Thursday, February 4, 2010

Soft Options: Day-Tripping to Danger

Yesterday evening, I was riding an a leisurely pace along one of the city's new margarita-green bike lanes when I encountered a silver Range Rover idling squarely in my path. Rolling up next to it, I peered inside and saw that the driver was a woman in late middle age. She had the appearance of someone who is financially well-off, and she was deeply engrossed in a conversation on her cellphone.

In a city as busy and crowded as New York, it is inevitable that people occasionally commandeer a bit of space that technically does not belong to them. We all do it. If you have a stoop, someone's going to sit on it to tie his shoes. If the subway train is crowded, somebody is going to make physical contact with you. And yes, as even someone as staunchly against it as I am must accept, occasionally there's going to be a car in your bike lane. Simply put, sometimes you've got to cut people some slack.

As anybody who lives in a big city knows, there are times when space-commadeering is acceptable, and there are times when it is unacceptable. There are no hard and fast rules, but like porn, you know unacceptability when you see it. For example, in the subway scenario, a shoulder brush is sometimes unavoidable but a crotch-fondle is never warranted. Similarly, a car entering the bike lane to get around a garbage truck or to parallel park might be the equivalent of a shoulder brush. But sitting in an expensive car and having a cellphone conversation in the middle of a bike lane during the evening rush is just a full-on ball grab.

Still, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and since she was sitting at an intersection I thought that maybe this was a new DOT pilot program inspired by the Copenhagen foot rest, only instead of little railings they were using luxury SUVs. So, after making sure there was nobody else in the car capable of beating me up (by which I mean pretty much anybody tougher than an inconsiderate dowager), I simply placed my hand right on the driver door window exactly where her face was and leaned there while waiting for the green.

It took a few moments, but she finally noticed me and rolled down the window, which forced me to move my hand to the door. She didn't say anything--she just put the phone on her shoulder and looked at me expectantly. Affecting my most genteel tone, I explained that she was parked right in the middle of the bike lane, and since she was engrossed in a conversation I figured she wouldn't mind if I availed myself of her vehicle to lean on until the light changed. As I spoke, she looked me up and down, taking inventory of my battered Scattante and my modest wardrobe. Then, in an amused manner that might also have been contemptuous if it wasn't so utterly dismissive, she just sort of shrugged as if to say "Whatever," closed the window, and resumed her conversation.

Like anybody, in weak moments I occasionally feel good about myself. This is a dangerous impulse, and in such moments it's important to keep in mind how lowly you really are. Being looked at like this woman looked at me is a great reminder, so for this reason I decided to take her picture. I figured it would be handy for staving off happiness in the same way you might use a photo of a puppy carcass to quell an erection. However, while my lean didn't spur her into action, the presence of a camera certainly did, and she quickly shielded her face as I took the shot:

The speed with which she blocked her visage indicated she was experienced with this kind of thing, and I wondered who she was. Perhaps I had caught some sort of power broker in the midst of planning a torrid liaison, and had I captured her face I might have used the photo for blackmail and been able to retire on the proceeds. As it is, I may never know. In retrospect, I sort of regret the encounter, since while the glass-touching may have been a shoulder brush perhaps the photo was a bit of a fondling below the waistline. Still, the starkness of the photo makes it look far more intense than it really was. In real time the whole thing was just the equivalent of a sarcastic passive-aggressive "Excuse me."

Speaking of aggression, yesterday I mentioned the imminent "Empire" fixed-gear video, and the reactions to this cinematic endeavor were predictably vehement. Regardless of whether you think that "Empire" is an exciting "grassroots" film that conveys the excitement of urban riding, or you think it's yet another irresponsible vanity project by one of cycling's many cliques, it certainly made some people angry and in that sense alone I believe it's valid. I also happen to believe that when something makes you angry you should think a little bit about why it makes you angry, since it's our capacity for rational thought that separates us from lower creatures such as cockles and man-eating kangaroos.

