Monday, December 14, 2009

The Weird World of Bike Advocacy: Mourning Becomes Electrolux

Entertainment is constantly changing, and this is because mores and technology are also constantly changing. For example, in the "Olden Days," people used to go to bear-baitings. However, it's now totally uncool to bait bears, and thanks to television and computers it's also totally unnecessary to actually go anywhere. Consequently, we now just sit home and watch things like "Jersey Shore."

However, certain forms of entertainment are timeless, and people will watch and enjoy them regardless of whether they're performed live in the village square or broadcast digitally to magic boxes. These are: 1) Watching people getting kicked in the "man-bag;" 2) Watching opposing teams chasing a ball around; and 3) Watching people in funny costumes fighting. This last form of entertainment is the basis of everything from gladiators to professional wrestling, and it's also at the heart of the ongoing "Hipster vs. Hasidim" Williamsburg bike lane controversy.

Still, while these are all universal, the duration of the entertainment is also crucial. The foot to the "man-bag" is entertaining as is the initial reaction, but nobody really wants to see the subsequent hospital visit. Millions of people will tune in to watch the Superbowl, but almost nobody wants to watch the maintenance crew clean up the field or see the players' uniforms being laundered. And, at a certain point, professional wrestling becomes "The Wrestler." This lends credence to the popular expression "Comedy plus time equals tragedy," or, when expressed visually, this.

Similarly, the "Hipster vs. Hasidim" conflict seems to be moving out of its alliterative and amusing novelty phase and into the "pathetic" phase as of yesterday, when the Time's Up "Clown Brigade" led a bicycle "funeral procession" through Hasidic Williamsburg to protest the removal of the bike lanes. Here is some video of the event, which apparently consisted of a small number of people dancing around in the rain:


And here is a local gentleman looking nonplussed:

While this "New Orleans-style 'funeral procession'" was ostensibly to mourn the bike lanes, what the participants really did was lay to rest the last remains of their credibility. Regardless of whether you agree with the Hasidim, they view bike lanes as an unwelcome addition to their neighborhood. How, then, is a group of wet bike dorks dancing to the schmaltzy sounds of "I Will Survive" supposed to change their minds? Time's Up claim to "promote a more sustainable, less toxic city," but if anything punishing people with that sort of music on a Sunday afternoon is about as toxic as it gets without unleashing actual chemicals.

If Time's Up really wanted the Hasidim to accept the bike lanes they'd try to make the Hasidim understand the bike lanes. Unfortunately, this would require that they in turn try to understand the Hasidim. However, this is far too time-consuming, and it would cut into Time's Up's busy schedule of putting on "Doggie Pedal Parades" and sending people in polar bear costumes to Copenhagen. So, rather than work towards mutual respect, Time's Up prefer to use torture instead. Basically, by presenting the Hasidim with something twice as repugnant as the bike lanes that were previously there, I can only imagine that Time's Up thinks they can pummel the Hasidim into a state of acceptance.

This, of course is ridiculous. You can't make someone like something they hate by giving them more of it. Let's say your friend loves jam band music, but you hate it (as I do). Because your friend lives in a state of inflamed passion, he cannot imagine that someone else might not also love this music. So, when he's driving you someplace in his hand-me-down Volvo with the bumper stickers all over it and you ask him to please turn down the Phish, he responds by saying, "What? You don't like this?!?," and making it even louder in the hopes that somehow the increased volume will reveal to you the nuances you missed and your musical tastes will somehow change. But the louder Phish gets the more you hate them and the more you protest, and the crazier he thinks you are, and so you turn off the stereo, and he says, "This is my car!" and turns it back on, and you get in a big fight, and ultimately someone winds up lying dead on the side of the road with a Hacky Sack lodged in his throat.

Still, this is the approach that certain "bike advocacy" groups take, and it's the basis behind rides like "Critical Mass." When you attain a certain level of self-importance you honestly begin to believe that simply amplifying yourself is all you need to do to make people agree with you. When some people say they want "livable cities," what they really mean is that they want cities in which everybody lives the same way that they do. Really, one person's "livable city" is another person's uninhabitable hellhole.

