leave it outside overnight with a crappy lock and thus was able to keep the bicycle in my possession for the duration of the test period, which should really be your first priority as a bicycle reviewer. Maybe he should blame the lack of adequate bicycle parking in his city and then post something on "Karma Army." Incidentally, he says that Electra were "cool" about the theft of the bike, which is probably because they were happy to be spared from this guy's ignorance. If he'd actually gotten to ride it he'd probably have called it a fixed-gear like he did with the Abici and totally confused any potential buyers.

Really, though, none of this is surprising. While mainstream publications will generally require that people who write about movies, or cuisine, or cars, or finance, or politics have at least a basic understanding of them, when it comes to cycling they like to pick writers who are completely clueless. This is because they assume their readers also know nothing about cycling and will be more likely to accept information from and relate to somebody like them. This is not true. People actually read things to gain information, and they actually like it when writers know more than they do. Even a hacky movie critic knows the difference between a film and a sitcom, even the lamest automotive journalist can tell a manual transmission from an automatic, and even the worst political analyst knows the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives. Bicycles should be treated like computers by the media, in that both were once the domain of nerds and children but are now totally commonplace and thus can be written about with more sophistication. The media does this with computers, but when it comes to bikes they still write about them like they're reciting the alphabet over and over again to a bunch of children--only they keep getting the letter order wrong.

So what's the result? The ignorant stay ignorant. Take the latest local bike lane debate, forwarded to me by another reader:

As soon as you've invoked Lance Armstrong in a discussion about bicycle commuting you've revealed you're a moron. This is like saying only Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would drive a car to work, and as such we don't need paved roads. He might as well have added that the Sun revolves around the Earth on which he lives. Meanwhile, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association has a different objection:
This I can understand. Anybody who has spent any time in Chinatown knows that the street space currently wasted on bike lanes is sorely needed by pedestrians for expectorating. In fact it's nearly impossible to travel in a Chinatown bike lane without getting hit by either a "loogie" or a "snot rocket," and the sheer volume of the mucus that accumulates is yet another reason why we need fenders (which, in case you don't know, are semi-circular arcs that protect from up-splash of phlegm and various bodily humors).

So who's going to correct all these misunderstandings? Certainly not the bike industry--they're too busy curating "colorways" and "touch points," coming up with clever names for handlebars, and figuring out how to hide shifter mounts:


The Felt Gridloc has an internally-geared 3-speed hub, but can also be converted to a "fixie" or "pure singlespeed." That's a lot of drivetrain options. They should send it to the guy at Slate--it would probably make his head explode. It should also come with a sticker that says "All You Haters Fondle my Touch Points." That would at least mitigate its serious lack of "prim rectilinearity."

147 comments:

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

Oh!!!! two

CockPuncher said...

podium?

landis in 06 said...

rest day

landis in 06 said...

been drinking with lance in Dublin

Anonymous said...

Top ten

Anonymous said...

crud

Anonymous said...

DETH PANL

Mauricio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mauricio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

rectiliniment?

ken e. said...

acckkkk. dopeless!

grog said...

All You Haters Fondle my Touch Points

Anonymous said...

Hey Bikesnob...that article is from SLATE not SALON.

David said...

DAMN! 15th

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:31pm,

Oops! Thanks. I guess I could use a little more accuracy myself.

--BSNYC

Grobbins said...

I'll never know if Snobby found out about those touch points over at bikerumor on his own, or if he was inspired by my link in yesterday's comments.

COME TO ME, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS!!

John Marr said...

The SLATE bike parking article is a perfect example of dumb plannerthink. I work at an air pollution control district with showers, ample bike parking and a bike subsidy. And we bike commuters are still a niggling minority.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grobbins,

I was inspired by your link!

--BSNYC

Critical Ass said...

If Staten Island is populated by Neanderthals,Denver must be full of poo-flinging squirrel monkeys and chattering marmosets.

OBA said...

Insightful as usual - Thanks!

Critical Ass said...