One thing that made people angry about the "Empire" teaser was its use of a song by the Cro-Mags, since it seemed as though the filmmakers were lazily appropriating the hardcore music of the 1980s in order to imbue their project with a sense of "street cred," or perhaps even declaring themselves the rightful heirs to New York City's street-savvy anti-establishment subculture--never mind that former Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph is himself a cyclist and rabid triathlete who uses the city as his own personal jungle gym:



One wonders if Joseph (who is so tough he probably keeps "fixies" in his Saxo Bank jersey pocket and eats them instead of Clif Bars) endorsed this use, or if he did not whether he would be honored or find it audacious. It would seem as though the people Joseph was "calling out" in the song "World Peace" are the sort of people who are making "Empire," and that their using it is like scoring a beer commercial with a Minor Threat song, but for all I know Joseph may have indeed given the crew his blessing, perhaps in exchange for a dozen IRO frames to snack on between reps of street sign pull-ups.

In another sense though the song selection is appropriate, because it wasn't long before the Cro-Mags's audience grew to include day-trippers who merely had to walk through the streets, not live in them, and who could partake in acts of physical aggression in the (relatively) safe and controlled setting of places like the Ritz. Sure, you might get punched in the face, but after the show you knew you could go home. Similarly, the sort of riding you see in "Empire" is mostly optional risk-taking. In a time before email and Jan Gehl-designed bike lanes, more people became bike messengers and rode like maniacs as a matter of necessity and survival. Certainly, this is still true for a number of people, but for many others it's more of a "lifestyle choice." Running the light at 23rd and 6th during rush hour because your baby is hungry is one thing; doing it while being followed by a cinematographer on a Honda scooter (whether or not you work as a messenger) is something else.

This is not to say there's anything wrong with entertainment for entertainment's sake, or that partaking in it (either as an entertainer or as an audience member) should require some official license of authenticity. Still, sometimes it lacks integrity. When the rider runs the light in the "Empire" teaser, there's absolutely no reason for him to do it, yet whether you find it thrilling or idiotic you simply can't look away because you need to see if he will make it. It's one of the cheapest tricks in media, and it's the entire basis behind entertainers like David Blaine. Most people hate David Blaine, and the stunts he pulls are utterly pointless, but when a guy announces he's going to lock himself in a lucite refrigerator in the middle of Piccadilly Circus for three months, you simply need to know whether or not this moron is going to die. Sure, it's a foolproof attention-getter, but it also requires the entertainer to constantly out-moron himself in order to have a career. This is a bad economic model for creating entertainment; it's like living off your credit cards. The interest will eventually bury you.

Actually, if you really think about it, even the most conservative, practical cyclist takes the same risks as the "Empire" riders do, and has just as many "bragging rights." Really, in a way speeding up the riding is just as phony as speeding up the film, since the commuter in the day-glo vest with the helmet mirror and the hybrid bike covered in reflective tape is about as likely to get hit by a bus. The difference is that day-glo commuter doesn't expect anybody to think he's cool.

Maybe cycling needs more commuting videos to keep things in perspective, since the rest of us seem to be preoccupied with showing the world that we touch cars. This could be why people seem to be so captivated by David Byrne and his grueling midtown-to-SoHo loft-to-loft commute. David Byrne doesn't touch cars; he just talks about how evil the suburbs are. In a way though it's kind of the same thing. Whether you're a car-toucher, a light-runner, or a gallery-hopper, it's easy to design an urban cycling lifestyle for yourself when you have so many options.

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium

SD friend said...

that just happened

Anonymous said...

third :)

Michael said...

Podium?

mikeweb said...

My new "training regimen" helps.

Poolside said...

Poolside!

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

Points!

Nogocyclist said...

Top 10

Surly Bastard said...

Podium?

Jim N said...

I like David Byrne. He mellows me out in a Presbyterian way.

hoot79er said...

Top ten!!!

Surly Bastard said...

Way out contention ... the comment counter lied. I did however read the whole post, so I would have had the third step if I hadn't bothered to window-lean.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

youaretheengine said...

Be it decreed that all commuting videos must be set to the music of the Fleet Foxes. Just to ensure no one gets an adrenaline rush.

xyxax said...

A bowl of Malakatani, please.
And some bread?

gregoryyy said...

Hey Snob.Well,yesterday's post gave me horrible horrible dreams.

Those Empire kids were off to meet the jerks who ride bikes to Whole Foods.Mike Giant was out front(in a booth)drawing or something.It's all so fuzzy right now.

