Thursday, March 11, 2010

Right of Way: Watching Where You're Going

(My cockpit rehabilitated, by CommieCanuck)

Cyclists, "techies," and other forms of dork are still abuzz over a popular search engine's addition of a cycling option to their widely-used mapping function. Previously, these options only included driving, walking, and public transit, and so by including cycling the popular search engine has essentially canonized it and established these modes of transportation as the "Big Four" of getting around. (Suck on that, cross country skiers!) Here's what it looks like now on the map part of the popular search engine thingy when you go there for advice on how to move your corporeal mass from one place to another without losing it:

I think it goes without saying that this is a good thing, and as I told a reporter for a website I never heard of, this popular search engine company not offering a cycling option on a mapping application is kind of like the Gap not selling pants. Of course, this does not mean the cycling function is perfect--far from it. As I mentioned yesterday, in testing it out I noticed it sent me along a Prospect Park pedestrian path from which bicycles are prohibited. Still, if I had had absolutely no idea where I was going it certainly would have been very helpful and put me on more or less the right track. Furthermore, automated driving and walking directions aren't always perfect either, and one can assume that the popular search engine administrators will continue to refine the function over time.

The truth is, even though we are essentially uploading the entirety of our knowledge to the collective consciousness known as "the Internet," there is still no substitute for actual experience. The Gap will sell you any pair of pants you want, but it's up to you to make sure they fit. You can share information, but you can't outsource common sense, and one would hope that if a popular search engine tells you to ride your bike down a street that turns out to be closed for construction, or along a path next to which stands a sign saying "Pedestrians Only," or through a lake of fire, that you would have the presence of mind not to ride your bike through the construction site, or onto the pedestrian path, or through the infernal loch. Then again, one really shouldn't underestimate the human capacity to follow directions blindly, especially when these humans work for the New York Post. Yes, the Huffy of newspapers recently undertook to test this new mapping function, and here's what they found out:

As you can see from the image of the Post's tester below, he probably should have used the popular search engine's basic search function before advancing to the bicycle directions part:

Anyway, apparently this guy rented a bike, followed the popular search engine's directions, and nearly got himself killed (or at least got to experience what most bicycle commuters do on a daily basis):

To me, this article underscores not the problems inherent in the popular search engine's mapping function, but rather in the "traditional media" system that the popular search engine is rendering increasingly irrelevant--this problem being that writers rarely know the first thing about the subject on which they're reporting. (This is especially true of cycling, which explains why I get emails from reporters working on bike-related stories who know nothing about cycling and have found me through a popular search engine.) As the article says, the Post reporter "rented a bike." Sure, he might have done this to accurately replicate the experience of an out-of-town visitor trying to utilize the mapping function in an unfamiliar city, but it's much more likely he rented a bike because he doesn't own a bike and seldom rides one. Naturally, someone who never rides is going to get into trouble in New York City on a bike regardless of how accurate his directions are. If I barely knew how to drive, flew to Los Angeles, rented a Chrysler Sebring, and tried to follow Internet directions to Sunset Boulevard, I'd probably crash the thing within a couple miles of LAX. Even an experienced driver would be in trouble if he attempted to follow Internet driving directions to the letter. "Hey, it didn't say I had to stop and pay the toll." Even in 2010, sometimes you've still got to think.

Anyway, on top of sending the reporter near trucks and through the Central Park transverse, the mapping function also apparently drove him right into a horde of deadly Hasidic Jews:

In Brooklyn, Google steers cyclists into the path of anti-bike Hasidic Jews by designating Bedford Avenue between Division and Flushing avenues in Williamsburg as a legitimate bike route.