One reason bike advocates in the United States behave this way may be that we are one of those countries in which bicycles are a "fetish," which is the term used by Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagen Cycle Chic in this interview:



While you may or may not be perturbed by the narrator's manner of speaking (which to me evokes a leering man who's not wearing any pants) as well as the subject's alarmingly fashionable glasses, Colville-Andersen does make some interesting points, and I would certainly agree that many of us do tend to fetishize the bicycle. (The existence of the top tube pad alone is proof of this fact.) He further claims that "We've demystified the bicycle in Copenhagen," in the sense that people there simply treat it as a tool, and that they use it as a mode of transportation and not as a source of identity or a pretense for social interaction. "The relationship to the bicycle in Copenhagen is the same as it is to our vacuum cleaners," he explains, adding that "We don't go to a specialty shop to buy vacuum cleaners."

I was with him until the part about the vacuum cleaners. What's so wrong with buying a vacuum cleaner from a specialty shop? Why not take pride in your old Electrolux, and why not keep it running for decades by bringing it to Desco instead of buying a new one every few years at Target? Are we Americans just a bunch of materialist bicycle fetishists, or are the people of Copenhagen simply using "demystification" to rationalize their total lack of quality bicycle and vacuum cleaner repair?

Also, I can't help feeling as though Colville-Andersen's talk of "demystification" is at odds with the content of his site and Flickr account, which consists largely of surreptitious photographs of attractive women on bicycles, many of whom are either shot from behind or in various stages of thigh exposure. If anything, cycling in Copenhagen seems to be about some elusive state of feminine beauty and insouciant style which the rest of us can only aspire to either possess or fondle, or at least photograph from behind a lamppost or a shrub. Really, Copenhagen Cycle Chic exudes fetishism, though perhaps that's just a cultural difference. In Copenhagen secretly taking pictures of women in short skirts is "demystification," but here it's just stalking.

Yes, we do things differently here in America. In Copenhagen a bicycle is just a tool, but here it's something that defies description, as you can see in this Craigslist ad forwarded by a reader:




'O9 Ironhorse Mountain bike. Fully loaded! Must See!!! - $3995 (West LA)
Date: 2009-12-12, 2:01PM PST
Reply to: [deleted]

I cannot even begin to describe this bike. The following are the additions alone.

• It has protective "antlers" in the front which I designed myself. (for bike and self-protection)
• All kinds of lights all over the front and back-You will be seen!
• Waterproof fenders
• Two bicycle pumps
• Tool box under the seat
• 4 Added mirrors
• 1 set of Veiwpoint high and low beam lights
• 2nd set of high and low beam lights
• Harley Davidson bike lock rotor cable
• Upgraded Handle bar grips
• Extra battery pack
• Speed bar

You must come and view this bike! It's a great bargain.
Valued at $5000, Sacrifice at $3,995 OBO

Beola 310-570-[deleted]
Angel 818-634-[deleted]


Those "protective antlers" are just what you need to survive a bike lane-less Bedford Avenue. I'm thinking about installing a pair on my vacuum cleaner too.

126 comments:

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

ringcycles said...

podiuim!

mikeweb said...

Potty Um?

Astroluc said...

podium?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Astroluc said...

Mikeweb!! where'd you come from?!

Astroluc said...

UN-F IRST

landis in 06 said...

fatty....ugh

g said...

top 10

Black Dickerson said...

open city

rezado said...

hi-rez

Bad Lawyer said...

Bike Chic Dude--

It's a tool between your legs. Really?

Astroluc said...

and just for the record... I bought my vacuum cleane(r) a specialty store. Those Target (or other department store cheap-brand) vacuums don't suck.

ie; they suck at sucking.

H8TP HISH

rezado said...

Wow, Dave Thomas' daughter is ripped.

grog said...

No such thing as gravity.
The world sucks.

Anonymous said...

zomgwtfbbq

ringcycles said...

Not filing a protest, but has anyone checked P.Pilate's chariot to insure that its UCI legal?

I hate to confess this, but when I saw the Ironhorse ad I started to hum "...then one foggy christmas eve..."

Anonymous said...

YESW ECAN

Anonymous said...

CARR OTOP

mikeweb said...

congrats P.P. and ringcycles and all the other regulars.