All i know is... I am still scared.

God said...

So, what's shakin' in haiti these days?

mikeweb said...

Yeah, that John Joseph guy is definitely the same John Joseph who was my hook-up for the 'green stuff' when I lived in the E-vil in the mid 90s. I remember him talking (LOUDLY all the time) about a movie idea he was working on.

I didn't know his prior musical history at the time.

rezado said...

hi-rez

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

ant1 said...

"the same way you might use a photo of a puppy carcass to quell an erection."

i guess we can cross michael vick off the list of possible BSNYC identities.

Anonymous said...

Like, bike salmon, there are people near my office that insist on riding against traffic, running red lights, on the SIDEWALK (in a day-glo vest).

Is there a good name for these guys? Almost dead?

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Once I was a bike messenger in NY...before the days of fax machines even...it was potholed and dangerous and my single speed had brakes (or breaks as they say now...and I wore breeks too, for any Netherlandish out thar). An old Itala but a good one, fancy chrome lugs.

And it was a job that totally sucked, and every messenger, even the guy who was on the Toga team and trained via messengering, agreed...we all wanted to get out. Though we did our best to be friendly with the dispatchers regardless. Hi attrition rate on every count. We were one step over garbagemen.

Now...it's a sign of "authenticity" / yep, you're "down with the working man"...all the way up from your posh prep school life...why not use that wonderful prep school / college start to find a "real" authenticity? Hint - ya don't just get the togs...and accessories...

ringcycles said...

xyxax: I think you mean Mulligatawny. As is in the soup.

"No comments for you!"

I believe that BSNYC and Weird Al share a fundamental and undeniably similar insight and irony. Thank God for it.

broomie said...

Thanks for the well worded cogitative piece. Props to the bicycle commuter!

broomie said...

Oh yeah..
Hey, David Byrne come to Anaheim, we could use some bike lanes here!

mlliu said...

Yesterday, I saw a Megabus with its blinkers flashing stopped just to the right of the bike lane on a one-way street. Occasionally someone would drive in the bike lane to pass the bus on its left. But I was impressed the bus driver chose to block one of the three or so lanes of auto traffic instead of the single bike lane.

Although, someone who works in that area told me some of those buses routinely doublepark during the day because their companies won't pay for garage space in Manhattan. Still, I'd rather it be a bus than a private vehicle.

That was very balls-y of you. Stay safe.

xyxax said...

I put my hand on a van today at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge but in a more fist-pounding mannerway, as it tried to crush me into the fence.
I don't have photographic evidence but the driver and passenger were less than plussed.

Double Nought Spy said...

The thing that makes me angry in that idiotic video is that I found myself hoping the jackass got smacked by one of the cars, the drivers of which had every right to squish his sorry ass. Or so it seemed. That's wrong, and the fools responsible for that video are responsible for an awful lot of bad karma on top of their overt offensiveness. Punk rock, rap, even Critical Mass and other offensive social phenomena have a point. This sort of sick vanity and fake "toughness" is just disgusting. The Weird Al song was perfect.

Ralphy said...

It sucks, but don't sweat the grey lady, Snob.

Maybe she was trying to emulate you, puttin' her hand on the glass like that. Or perhaps it was an attempt at redemption for her rotten behavior, via a conciliatory high-five, only to be thwarted by her gilded cage.

Anonymous said...

TOP 40!!!!!

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

Its getting beyond ridiculous that white kids predominantly born outside of an urban center keep touting and looking for street cred, street cred, street cred.

Having grown up in brooklyn in the 70's and 80's one did not get street cred by riding a cute bike thru red lights.

You could obtain a "rep" by punching the guy riding the cute bike in the grill and then take his bike to a cro-mag show, but ultimately lending it to your white friend who just missed the last bus to rockland county.

Anonymous said...

If the prep school kids want cred', then they should join the Army....MOS 11B:Infantry.

Dr. Marten said...

DRI, Cro Mags, Minor Threat... When are you startiing a NYHC Snob blog?

xyxax said...

Ringcycles:
Thanks for the correction.
I should have ordered the lobster bisk.

Anonymous said...