Is Wednesday, and all the Wednesday weed in the world can't seem to make a 50-lb hi-ten glorified cruiser appealing.

hillbilly said...

I don't know why, but I'm disappointed that Felt stooped to this.

Anonymous said...

slate not salon.

SD said...

I kinda like that felt. It actually makes sense as a city bike. Sure it's a little too pretty, but three speeds are perfect for city riding. Although an 8 speed alivio hub would be better.

I feel for the tri-dork who lost his Guru- I'm pretty sure that 808 clinchers with yellow stickers are loaner wheels. Doh.

rezado said...

If lance was riding his bike to work where would he be going?

Cool The Kid said...

HAhahahahaha Bike Snobby Snob went in!!!!

400lb commuter bikes for 100lb Sex In The City chicks for the win!

Anonymous said...

If the guy was locking his Amsterdam bike in true Dutch style, with only a rear-wheel immobilizer type lock, not at all secured to anything at all, perhaps he would have had more success.

Worked for me in the 6 months I was riding in A-dam.

Until I loaned it to a girl who left the key in said lock, which was removed, probably by some stoner tourist who threw it in a canal.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Well stated, sir.

PRIM LIMP

I think that bunch children should get out of the bikes store though.

Paul Bowen said...

"Anybody who has spent any time in Chinatown knows that the street space currently wasted on bike lanes is sorely needed by pedestrians for expectorating."

Wheezed liked I'd taken one to the solar plexus there, top work.

CommieCanuck said...

As soon as someone designs a bike that can allow you to see over traffic, Government motors will design a taller truck, and suburbanites will buy them.

The meaning of life in suburbia is so simple: park your ever-expanding ass into progressively larger vehicles until the inevitable myocardial infarction.

FELT is dealing with the uncoolness of gears by hiding the lever as well as possible, gearing is the red smear among cyclists, forcing us to the LBS in a walk of shame to buy a new derailleur. Thank god for online ordering. someone should make a collabo porn and derailleur ordering website.
Engineers at CommieCyclesManufacturing (CCM, you may have heard of it) are working at the skunkworks on a stealth anal shifting mechanism incorporated into the saddle cutout. A good clench upshifts, while a flatulent release will downshift. Seen here is a prototype in testing.

CommieCanuck said...

Anybody who has spent any time in Chinatown knows that the street space currently wasted on bike lanes is sorely needed by pedestrians for expectorating.

I think Continental makes a loogie specific city tire for this purpose. Riding through any china town is the best argument for fenders.

hillbilly said...

I love beer, but I'm sick of people using bottle opener as a selling point to their bike. But I like the typo that it is available in 51, 54, 56, 68!!!!! and 61 cm sizes

hillbilly said...

I suppose the 68 is to allow you to see over the roof of a mini at least

Anonymous said...

Love the vitriol. In fact, I believe I've become primly rectilinear.

ringcycles said...

Snobbers: worry not about seeing over cars on commuter bikes. Assuming that climate change will lead to rising sea levels, soon Amstertdam will be the new Venice, and all dutch city bikes will come equiped with periscopes. On the few still high and dry streets, you'll be able see over an abandoned SUV like a u-boat captain. That might make the thousands of dollars for one of those bicycle behemoths worth while.

Anonymous said...

Cheetos and Pate....hahaha that was a good one. And it sounds good...wednesday munchies...I'll be right back.

liz said...

rezado,

Mellow Johnny's.

Chris said...

'This is the cadillacs of bikes..'
In the first shop I worked in, there was an old dude that always compared bikes to cars. 'This one's more like a Ford pickup..''this one's the Ferrari of bikes..' totally ridiculous, irrelevant comparison. Just enough information to be be dangerously nondescript.

Brendan said...

Just because my mountain bike is orange doesn't mean it's a Cheeto.

Anonymous said...

A 10Ah Li-on rechargeable battery is what got my lardy ass commuting by bicycle (or ebike if you prefer). Works for me!

Seth said...