Is it OK if I view my bikes as tools between my legs but identify myself by the fact that I own a Dyson vacuum cleaner? I'd have to say that the Dyson looks a lot like those Batavus city bikes from Friday...

Test Tickle said...

That Carrot-Top pic gave me a boner.

balls.

hillbilly said...

Strong podium today. I'll wait for disgruntled, but aren't you missing a t in the title, snob? also, waiting for him to confirm or protest use of chasing and fighting in whatever paragraph that was. other than that, gold jerry, solid gold!

ant1 said...

good catch hillbilly.

RK said...

Oh damn, the bearbaiting/NJ Shore quip was the best remark this year!

Surly Bastard said...

I was with the Copenhagen d-bag from Cycle-Chic until he opened his mouth and "I'm into making "liveable-cities" pooped out of it. If cities are "unliveable" how come so many people live in them? Answer me that you Scandnovian-No-Pants with douchey-douchebag nasty highlights in your hair.

hillbilly said...

can i use that as an excuse for my slow finish? can i just back in after a lap off with a mechanical?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with your previous point about hipsters wanting to live dangerously, but also have bike lanes. I don't think the messengers the pretend to be give a crap about lanes, stop signs or traffic controls at all. Spoiled little punks.

Chris said...

OW! MY BALLS!

Jen said...

Electrolux Model R vs. Dyson Animal C17
The Electrolux has staying power. It was a staple of my childhood, and it's older than anyone in the peloton.
The Dyson just plain sucks.

Anonymous said...

All You Target Vacuums Fail At Sucking My Balls.

mikeweb said...

I agree surley B.

Every European or North American city (and most Asian and So. American ones) are already very livable. Drinkable water, sewer systems/ waste water treatment, air pollution controls, electricity and other utilities that are actually running 24/7, reliable and fairly inexpensive communication and transportation networks, etc, etc...

I think what this guy really means to say is sustainable cities.

Anonymous said...

That Ironhorse has got to be snob bait.

Rico Bendayho said...

Chris,

Ah love that show too.

-Rico

jflo said...

"When you attain a certain level of self-importance you honestly begin to believe that simply amplifying yourself is all you need to do to make people agree with you."
More snob gold.

OBA said...

Sincerity spoiler alert: Granted, the "livable cities" thing can get out of hand, but consider the alternative: Not too long ago (technically speaking "back in the day") people who could afford to gave up on most cities entirely, only driving through them (often above or below them, actually) when they had to get to a stadium or buy drugs. Instead, they built malls and sprawl and the cities often burned and died and what was left sucked for the folks who had to live there because they were poor. Some people are fine with this arrangement, while others said, "Hey, cities are still kinda cool in some ways, so let's do stuff to make living there for lots of people a continuing option, and not just a hellhole where we force the poors to stay so we don't have to see them from the highway, o.k.?"
One thing that helps keep cities nice places to live is when people ride bikes to get around instead of driving cars, so folks who like "livable" cities often want to make cycling a practical option for transportation in them. Not all of them are goons or wear cones of smugness. I've been to a few and even rode a bike there once or twice, and I can tell you, it's usually a more pleasant experience than riding one around NYC, which I've also done my fair share of -- even along this stretch of Bedford. But still, I fail to see how the clown thing helps in this case.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what is more pathetic - a fully engorged carrot-top or the completely flacid bike lane funeral. I need a drink.

Brad said...

BEAR BAIT

Anonymous said...

Whenever someone says sustainable, it usually means eugenics.

Billy Reid said...

1 semester down! 5 to go!

WRXJohnny said...

Why is the guy holding the antler bike naked?!

flaco said...

OBA. while I see and appreciate your point on some level, it is, to put it mildly, a dubious synopsis on the ongoing evolution of cities. Yes, I would agree that an increased use of bikes as transportation contributes to a greater quality of life, there are a lot of different ways to look at 'what happened' etc, such as, rich douches live here and expect to have all the shit in the world brought to their doorstep all the time.

Anonymous said...

did malcolm mclaren narrated the chic video? sounded like the great r&r swindle.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Carrot top is my gym buddy -- I s@#t you not -- and a heck of a nice guy in person.

Anonymous said...