I find range rover/land rover's tend to do the most bike lane hogging. and the easiest to mess with.
The dilemma is always, whether to ignore them, slap their front hood or other hollow parts of the side panel= hard... or do what you did.
Meditating and mediating is always best.
The biggest problem with the Empire video was how poorly it was shot. I didn't realize they were on a scooter. nothing was framed properly. Seriously, shooting from a bike has more integrity than any motorized vehicle. bunch of co-opting poser losers.
Being an aging commuter, I take pride in looking more like a circus freak, with all my cycling related appendages.
it keeps pedestrian people away.

Wrench Monkey said...

Of course the woman in the Rover wouldn't let you take her picture. It's important that she keeps her incognito status as the White Snob.

leroy said...

Is it just me or does anyone else think Katy Perry could supply an appropriate soundtrack for the Empire video and even BSNYC's SUV encounter?

Something like this:

"This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It's not what I'm used to
Just wanna try you on
I'm curious for you
Caught my attention....

"I touched a car and I liked it....

hillbilly said...

gettin j's from jj.....

who was triple J on mtv "back in the day"?

Juan Altitude said...

Ballsy snob, I like! I just hope you don't influence me, 'cause I could get in a whole lot of trouble. Ah, but that's true, you made sure nobody could beat you up. Ballsy and whip-smart.

Anonymous said...

Your recent posts have had a lot more traction, less of the tired sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is pretty annoying when a selfish new yorker disregards the bike lane. I was almost doored yesterday by some woman on a cell phone getting INTO a taxi. I yell an obscenty at her and rode next to her cab for a couple blocks staring at her dissapprovingly. Shortly thereafter the post-overreacting remorse set in and I castigated myself for not being more understanding and patient. This happens on a daily basis.

grog said...

Living in the evil suburb, and still i get out-moroned.

Anonymous Coward said...

Bravo Snob! Mixing philosophy/thoughtful-dialogue with the "using a puppy carcass to quell an erection" line - such sweet dichotomy.

@Anon 1:59
Since when is sarcasm tired?

ervgopwr said...

GRAY LADY

SAYS 2SNB

TALK 2HND

JTK said...

I love the experiments in social interaction or "shoulder rubbing." I think you should go for one a day. Please be careful however...

db said...

This is a bad economic model for creating entertainment; it's like living off your credit cards. The interest will eventually bury you.

Epic.

Love the lede with the bike lane motorist. For bike commuters, the quickest way to get a motorist off your ass or out of the way is to just pull out a cell phone and start taking photos or video with it. Or just act like you're shooting away. They will stop mid-sentence and just take off.

streepo said...

I wish I could hit Norman Mailer in the head with a hammer.

Melky said...

Messengering was and always will be a crappy job: you have to deal with the same idiots in mail rooms, the same cops, the same drivers and the same dispatchers. You get no respect and there's no future in it unless you want to be a dispatcher.

I did it for the same reason as most people: I like to bike and, more importantly, it's an easy job to get (why? Because there's always such high turnover). Plus if you hustle you can make ok money. But it burns you out. I only knew one person who did it for more than 2-3 years straight. I left after about a year and a half after getting tackled by a cop (who wanted to give me a ticket) and then getting busted for 'assaulting' him with my bike! Such glamour.

George Not Hincapie said...

In my usual tattered attire, I once entered a Mercedes dealership intent on buying the new CL. The salesman judged me by me outfit and said, in a condescending sort of way, "you know these cars are quite expensive." I asked him, "do you own this dealership?" He said, "no," I said, "I win," and walked out.

Test Tickle said...

Dr Marten,

DRI is from Tayhas, while Minor Threat was from DC.

just sayin'

and BS, great analogy of beer and Minor Threat!

STRT EDGE

balls.

sufferist said...

Snob, I would be careful. The lady obviously has the resources to hire a P.I., dust the window and door, slip $20 to Horatio at the CSI lab to cross check their database, wait for 20 seconds while all the nice application graphics whir by and then come up with your true identity.

This just cannot happen. Think of the children...not to mention the commenters that rely on you to break up the monotony of their no-impact desk jobs.

Thank you for your attention to this matter....

day-glo commuter said...