Good stuff! Enjoyed it. A couple of quick points:
-No, you can't see over the roof of every car. Yes, you can see over the roofs of most cars. Added visibility is a plus, no? The upright posture does not prevent you from also seeing what's in front of you.
-I know the difference between fixed-gear and single-speed (I got it correct in the written article) but stupidly misspoke in the video. Must have been camera fright. We inserted a correction first thing this morning.
-The one-way street: We were on a block with zero traffic, and the video guy had me riding back and forth so he could film several takes. They unfortunately used images of me on the wrong-way return trip.
All best,
Seth

Brian said...

So then...would riding dignified (Dutch-style) through puddles with fenders offset the barbaric fashion in which I raise my clogs off the pedals and shout "wheeeee"?

SNOT RCKT

Juan Altitude said...

F* yeah, Mr. Snob, break the vicious viscous cycle of ignorance.

Brian said...

Seth 2:12

Classic!

BSNYC, gemacht!

carlos said...

Sorry...

To the guy who rode through my snot rocket mist today, I'm sorry. When you confronted me about it, I should have said my apologies and been done with it. Instead we had to have a useless argument about who was wrong, me for snotting or you for being in my draft. Please know that I did everything I could to keep you out of the line of fire. I would also hope that you are aware that in the world of cycling these things happen. Just a few months ago I was the victim of a snot rocket. And not just the mist mind you, I took the full brunt of the thing on my shorts. So, please remember it's a dirty world out there, and if you get a little snot on you, it's only a small portion of the nastiness that we ride through and get sprayed with everyday.

liz said...

however Seth, nothing changes the fact that you are riding in flip-flops.

kale said...

Seth, get yer facts straight:

Tires are the things that go on the wheel and they go round and round when you petal or go flat when you don't pump them up.

Breaks are the things that will stop when you push them, or pull them if you are riding a road bike in the suburbs.

Lites flash and stop ppl frum hiting you.

Seats are where you put your butt to ride, and you stand up if you are going fast so you dont need a nice one if you are fast.

Chaines turn brown when they are used a lot and give you street cred if they squeek reel loud.

jflo said...

Nice post!
As much as I hate these bike-info articles for people who don't know what fenders are - it's these, and not parking, that will get people riding as part of some sort of eco/fashion trend.

As for parking - just asking security at the building where to put the bike usually gets results better than waiting for the city to come up with a bike plan - at least that's the case in L.A. Apparently we've taken to painting our own bike lanes here, but I've generally been able to find someone helpful at most buildings downtown to find a secure spot for the bike.

Anonymous said...

Seth,
Rebuttals to RTMS articles are rarely effective and often attract additional derision, but thanks for the clarification.

Isolation Helmet said...

Touchpoints!

As soon as I read it on Bikerumor I was wondering how long before it made it to a post by the Snob.

Anonymous said...

Commie,
I was completely incapacitated with laughter over your "Continental loogie specific tire" remark.

Well done.

ken e. said...

ok, rehash...

hillbilly, (again) i was totally wrong yesterday about everything, sorry. one day i will confront my blog fears.
what's wrong with flip-flops? 6" free-ride bike and "keens", my fave commuter combo... zero off-road.

Anonymous said...

Carlos, sorry I got part of my semen rocket on you on this morning's commute, but that hipster girl on the fixie was so cute, I couldn't keep myself from nutting.

hillbilly said...

ken e - not to worry, all is well, I'm sure I deserved it for something

brent said...

Very well written snobbie. I could think it like that, but, NEVER be able to put it into words so well.

on,on www.bamacross.com

saratoga said...

Pedals, when viewed as 2D entities, are rectilinear. But I wish he would have used the more correct and pretentious 'parallelepiped'. Much more affine.

Brian said...

Kale,
One of us doesn't know the meaning of petal. I always thought it was an embarrassing sound coming from one's flower-box (see also: queef or vart). Although your use of the word may not actually be out of context.

Anonymous said...

From the karma army site, _video_ reviews of bike locking techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Den2TJcbPf4

jolene said...

aw hell what ever hapened to just geting on a bike and riding it in the woods so thares no cars only bowhunners and horsshit to wory about

bikesgonewild said...