Snob: correct on the micro level but wrong on the macro. People, generally, exposed repeatedly (and sometimes forcefully) to things (cultures, races, religions, etc.) that make them uncomfortable leads to familiarity which leads to peace, rapprochement. Turning up the volume serves as a kind of exposure therapy.

See, Civil Rights Movement.

Unfortunately, many bike advocates think their cause is on the same level of importance as the Civil Rights Movement -- which, of course, makes them look like clowns (regardless of outfit chosen that day).

Anonymous said...

Danish guy is just keeping it real. One should not derive any pleasure from anything. All things must be reduced to their most basic and utilitarian form. Like his glasses for instance.

mikey said...

...sometimes it's worth your while to disassemble your bike and sell the parts separately, if anything to preserve your pride...

Anonymous said...

The Williamsburg hipsters are certainly on their way to making the city more european and livable.
After all, what could be more european than making a city livable by tormenting and driving the Jews away?

kerry said...

made into the peloton today!

Billy Reid said...

2 pumps? when the one you have just isn't enough.

Angry Dane said...

I hate that Copenhagen chic guy - he happens to also run one of the largest anti-helmet lobby groups in Scandinavia. I tried to explain to him that his hatred of helmets was due to the fact that it makes women less 'chic' but he just threw some pseudo-science at me about how helmets are actually more dangerous for you.
Anyways, take it from me, there are a lot of ugly people on bikes in Copenhagen too.

cheva said...

podium, for tomorrow

Isolation Helmet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BicyclesOnly said...

Snob, the assumption underlying your critique of the funeral procession is that most or all of the local Hassidic residents really do dislike non-Hassidic bicyclists. That is far from proven, and there has been some evidence to the contrary, such as the reports that some Hassidim joined in the repainting of the bike lane. I didn't catch on film local Hasidim residents who were giving the demo the thumbs up, but there were more than a few. As you might say, most onlookers were nonplussed. So your assumption is unsupported.

And you have nothing to say about 30 cops chasing around 10 harmless bicyclists in the rain? One of them, equipped with a video camera and taking likley illegal surveillance footage, sheltered under the umbrella of the nonplussed local gentleman? Or is that local gentleman "on the job" too?

Isolation Helmet said...

Being of Scandinavian descent I can assure you that all glasses in Scandinavia of of a similar Scandinavianway.

As for the Iron Horse the seller obviously does not know what he has got. I mean waterproof fenders!

Bristol Traffic said...

1. Mikhail and the Copenhagenize people are trying to bring the copenhagen lifestyle to the rest of the world. The fact that this lifecycle involves beautiful danish women wearing short skirts is one of its selling points. It also brings in a lot more visitors.

2. Over in Amsterdamize, they are trying to push the amsterdam lifecycle, although by focusing on the bicycles and not the coffee shops or prostitution outlets that you can cycle too, they aren't selling the city.

3. We in Bristol Traffic are trying to push the Bristol cycling city lifestyle: http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/ Sadly a hi-viz top from Ikea combined with cut down waterproof trousers from Lidl doesnt make for sexy pictures, and our audience tends to be from people who have a bit of hi-viz fetish.

Anonymous said...

I use the (usually highly offensive, heads up) phrase 'Jesus H. Christ on a bike' all the time. Never before have I seen a bike that could be the mount of Christ himself until the Ironhorse. Truly it is a holy relic.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:38pm
Ouch...

murphstahoe said...

Your cyclocrossing hipsters now have an easy entry point into the sport, if they can sell their DJ equipment.

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2009/12/3-bikes-and-bike-lifestyle-only-17000.html

ant1 said...

anon 3:28 - i like the phrase "Jesus F. Christ". i'm also a fan of "cracker please" and "if you think that's funny, you should see me naked".

Anonymous said...

-Anon 2:10

Well said, Sir.

innerlighter said...

It seems the difference would be that in Copenhagen, bikes are used as tools, whereas in the US we have a lot of tools using bikes.


meh

The Real Test Tickle said...

Nice! I have an impersonator (TT @ 1:38) in the comments section! I really feel like I'm someone special now....

So are you "demystifying" my identity or "stalking" it?

balls.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Thanks, Hillbilly for covering for me.

The title looks fine to me now.