Hey,
my mom AND my cat think i'm cool.

Leif Garrett said...

So where can I find this "urban cycling lifestyle" you speak of?

I need some street cred..

Anonymous said...

You are all missing the point. The one guy did a wheelie! With one hand nonetheless! How awesome is that? Day-glo wearing haterz!

kale said...

Hey everyone, I'm working on a video project "Byzantine" and I think we can really show our stuff to the other blog comment sections out there.

Here's the teaser.

Cool, huh? Mad skillz.

g said...

Kale!
Live without a ergonomic keyboard!!
You rock.

Anonymous said...

All the original punks were poseurs too, except for the Ramones.

Anonymous said...

Snobalopicus,
Next time, follow the Eddie Murphy/Beverly Hills Cop path and just "put a banana in her tailpipe", if you know what I mean......and as for the video, a more appropriate music accompaniment would be Jim Carroll's "People Who Died".

Stupid Name said...

snob,

Middle aged women in Range Rovers, have a specific disease called selective vision.

You were invisible until you touched her steel machine.

Bike lanes are invisible, other people not of similar or higher socioeconomic status are invisible.

You were lucky you got the Range Rover retort "Whatever".

If I were you watch out, she will run you over on your comute next time, and have her lawyer litigate you into poverty.

Sometimes they are in disguise, and drive Mercedes. You are a marked man, update your will immediately.

Anonymous said...

John Joseph appears to be Cro-Magging his urban warfare in the bike lane on the bridge. Ladies and gentlemen-the punk rock block.

Anonymous said...

We will miss you.

Everybody keep track of bicycle/landrover accidents on the interweb.

CommieCanuck said...

Sometime in the 90s, I was held up in a bike lane on the U of Toronto campus because some guy in a new BMW was parked there, sitting in the car. Traffic was stuck and I could not go around. I was annoyed. I knocked on the douche's window and told him not to park in the bike lanes, and rode off.

A block later, I heard the race of a German engine and was slammed sideways in the bike lane, thrown about 30 feet onto grass.

2 witnesses, one call to police.

The driver was charged with reckless driving. The cop noted that he could see the imprint of my leg on the car's one side.

Forward 2 months, court date. Douche enters the courtroom wearing dark glasses and chewing gum, with him is his mom, in a lovely mink coat and a positively Imelda shoes, and no less then three lawyers.The lawyers meet with the crown attorney in a huddle for 15 seconds, the case is read, and a guilty plea of "driving in an improper lane" is accepted. $104 fine.

I pipe up that I should be heard as the victim, the judge disagreed, I was miffed, he fined me $100 for contempt of court.

Last September, the Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant,grabbed the arm of a bike messenger and accelerated his car into a mail box, murdering the cyclist. Good chance he will get completely off, despite charges (very Bonfire of the Vanities).

The point: Snob, that callous driver could have perceived your actions as a threat and shot at you, and gotten away with it.

Anonymous said...

I think that story is worth a Scattante...

Anonymous said...

CC you have opened a huge can of worms. I bet we top 200 comments with everybodys tale of woe, and ass holes who have run us over.

ant1 said...

CC, maybe parking in a bike lane by an attempt to assault a cyclist giving him/her the right to shoot the driver? that would be cool.

mikeweb said...

db,

I like that idea - cameras as auto repellants.

kale,

props on the soundtrack.

Anonymous said...

"Anarchy's a Myth!"

ant1 said...

i'm retarded (sorry sarah) and i meant "parking in a bike lane IS an attempt..."

Hercules T. Rockefeller said...

HEY GUYZ WOTZ GOIN ON?

Salty Seattle said...

Whoa, Commie! Heavy dude.

Anonymous said...

I sense wanton desire in her glass-pressed palm. (Not to be confused with wonton desire - though there may have been some of that too.)

Anonymous said...

CC: Did you consider civil action against the guy? Just because you took him to criminal court does not preclude you from civil action (at least not in the US). Remember Goldman v. Simpson? He won the criminal case, but lost big time in civil court. Burden of proof isn't as strict in civil court either. Probably too late to do anything now, but for those of you out there reading this, take notice.

Coastiedouche said...