Sadly, though, the Post does not provide any detail as to what actually happened. Did the Hasids attempt to crush him with their minivans? Did they make efforts to smother him with their voluminous beards? Was he seduced by their folkways, fooled into joining them, and then boiled and eaten like so much kasha? Sending cyclists on routes that are heavily-trafficked by motor vehicles or off-limits to bikes is one thing, but forcing them to interact with unsightly or distasteful ethnic groups is something else entirely. I can only hope the popular search engine company is working on the problem, and that they will soon offer an option allowing riders to completely avoid the races, nationalities, and religions of their choice:

After centuries of diversity we're finally almost at a point in New York where one can live in Williamsburg without ever having to interact with anybody who's in any way different, and we've come too far to allow that to simply fall apart now. Anyway, I do agree that the mapping function has a lot to learn, though after one day it already seems to know more about the streets of New York than most of the "fixie" riders who moved here eight months ago.

Speaking of surviving dangerous encounters, few cyclists are better equipped to, say, power unscathed through mob of angry and rabid bike-hating Hasidic Jews than the mighty Jens Voigt, shown here in the yellow jersey of the Paris-Nice race leader:

It takes a man of steel to recognize the tenderness of another, and a reader recently informed me that Voigt has apparently tested his opponent Alberto Contador and found him to be pleasingly supple:
Of course, Voigt was probably alluding to Contador's "souplesse," which is a word that the sorts of people who wear Rapha and boutique "embrocations" and spell "pro" in all caps like to use, but it sounds much more intimate in English. Incidentally, Voigt has subsequently lost his yellow jersey, and while I won't spoil the surprise as to who took it, I will say that he's not only remarkably supple but also handy with an index finger:

("I'm doing the same thing that's on my hat.")

The fingerbanger-who-shall-not-be-named also had some kind words for Mike Sinyard of Specialized recently, proclaiming him to be "a great man!"

I will not draw any undue conclusions from this image, but it is worth noting that the "Pistolero's" famously probing pistol is distressingly hidden from view.

By the way, if you're an enthusiastic fingerbanger, you might want to try this pair of leather fingerpants, which was apparently shown at the NAHBS:

(Leather fingerpants protect the thumb-and-forefinger crotchal region.)

This product should be a hot seller among those who hate both bar tape and gloves--or among those who prefer squeezing small sections of wire instead of comfortable brake levers in order to slow their bikes:

It's good to see that advanced clay-cutting technology is finally trickling down to the cycling world, and people reluctant to abandon the risk factor of riding brakeless can at least comfort themselves in knowing they run the risk of severing their digits in the event of a panic stop.

Speaking of risk, few things pose more of one to your crotch than an "epic" uncut steer tube, as spotted recently by a reader:

This structure is as inspiring as it is dangerous, calling to mind the neck rings of the Karenni people (though the stem really should be placed at the top of the structure for maximum effect):

A closer look reveals not only the beauty of this inspiring and potentially penetrative gilded tower, but also a puzzling locking technique:

I think I may have cockpit envy.

93 comments:

Astroluc said...

First?

Adam said...

foist!

Astroluc said...

second?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Adam said...

dang!

Anonymous said...

BEN BONTEMPO IS Good

landis in 06 said...

wonder twin powers activate

Anonymous said...

Howdy BS.

singlespeedspinning said...

oh,yeah

Astroluc said...

I'm so nice I finished twice (I guess)

Nogocyclist said...

I must admit I am a coffee snob.

The best coffee is made the way it was made when I was a young child. Bring water to a boil in a porcelain pot. Scoop in ground coffee.
Folgers or Maxwell house are preferred, but store brands are fine too. Before serving, put in a couple of egg shells to settle out the grounds.

Forget the $4 and up fancy coffee. Oh, also important, never wash the pot. Just rinse it out with water.

I will read the post as soon as I finish my coffee. I am sure it will be as brilliant as always.

Jefe said...

Top Ten

Astroluc said...

wow... top 10 all within a minute!

TITE PACK

nombei said...

All You Hipsters Can Curate Deez Nutz!!!

Nogocyclist said...

Man, it looks like the peloton finished as podium. Placed as first of second top ten with the same time as the yellow jersey.

1:22PM...

Anonymous said...

top 20?

shoegazer said...

come in alone

ant1 said...

P-N top ten was within a minute or so today also.

Christopher said...

Snob, check out that photo again; the u-lock is secured to the bar on the left side of the bike. The cable lock was left to dangle there by someone else.

DON MYRAH ! said...