...what's a 'snob rocket' ???...

...i'll be expectorating an answer soon...

Anonymous said...

A good excuse NOT to commute to work:

"I'll commute when bikes fly!"

handysmurff said...

lilac-scented cruelty-free
hypoallergenic body scrubs

sufferist said...

Seth-

Much love to you and your kind in the review world. Please find an interest in cat litter.

kale said...

Brian,

RTMS already covered the definition - As "...primly rectilinear attachments which provide a surface for your feet and allow you to propel the bicycle forward."

So I didn't think expanding was necessary.

Mad Jack McMad said...

PACK FODR

ant1 said...

BGW - bend over, he'll show you.

kale said...

SNOB ROKT
AWSM SAUZ

ant1 said...

BGW - thanks for the set-up.

Brian said...

Kale,
I stand corrected (because i'm fast)

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Staten Island interviewee didn't also call cyclists homosexuals as well...

"Get a car, Lance! You fuckin fag!"

Wait that's from Jersey.

Reed Enwright said...

Seth ... give your head a shake.

Frankenbikes are less enticing for junkies ... not so shiny, not so immediately saleable.

sufferist said...

You can get that on a jersey?

CommieCanuck said...

I love beer, but I'm sick of people using bottle opener as a selling point to their bike.

We have Canadian twist-off technology to solve that problem.

bikesgonewild said...

...ant1...

...something, something, "rectilinear", something, something...

...or just "ouch"...

CommieCanuck said...

anon 2:33..thanks, I do what I can with what little I have.

CommieCanuck said...

Actually, the butt-shifting CCM bike is branded as "Rectal-linear Shifting technology".

Yes, multiple shifts are possible, with some practice. We recommend Park Tool PT-2333: ISIS-splined butt-plug.

CommieCanuck said...

Seth, to be clear, we're not laughing AT you...

..no wait, yes we are. Sorry.

hillbilly said...

rectilinear, I hardly know ilinear!!

no, that's not it....

SteveB said...

Nice work! Top Ten....keep'em coming.

Anonymous said...

oh how the mighty have fallen!

Astroluc said...

83?!?

mander said...

Commiecanuck: That's the hardest I've ever laughed at a blog comment.

bikesgonewild said...

...thank you, commiecanuk...

...i knew i didn't actually have to say it...

mander said...

(The rectal shifter bit and accompanying pic, that is)

Anonymous said...

classic!

yeah getum!

Anonymous said...

Very good points about the idiotic way that bicycles and bicycling is covered in the mass media. Even though virtually every American has the ability to ride a bike and a huge percentage of the populace actually own bikes, they are still considered toys. End tables have more expert coverage in the media than bicycles and all they do is hold up your PBR.

Michael said...

The Felt also has "deep dish" rims. What's that, like Chicago-style?

Cameron said...

I love me some Ram's-Horn Handlebars!

Anonymous said...

I'm hungry

daddo said...

sorry liz, better answer for "where is lance armstrong going if he is riding to work:

France

bickspan said...

I think they wanted extra cheesy pies to go with such a beefy bottom bracket.

Anonymous said...

In Albq. some chick posted on a local blog how shocked and upset she was that her unlocked bike was stolen from her carport. WTF? She said it had been there for months and wondered why, now, someone stole it; I wondered why it had taken so long for it to be stolen.

And Seth: I'm glad the street you were on had no traffic, but just to make sure: you DO know that going the wrong way even on a street with no traffic is a bad, bad practice, no?

bikesgonewild said...

...SETH SAMN...

...FOTO OPPS...

Anonymous said...

A+

sufferist said...

All-

We need to cut Seth a little slack. He was being filmed and if you check your manuals you will see, under the section entitle "Douche Etiquette", there is no need to adhere to local traffic safety laws if your exploits are being recorded.

Anonymous said...

People actually read things to gain information, and they actually like it when writers know more than they do.

Thank you RTMS,
The Public Librarian

thegock said...

JISM BLOB

ant1 said...