John joseph is the real deal.Cool to see someone like that keepin it going.Great writing by the way BSNY.Yeah I agree bike messengering was probably the worst job ive had.Do you think Performance bikes might start selling collapsable black jacks.Maybee crabon fibre black jacks w a titanium/lead tip for the more aggressive commuter/roadie?Im seriously considering one.

Salty Seattle said...

Snobbie,

I gotta call you out on this one.

Here in Seattle, we're rather used to artistic hackitude. In fact, we occasionally market it to the world, and call it our latest, 'best kept secret', whether it's videographic, musical or visual art. You, New Yorkers, may have the benefit of quality work on a regular, possible consistent, basis, but others of us around the world, do not. I agree that cycling tactics in the Empire film are a tad on the egregious side, at best, but did you have to ding 'em for the 'art'?

I like to celebrate hacktastic video, as it has that, 'competing for the $10,000 on America's Funniest,' quality.

So endearing.

Oh yeah, and thanks for mentioning a stiffie right in the middle of today's post.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob, are you going to 'drop' some new stickers with the new logo? My 5.5th bike is almost a whole 6, so I'll need some more. I once put my hand through a motorist's window (frame) and their face was in the way. Please don't bum-rush me in your car AND honk. Not my proudest moment. Today’s post was a heaping load of Dr. Laura style advice to avoid those situations. Lunch time.... back to the cockles.

panino said...

whatever.

kale said...

@coastiedouche 3:56

For the Nu Fred without a U-lock handy.

Melky said...

Also not a good idea to take on four guys in a car but hey, they started it by hitting me with a Club (those steering wheel thingies) as they drove by. After I pounded on their car, I ditched on to an empty sidewalk. The fuckers drove the car onto the sidewalk, rear-ended me and then got out and started running after me. I lucked out; all I got was a tacoed rear wheel, a good workout sprinting with said wheel and a hella scare.

g said...

@Kale,
I think the stuff that"People who bought this product also bought..."
is the funniest bit there. I know I could use a set of "Ninja black Lightning Bolt Spikes Throwing" whatever the fuck they are.

g said...

Oh yeah, and I've been hit 3 times: once head on and twice from behind.


Why does that sound dirty?

DouchieCanuck said...

Sometime in the 90's I was going to U of Toronto. I had to drive this stupid BMW that my dad gave me. (I really should have had the Jag I had my eyes on but he caught me smoking some weed in the boat house so the beemer was my punishment.) Anyway here I was stuck in traffic, could barely move and there is this stupid bike lane with nobody in it! So I crept up a little in the empty bike lane. Then this crazy communist asshole on his faggoty bike pops up outta nowhere and knocks on my window! Then started telling me not to use the bike lane! I paid for the fucking thing with my tax money (well, with my dad's tax money), so why the hell shouldn't I use it?!?! So this asshole gets up ahead a little so I showed him what for - WHAM! Oh man did I laugh!

Anyway, fast forward to now. After getting my law degree, I moved to NYC where I am a personal injury attorney. So yesterday I got a call from one of my favorite clients. Seems some asshole put his grimy hands all over her Range Rover and tried to take her picture! What an asshole! I am gonna sue this clown for every dime he has!

CommieCanuck said...

Did you consider civil action against the guy?

For what damages? a scratched frame? A lawyer will eat that in six seconds. I was some dumbass student, this guy was from a wealthy family from Hong Kong. He'll park wherever he wants, for as long as he wants.

There is no justice for these incidents, and a dead cyclist cannot defend himself in court.

BTW, Michael Bryant is a self-described "avid cyclist".

Anonymous said...

CC @ 3:05 - that sucks you should have gone Rip Torn on that momma's boy. I concur with the the totally non-glamerous bike messenger profile, I did it way back in 1990. At least 50% of the people I worked with had done jail time within the last 12 months. So yes it ranks pretty low on the employment food chain.

sufferist said...

I have never been a bike messenger, but I have carried a laptop, assorted exercise regalia, and maybe a document or two in my backpack while commuting. Oh yeah, my lunch is in there too.

I'm looking to exchange this anecdote for my due portion of street cred. To whom might I inquire?

Paul said...