So too the chasing and fighting.

However, I would like Snob to take a stand on whether "Time's Up" is singular or plural. I prefer singular, and am soft-hearted enough to accept either choice. Just not both.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Of course I meant, "Thanks, Hillbilly, for covering for me."

Sheesh.

Surly Bastard said...

Loved the original Electrolux slogan:

NOTHING SUCKS LIKE AN ELECTROLUX.

Or nothing sucks like that Danish dude ...

Anonymous said...

i once met a Danish girl who cycled over the Manhattan bridge. In the roadway. wearing a short skirt. She didn't realize there was a bike lane.

esau bin necker said...

shit this thred has given me a 2 oxycontin fucking migrain

all you haters suck my habib

bikesgonewild said...

..."careful with that electrolux, eugene"...

...most excellent post, bsnyc/rtms...
..."what the participants really did was lay to rest the last remains of their credibility"...yep, & we cyclist somehow manage to do that on a regular basis...self absorbed & self important, just like whatever group or action we're objecting to...

...we may climb high mountains (some of us) on our bikes but we never seem to take the high road when i comes to advocacy...
...we gladly wallow or dance in the gutter, as witness the w-burg 'funeral' action...

...now, i dug that they went out & repainted the lanes...that's worthy of props but sunday's sad clown pathos speaks for itself, w/out the video...

flynn said...

did snob just confess to murder, and if so can he maintain the blog from prison?

hillbilly said...

I could change my name to "hillbilly for covering for me" if you'd prefer.

Anonymous said...

Sadly antler bike guy has to part with his prized steed to make more room in his basement for the bodies.

bikesgonewild said...

...bonus, innerlighter, bonus...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Jam band-loving friends drive borrowed Toyotas, not Volvos.

Other than that you're right BikeSnob, this kind of demonstration is detrimental to the er..., bike culture, yes.

bikesgonewild said...

...look, bsnyc/rtms...the guy w/ the "hand-me-down" volvo ???...(did you notice how old some of those stickers were ???..."jerry for president"...fuck dude, i mean, really ???)...

...i knew his parents "back in the day", alright ???...same shit all the time..."dude, check out this ***dead*** tape...friend of mine got it from ***jerry***, man...no, like for real, man, here, check this out !!!"...

...fuck that nonsense...i feel for ya, bsnyc/rtms...guy was tryin' to ram that phish shit down yer throat or in yer ears at least & the little fuck got what he deserves...
..."i...do not...want...to...hear...that shit !!!"...so he's lying somewhere on the side of the road of the "empire state's" throughway system w/ his stupid fucking hacky sack deservedly lodged in his throat...

...dude...i empathize w/ yer weekend...really, i do...

d. fofonov said...

English is not easy language to learn. Babelfish on my yablika is dysfunction.

I am asking: is "sustainable" English for "full of shit"?

Not to trust any Danish, but the pudenda is equal to much.

Salty Seattle said...

Anon 4:39-

You must be younger than me. The true Phish fans from 'Back-in-tha-day' all drove recycled Volvos, as a protest against their yuppie parents' disposable Toyotas. The retro Toyotas came later.

Salty Seattle said...

Someone just sent this.
http://www.michelinman.com/the-right-tire/?stopshorter-video&WT.mc_id=Email_Internal_HandraiserDec2009&unique_id=4514075&IMM=7

Makes me glad I prefer 'Bike Culture' to 'Car Culture'.

Skeggcelent said...

BSNYC, I'm surprised you didn't comment on the disembodied arm displaying that beautiful "14-point buck" in the craigslist add...

dave said...

anybody else notice that the antler bike had a left-side drivetrain? it must be so right-foot-forward riders can do sweet grinds without smashing the derailleur and chainrings. good luck keeping the discs true though...

Fierce Panties said...

Aren't there any parts of Brooklyn left where a silly cracker (cracker pu-lease) can go to act and like a clown and then get beat down for being a dick?

Fierce Panties said...

I lived in Williamsburg back in the Stone Ages, 1988, and I don't remember crackers acting that stupid.

CP
RU
AH
CL
KE
EE
RZ

Fierce Panties said...

I didn't even try to watch the hipster funeral or the Danish fuck. I didn't even start the video. Can't do it.

urchin said...