99

ant1 said...

ant100th!

Sprocketboy said...

It is a puzzlement. The headline in Slate refers to a $1,400 Dutch bike, but the bike tested is $1,150 in the body of the article. Is the Euro gaining that quickly? Do the "mud flaps" add that much to the cost? And while liberal Slate readers might go for a heavy Dutch bike, the readers of BusinessWeek.com, more In Touch With the Consumer, lean towards much heavier electric bicycles.

hillbilly said...

I'm confused, they were filming him going back and forth, but unfortunately chose the one going against traffic, the one in which he was facing the camera? Wouldn't you pretty much know whether you were going to be shooting his front or his back?

sufferist said...

Hmmm...Seth's story seems to becoming unraveled...you don't think that he could have been acting mindlessly self-important as an adjunct Slate correspondent and then trying to retain credibility as an authentic human-type by some form of rationalization for his actions? That smacks of subterfuge and that doesn't sound like the Seth we know. Something is amiss. We may look to Three's Company or the Brady Bunch to explain exactly how such a misunderstanding (comedy of errors) could have evolved. I'm sure we'll all have a great chuckle when the whole story is explained.

Anonymous said...

"Because the driveshaft is one solid piece, and fully enclosed, it will theoretically never need servicing and never need to be relubricated. It's a pretty clear step forward in the evolution of the bicycle and will surely become more common in the years ahead."
Clearly
Next thing you now there will be bikes with belts for chains...

sufferist said...

From the hub gear wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub_gear):
The first patent for a compact epicyclic hub gear was granted in 1895 to the American machinist Seward Thomas Johnson of Noblesville, Indiana, U.S.A.

All hail the leaders!!!!

bikesgonewild said...

...c'mon, hillbilly, i'll say it again...

...FOTO OPPS...

...direction of sunlight means more to the fotog than if this seth character was being run down by a truck...

..."that was good, dude but could we do that again from the other direction...ok, ok, no worries...i mean once you CAN get up"...

Reed Enwright said...

As I'm in the market for a bicycle suitable to downtown Washington, D.C., I called one such outlet (Fourth Floor Distribution in Toronto)...

Now would a Torontonian really understand Seth's D.C. specific cycling needs? Is there a city by city spec sheet?

Or would I feel like a pretentious prig as I pedaled around atop an overpriced fashion statement?

If you had any sense ... yes, yes you would.

Anonymous said...

the bicycle doesn't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

the only way to stop this absurdity is to start buying bicycles. When it's printed everywhere about the fantastic numbers of bikes being sold, and bikes in the market are so whacky, it is obvious that companies are doing badly and want some attention, as they have crappy sales. I think an era of ethical choice in bicycle manufacturer may be bearing down upon us. Which companies and shops are not using slave labour?

Anonymous said...

obama hasnt rid the world of capitalism yet. it's on ice while everyone sits around looking for inspiration off the back of coffee packets and beer labels.

Richard Lee said...

Next time mention BikeRegistry.com, it's the Real Deal...

Amsterdamize said...

"Snobbers: worry not about seeing over cars on commuter bikes. Assuming that climate change will lead to rising sea levels, soon Amstertdam will be the new Venice, and all dutch city bikes will come equiped with periscopes. On the few still high and dry streets, you'll be able see over an abandoned SUV like a u-boat captain. That might make the thousands of dollars for one of those bicycle behemoths worth while."

@ringcycles: with all due respect, but I think it's safe to say you should stick to what you know and not poke fun at the one thing your country doesn't exactly master very well. Perhaps to your disappointment, but Amsterdam (and the rest of these Low Lands) will continue to be dry (and high on [insert here]) for a longer time than you'll be able to imagine or be aware of...as you'll either be running for the hills or 6 feet under.
:-p

Anonymous said...

The space race. Tabloid is the new broadsheet.

VaticDart said...

A Dutch city bike is like riding an armchair with pedals.

After riding several of the offerings of Dutch Bike Co in Seattle that is my conclusion. I think a Dutch city bike appeals to the same people who buy the "Missing Manual" for their iPhone and don't like manual transmissions in cars.

bikramyoganj said...