I can sort of understand the chemically tatooed Cro-Mag guy being a vegetarian, but riding around in a full Saxo Bank kit does not compute.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Hey CC, I have another worm from the very same can!

90's, U of T, I was going up St. George, and there was one of those bike lane BMWs, with driver. I was going to just tap his window, but I caught my MEC wrist loop thing on my bars, veered right, and ended up knocking his mirror with my handlebars instead. Well, serve him right for parking in the bike lane, I thought.

One half block later he gets around me and blocks me, then gets out and shoves me down into a flower box! As we all know, that is just not done. I had him charged with assault and he countercharged me with wilful destruction of property or some such thing. Nice to know I actually destroyed something.

Never heard what happened to him. I paid some visits to court before my own charge fizzled to nothing.

These days I have learned to suffer douches gladly, most of the time.

edom bin necker said...

hey commie do they grow banananananas up in toronto or hellstinki or where ever the hell you live

Makim ben'Dover said...

Are you happy to see me or is that just a banana up my tailpipe?

ant1 said...

do not put Disgruntl Ed. in my flowerbox!

Stupid Name said...

Anarchy is not a myth, it however will not be televised.

Many innocent bikers will be harmed.

homeless bike commuter said...

if they park in the bike lane that means they need to have their windshield washed.

Anonymous said...

An tough but otherwise honest/well-intentioned guy from an underprivileged background is busting his ass trying to make ends meet to feed his kids. He's driving a delivery truck. In hour 12 of his shift, he's pulled over as far as he can go making a delivery in Williamsburg. His truck is blocking most of the bike lane. Some smug, prep-schooled, street-cred-seeking "hipster" riding an expensive "fixie" and carrying his airbrush art portfolio stops and leans on his truck and yells at him to get out of the bike lane. Delivery guy, exhausted from his day of deliveries and not in the mood to deal with the kid, ignores him - after all, he's just run a few boxes from the back of his truck into a store and is leaving anyway. The "hipster" doesn't like being ignored and yells at the guy again to move his truck out of the bike lane, and the delivery guy says "I'm leaving. Get your hand off my truck or else." The "hipster" stays there and takes out his camera; the delivery guy punches him off his bike, gets in the truck and leaves.

Who do you sympathize with more? "Hipster" or delivery guy? The delivery guy was clearly in the wrong, but in this story I can't help sympathizing with him...even with the physical violence. In BSNYC's story, I sympathize with BSNYC. I can't imagine I'm the only one that thinks this way.

I feel like there's some hypocrisy there. When the characters in the story fit our 80s movie template - rich, conspicuous consumer motorist vs. "real" cyclist - we side with the cyclist, of course. When the cyclist is the rich, conspicuous consumer, like the we side with the "real" delivery driver. But it's nearly the same story.

Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Which one am I? I only sympathize with myself.

Anonymous said...

Oh jeez, Dis'ed Ed: Couldn't he read the "Don't put anything in my flowerbox" sign?

Anonymous said...

More "primitive" peoples feel that taking their picture will steal their soul. Maybe film does, but I don't think digital would and certainly Snobby's crappy camera phone wouldn't.

edom bin necker said...

hey commie me and rikim figured it out

so you soo the guy and say i used to be like on of them canadian republicans or something but now im just a goddam commonist and that ouht to be worth some spare change

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:41pm,

I think a lot of it has to do with what's in the truck. Is it Entenmann's? Because that's stuff's delicious.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

This is anon 5:41 PM and yes, it was Entenmann's. It was one box of glazed Honey Buns and 2 boxes choco glazed donuts.

That hipster fucker deserved it.

kale said...

100!

Well, I dunno. hitting a 'hipster' is like hitting a girl.

Anonymous said...

Wait - were you subtly mocking me? I put my heart and soul into that story. I also proffread it real carfull.

Tuff Wheel IIz!

Anonymous said...

and from the producers of Empire:

http://johnprolly.blogspot.com/2008/10/hipster-fight.html

Stupid Name said...

Snobby's crappy camera phone only steals crappy souls. Hence, the face over the lens for the Range Rover neanderthal.

Hipsters are immune, they have no souls.

Hincape either.

Rick Donkey said...

Is she really palping a leopard print scarf? Money can't buy taste evidently.