Anon 2:38 said:
"People, generally, exposed repeatedly (and sometimes forcefully) to things (cultures, races, religions, etc.) that make them uncomfortable leads to familiarity which leads to peace, rapprochement."

Or genocide, or terrorism, depending on the power available to them. Let's go over this again: maybe yelling at each other isn't the answer.

--NPJ

kale said...

Consequently, we now just sit home and watch things like "Jersey Shore."

Um,

How do you know what I was doing last night? That's creepy.

urchin said...

..and FWIW, I'm a Kirby man, myself. Last forever, and free rebuilds!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Volvo or toyota, you are still ear-fucked.

Anonymous said...

"Volvo or toyota"

Saab.

Bad Lawyer said...

I am not a walker, walking is just something I do to locomotive my formerly fat ass from my bicycle or my car to Starbucks to get my coffee, my shoes--well who cares they come in the mail from Zappos, they are just tools. Fuck style, fuck shoe polish, fuck shoe laces, fuck socks,--just tools, who cares. I could go to Payless and get some knockoff, same difference. I don't need stylish eyewear, I live here not in Copenhagen if I lived in Copenhagen I might need stylish eyewear, but I don't just lenses strung together functionally so I can read my newspaper, this eyewear is just a tool I am not a seer, I am just a see-er.

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd

Miele - the vacuum cleaner for Fred

Anonymous said...

All you haters electrolux my balls

Daddo said...

"..please turn down the Phish, he responds by saying, "What? You don't like this?!?," and making it even louder in the hopes that somehow the increased volume will reveal to you the nuances you missed and your musical tastes will somehow change. But the louder Phish gets the more you hate them and the more you protest, and the crazier he thinks you are, and so you turn off the stereo, and he says, "This is my car!" and turns it back on, and you get in a big fight, and ultimately someone winds up lying dead on the side of the road with a Hacky Sack lodged in his throat."

shit! I didn't know there were witnesses!

DistrictXII said...

Good lord. If it weren't for the pictures, I would've assumed the list of "additions" on that MTB was a joke.

bikramyoganj said...

Where can I get some holiday antlers for my bike? Ok, back of the pack today, as always....

Chris said...

The Australian narrator is disturbing, even to someone like me. I'm, one too. And Australian, not a disturbed....

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time figuring out why all of the fuss about the Williamsburg bike lane. On the one hand I'm irritated that someone's religion trumps my safety (and that DOT picked my pocket for it..twice!!), but really, since when did a lack of bike lanes make streets off limits for cyclists? Just as I hope the Hasidim are of strong enough faith to handle the occasional set of exposed buttocks I would hope that the Williamsburg cyclists are strong enough to continue cycling down that street.

That said, sometimes if you want something just asking for it isn't enough. You have to get out there and make it happen. Someone is going to have to take one for the team and get in a accident. That should speed the return of the bike lane.

Jase said...

Is the Australian narrator the same guy who did the documentaries about the lady who went to court for not wearing a helmet?

The footage in that documentary never showed him below the waist...

Coincidence? I'd wager not.

hackneyed sojourn said...

mind your throats please

Plane Simple said...

Snob, don't worry, it's like this:

Just as Chicster mentioned that it works just fine to use a "crappy bike" as a tool for getting around that livable city, it also works just fine to use a crappy vacuum. You see, it's so livable that for most dust and dirt, what little that exists to get tracked inside in such a superlatively inhabitable place, you simply open your windows and doors and verbally order that stuff to get back outside, and it's done. Vacuum is only needed for an occasional simple scrap of paper, and to show the neighbors you care to participate in keeping it so livably clean. Voila, no specialty store needed.

honnybucket said...

This things been stuck @ 98 for a while here. Someone wanna take the triple digit finish? Any idea what kind of a sit poll that Iron Horse has got on it?

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ant1 said...

anon 3:53, the folks over at www.copenhagencyclechic.com should be able to help you with that question. we're not big into tools, business or otherwise, here at BSNYC's.

TRB said...

Anon 10:06 - tell me how some stripes on a street are going to make riding your bike safer on the same street without stripes?