My Electra bike, called the Petra Zella(sp), is my favorite bike to look at but not the best performing bike, however the basket that it came with fits a 6 pack perfectly. I love it so much I just bought another one called the Om, complete with Om symbols all over it. My plan was to get it free but that's not working out. I love the way its painted but would not ride it more the 10 or 20 miles as my other bikes work so much better. I am afraid of the Petra Zella getting stolen more then they other ones cause of the cool paint job....

Anonymous said...

BSNYC 5 : DCB 0

Anonymous said...

Terrific article. Your implied suggestion that bike companies take up the cause of mainstreaming bike commuting is right on. Anger suits you,BS, never mellow please .

ringcycles said...

Amsterdamize: My comment was not intended to demean the Netherlands or its dykes, more to highlight the ridiculous way that dutch city bikes are being marketed to upper income urban Americans. I realize the far inferior state of flood control in the USA, which is why I already live in the hills.

Dad said...

Any self respecting drunk biker already has a bottle opener and/or church key on their D-ring keychain hanging from a belt loop on their tiny jeans. C'mon, Felt, do a little more market research!!!

Anonymous said...

Seth is not a cycling name, it seems to be more a Stamp collecting or Camera review kind of moniker!

Felt should ship all those Garnet and Gold frankenbikes to Tallahassee with FSU stickers, they will sell boatloads to those dumbasses!
Go Gators!

Pulverized Concepts said...

Michael Crichton referred to the substance of this post as the "Murray Gell-Mann Effect", named after the supposedly smartest man in the world. He points out that if you read something in the paper, in this case about bikes, that you know to be complete crap, why do you believe any of the stuff they write about foreign affairs, government, crime, etc., etc?

Anonymous said...

yeah, stay angry, tell them how it is. that slate article is a joke

bikesgonepsychotic said...

...SETH SUX!... ...WUSS SETH...

...SIMN SETH...

...welcome to Snobbies blog...and fuck you...just sayin'...

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

childofthe'80s said...

What i don't get about the Felt is that is comes with a 15mm wrench, attached to the frame with wing nuts, so as to remove the back wheel. why not save a step and attach the back wheel with wing nuts?

chump said...

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/bik/1344314749.html

Anonymous said...

And people wonder why our economy is in the shitter...

Reed Enwright said...

@ chump

Apparently they're built to window display specifications.

Plane Simple said...

Upright, not uptight!

RCTI - LNER

bikesgonewild said...

...1st...to eat hummus twice this week & it's only wednesday...

7sp said...

Primly rectilinear

Anonymous said...

Damn near killed-a linear...

Anonymous said...

The D-bag from Slate was also wearing mandals.

Amsterdamize said...

@ringcycles: you sure had me fooled :), gotcha

bikesgonewild said...

...jeezus...i can just sense ant1 hovering around his keyboard...

...fingers poised, shallow breathing, reset @ 15 sec, ready to pounce...

...cavendish & farrar got nothin' on this guy...

...think i'll step back so i don't get trampled...

bikesgonewild said...

...closer, closer, ant1 is twitching, visibly shaking in anticipation...

...can ya feel it...any second now...

Anonymous said...

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/nov2007/id2007119_387267.htm

Dont shoot the designer, string him up in a rectilinear way.

Who buys this shit for their children?

Anonymous said...

Great post - style-points for the writing for sure!

Inherently, people suck and bike theft happens. It looks like Karma Army is looking to educate people on proper techniques for locking your bike; as well as one place to store all your serial #'s, photos, descriptions. etc. I just signed up.

Bike Cycling Reviews said...

It has to be more accurate, the other way round.

Home Decorating Reviews said...

Bike Parking is of real help. Its avoids much traffic confusion, ya!

Bike Cycling said...

It has to be more accurate, the other way round.

Mini Cooper Bumper said...

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Thanks

Mini Cooper Bumper

http://www.iautobodyparts.com/ Mini Cooper Bumper/

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