George Not Hincapie said...

Is it possible you misread her attitude? You know, Rovers are not all that reliable. Must haves, but not procured for reliability. She might have been a terrified, disabled connecticutian, calling the family for collection. Panicked beyond belief, bike lane, penny lane or lois lane, it wouldn't matter. You, being the norm in prickland, were simply reacting the way we all do, here in prickland.

BikeSnobNYC said...

George Not Hincapie,

A compelling theory, but she had New York plates, and she was far from panicked.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Too much ado about nothing bike snob. With all the attention you give them, your letting the alternative/indie/cool/fixie/whatever-you-want-to-call-them kids win.

Any publicity is good publicity (especially when it features in the times and various award giving ceremonies).

Oh but wait, if it wasn't for the chameleonic persona that is a hipster, you wouldn't have anything to rant on about... I think you owe these people at least some gratitude.

innerlighter said...

As for the lady in the Rover...
her life line looks distinctly nonplussed.


meh

innerlighter said...

Snobby,
Maybe the lady in the Rover was just trying to tell you that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. (purposefully misquoted).

That and her face was probably really hideous after fixing the warp drive.


meh

wishiwasmerckx said...

Disgruntled Ed, having experienced both, do you prefer the flower box or the hairy vagina ball?

ringcycles said...

(God forgive me for being the son of an English teacher)

xyxax: you're welcome, and it's "bisque"

"come back, one year!"

Fierce Panties said...

BSNYC, I love your stuff but I have somethings to say.

1. Anger does not always validate bad art. Example: my anger about torture porn does not validate it as good art.

2. Safety-first commuters ride with less risk taking behavior and therefore have less risk of getting hit.

3. Touching the window was the crotch grab, the photo was the shoulder brush (and classic RTMS.)

Fierce Panties said...

Kale, nice 100.

Punching a hipster is more like punching a kid with Downs.

Anonymous said...

john prolly is not a hipster that is why he so readily identifies them when he sees them. hipsters wear bandannas and not fitted caps 2 camera shoot 2 angles for coverage

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah.

Anonymous said...

jeeze just go around

cyclotourist said...

Cro-mags jog in the bike lane.

cyclotourist said...

Anaheim doesn't need bike lanes... it has the mono-rail!

Anonymous said...

You are an excellent writer

Guy that got outta Dodge said...

Mr Snob, perhaps you can't see the Big Bad City for the Painted Bike Lane. Get out if you can.

Anonymous said...

Payday loan

Anonymous said...

Hard core/punk rock is so white boy, but not quite as white boy as fixed gear free-stylin'.

Anonymous said...

hello from the tropics to frozenway northern people..
just seen that it's 99°F out there

cjc said...

Did Byrne make the correct hand signal for a right turn?

luciferyellow said...

Is it also considered "street cred" when it is widely known that you are an idiot?

ant1 said...

i like to think so.

George Not Hincapie said...

That ring is not a wedding band! A Rover rover.

Jefe said...

I think she was making the gesture that says "talk to the hand." Your response was appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Snob, you brighten my day. Also, as a day-glo commuter I have been harboring some trepidation about the moment you spied me with my uncool gear. But my day-glo lifestyle has now been validated!

Day-glo culture: I am ready for my close up!

(The pic of the Rover lady's hand was perfect. But where's the money shot of her car's license?)

Spectacular posting today, thanks.

Anonymous said...

ok that's fine, i just added up lots of some other new emo backgrounds at my blog
http://www.emo-backgrounds.info

Norman said...

Bike snob: still asleep at 13:48. Keep the dream alive, buddy!

hillbilly said...

fridya fuun kwizzz, cmon!!!!!

Mad Mark said...

Death!
Plop.
The barges down in the river flop.
Flop, plop.
Above, beneath.
From the slimy branches the grey drips drop,
As they scraggle black on the thin grey sky,
Where the black cloud rack-hackles drizzle and fly
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop
On the black scrag piles, where the loose cords plop,
As the raw wind whines in the thin tree-top.
Plop, plop.
And scudding by
The boatmen call out hoy! and hey!
All is running water and sky,
And my head shrieks -- "Stop,"
And my heart shrieks -- "Die."

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