Unless there's true traffic separation, bike lanes can actually be more of a hazard because they give a false sense of security. In reality, putting these types of lanes in is just as much of a political ploy by Bloomberg as taking them out.

Anonymous Coward said...

Anon 3:53 another option, if copenhagenchic.com doesn't have what you are looking for, can be found here. Thank you, and please shut the door on the way out of the internets.

ANTLRBIK

ant1 said...

TRB - nothing against your point in general, but relating it to the copenhagen cycle chic guy's views on helmets, i wonder how much there truly is to this "false sense of security" stuff. has there ever been studies showing that bike lanes or helmets actually reduce safety? does the presence of a bike lane, even if the person riding in it thinks they're perfectly safe, increase their safety? doesn't it mean that the street is wide enough for a car and a bike, and doesn't it give the driver a line to judge where they should be driving? same goes with helmets, sure some might ride crazier with them on, but i doubt most serious cycling accidents are the result of crazy riding. either way, until i see proof that a helmet causes more injuries, i'll continue to think they prevent injuries since i have seen evidence of that.

ant1 said...

when i say "does the presence of a bike lane, even if the person riding in it thinks they're perfectly safe, increase their safety?" i mean "does the presence of a bike lane, even if the person riding in it thinks they're perfectly safe, NOT increase their safety?"

Anonymous said...

First off, lots of jews love Gloria Gaynor. I remember a 60 minutes episode, years ago about the war in Lebanon, they had a shot of a night club with "I'll survive" playing thematically in the background. my step-mother, while making some sort of slurring comment of the arabs, also made a point of how the jews have "survived", and that song is a jewish song..
As far as the funeral, as with most of these demonstrations, first off, none of these people are williamsburg hipsters. They do take a theatrical approach to most issues and oddly aside from the quizickle look from the Hassids, the bigger issue is the 20 car flotilla of police vehicles, wasting valuable city resources, looking for any opportunity to beat down the mishugas of a handful of creative caring cycling folks.
All in the name of mindless city politics..
That's just embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Phish

"Guppy" Honaker said...

I will never quite understand the interest in "Hipster vs. Hasidim."
- David
10 Reasons to Drink Aloe Vera

TRB said...

ant1 - by false sense of security I mean that bike lanes create the expectation for bikers that cars will stay out of their lane and vice versa. In places where there is little to no mixing of traffic this works well but on a street like 6th Avenue, the presence of a bike lane sends the wrong message to both the bikers and the drivers. For the bikers, it gives the sense that the street is safe to ride on, no matter the traffic. For drivers, it means that all bikers will be far to the left but really it means that bikers are out of sight, out of mind. Of course that street is a nightmare with tons of traffic turning left, taxis, peds, delivery trucks, etc. creating all kinds of unexpected and potentially dangerous scenarios for both bikers and drivers. I personally feel that on that street in particular, the best thing to do is act like just another vehicle and ride with (and in) the flow.

As far as research goes, there's a bit on both sides. A good place to start is: http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/bikelanes.html

What a lot of the arguments for or against really come down to are questions on location and design especially in areas where the traffic can't be fully segregated.

One other point to consider, bike lanes tend to attract new, less experienced riders. This combined with a poorly designed or located bike lane is a recipe for disaster.

ant1 said...

TRB - thanks for the link. i agree that bike lanes are usually not well thought out, and i'm all about riding with the flow of traffic. from what i've read (quickly), there is no empirical evidence of (well implemented) bike lanes being bad. I do agree with your point about attracting less experienced riders, but i think that's a good thing, and i'm sure the bike lane makes the beginners safer then not having a lane, since it at least gives them an idea of where to ride.

Waco Personal Injury Lawyer said...

Cycle or Chic or pretentious cycle porn. Great post, spot on today.

LK said...

The music on that Colville-Andersen video gave me goosebumps. It scared me so much that I put on my "lid."

mikeweb said...

TRB & ant1

I agree. I also believe that the separated bike lanes, especially the type on 9th ave. are also a recipe for disaster, maybe just a couple levels below the recipe that the 6th ave lane represents. The left turn lanes every 200 yards with 1 set of traffic signals for bikes and another set for autos are unsafe, idiotic and only serve to inflame the general sense of driver hostility towards cyclists.

I ride up 6th ave. every morning from Prince st. to the 40s and have less close calls there than I do when riding home down 5th or 7th when there is much more pedestrian traffic. Probably the worst is the Grand St. separated lane. Anyone can tell you, what you're really riding on there is an extension of the sidewalk since that's how pedestrians treat it.

That said, these separated lanes do serve a certain type of cyclist. These lanes are built for the slower cyclist sitting bolt upright on a 'comfort' style bike. This type of cyclist no more belongs in the middle of 6th ave. than I do bombing down the 9th ave. bike lane in a high gear. In fact, when do ride on 9th ave. I actually use the left side of the left auto lane.

Anonymous said...

so I guess you have to be an "experienced" rider to ride a bike in the city. what is an experienced rider anyway? Bike lanes are a good thing period. they provide a dedicated space for bike riders, which are sometimes blocked by pedestrians and parked and turning cars, but still far better than riding in traffic. an argument to the contrary is pretty silly. I've been commuting on my bike in the city for about 20 years and used to be a bike messenger "back in the day" so am probably more experienced than others but would much rather share a bike lane with a slow rider of a comfort bike than some helmet "bombing" in a high gear. city bike lanes aren't for workouts anymore than sidewalks are for running sprints.

mikeweb said...

anon 12:25,

I'm not necesarily arguing for or against bike lanes or even any particular type. When I'm riding on 6th avenue, or 9th, or Grand St I'm more often than not commuting myself. I ride quickly, and no I'm not the type A person with a whistle or yelling at everyone or barking 'on yer left' every 2 minutes either. What I am saying is that different cyclists have different preferences and requirements of the street infrastructure. Heck even the same cyclist's requirements change depending on whether they're chugging home with 50 lbs. of groceries with a child on board one day or doing a 50 mile 'workout' ride the next.

Anonymous said...

Actually the rip-off bike shop down the street (that led me to learn to fix everything that doesn't need a brazing torch myself) turned into a vacuum cleaner specialty shop for a while when everyone else stopped going too. Now they just sell those electic "bikes" that are really unlicenced mopeds.

Bristol Traffic said...

Topic 1: Helmets?

Studies here in the UK imply that drivers drive closer to you if you are wearing them. If you look more vulnerable, then apparently they give you more room. I'm not sure about this, as its not the room they give me when they pass that I care about, so much as whether they are turning at the same time. No data there.

What is interesting is that a lot of people pushing helmets are not cyclists so much as car drivers saying "if you ride without a helmet or hi-viz, you have chosen to die". You can see this in news reports of some death, where someone ends up mangled underneath a 24 Ton truck, and the reporter says "the cyclist, who wasn't wearing a helmet..." as if that would have made any difference at all.

Topic 2: Bike Lanes

This is really interesting. Some recent UK studies have implied that cars dont swerve round bikes if they are in bike lanes. That is, if there is no bike lane, they give the bike more clearance than if they are in the lane. The car driver uses the painted lines on the road as a cue for where they should be. The implication here is that narrow bike lanes are more dangerous than no bike lanes. The other trouble with lanes is that they create an expectation in car drivers that you won't be in their way "get in the lane you ungracious bastard cyclist", and that their tax money is being wasted on bicycles.

If you look at copenhagen and amsterdam, what they have are really good bike lanes, like freeways for bicycles, whereas what the UK has is something painted in afterwards. What you in the US have is something that was painted out afterwards.

esau bin necker said...

damm i dont know if you yankee fellers noticed but you can buy mooslim clothes in copenhagen

babes bikes beer and burkas

my kind of place

lkt said...

"Really, Copenhagen Cycle Chic exudes fetishism, though perhaps that's just a cultural difference. In Copenhagen secretly taking pictures of women in short skirts is "demystification," but here it's just stalking."

it's a weird world when apt critique of these blogs fetishizing upsuspecting women on bikes is coming from bikesnob.

but...thanks, bikesnob.

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Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

After a long time watching religiously at your blog, I've been wondering where do you get all those strange bikes? Are they yours or you just like collecting pics?

Guitar snob said...

Since Mikael ColVille-Andersen states that this isn't a fetish - I thought I would google "copenhagen vacuum chic"... case closed.

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