19th!!!

BANG BANG

Astroluc said...

well... you fixed the "avoid completely" part.

Mike Sinyard of Specialized of Specialized?

streepo said...

Does anybody know where I can find five Japanese slow-drippers in upstate NY?

Astroluc said...

nope... got that, too.

Todd said...

Nice work on referencing the Sebring as the official rental car of Los Angeles. I always give those things, especially the convertibles, a wide wide berth when riding through town.

YATE said...

Google Maps doesn't have "by bicycle" in Canada. I've locked my bikes up, as I clearly can't get around until the service is more widely available.

Anonymous said...

CLAY CUTT

BRIK MAKR

Jefe said...

I blushed at the large uncircumcised stem, prophylactically (but uselessly), surounded by locks. Don't bring that thing into Williamsburg.

I forgot what I just said...

First of all, my cultureway was not listed on your AVOID list. I don't know whether I'm acceptable or unmentionable or neglected completely.

Do you think I can get my fingerpants tooled by Kara Ginther even though the leather is especially supple? I guess I'd have to get custom stitching to make the look more like a pistol.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it redundant to have both hipsters and yuppies on the Avoid list? Aren't they just different shades of the same greyway?

g said...

I think a better phrase to describe the steer tube might be "ribbed for your pleasure"?
I did see something like that in a movie once. I will spare the link as I am sure everyone can find that on their own.

Anonymous said...

The "Huffy of newspapers"....an instant classic.

Anonymous said...

Leipheimer

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about Bedford Ave in Hasid-land, the bike lanes are still there! they just took the little biker stencils and the line to the left out. Still a line separating from the traffic lane and a lane wide enough for a bike. Still get the kamikaze Hasids running into traffic with their 12 kids against the light dodging bikes and cars though.

AC said...

grea tman

Nogocyclist said...

The lever-less brake reminds me of the old days when we as kids would fix whatever was broken on our bikes with a vice grip.

This setup is not much better than clamping the end of the bike cable with your vice grips so you could use your brake.

And to think, this was not invented by a desperate and broke 10 year older.

sufferist said...

hey, comment, comment, blah....blah....

Ray said...

That rack needs a bunch of shirts or sweaters on the empty clotheshangers. I like tacky Christmas sweaters best for bike racks.

As you noted with the bike-renting roving reporter, just because people are riding bikes more doesn't mean they know more about riding bikes.

And this is why you must start your cyclist training DVD series, Bike Snob!

Anonymous said...

yeah, we can ride together

plum said...

If riders end up severing their digits in a panic stop, take solace in knowing that it's probably in a cyclocross race and not on a city street - right hand pull wire runs the front brake, cx style.

OBA said...

FOLK WAYS

grog said...

Is it a popular search engine because it was designed and built by popular engineers?
COMN SENS

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

That uncut steerer must be at least 18 inches,guessing the frame to be 50-54, now unless that fork came off his very tall brothers seven,I remain confused.

hillbilly said...

Blinded by all the As on the podium

rezado said...

hi-rez

Colonel Mustard said...

They deliberately assigned that particular reporter to field test the Google Maps feature. They may have been hoping he'd get killed riding in the streets.

Isn't that the common perception of the paper's readership and thus the editorial position? Riding in the streets is a death wish?

Oh, and that cyclists are in the way of auto traffic?


Let Him Ride!

Paul Bowen said...

Snobby, just wanted to say that this bit from yesterday's post:
"the definition of "design" is that it's the art of making people want to hump things that aren't actually fuckable, thereby fooling us into purchasing things we don't really need" deserves a place in any collection of quotes - just brilliant.

ant1 said...

fucking a's

San Fran Nan said...

Eat shit you right-wing bastard haters.

3G said...

The Post is the "Uber Curmudgeon Jobs Brant" of the journalism world.

asdf said...

Silly google maps. Sent me via alleys through wicker park. When there were perfectly good streets that ran parallel. Although the rats did try and run in between my spokes, luckily they didn't get stuck!

TJ Eckleburg said...

When I saw the new Google I felt like singing "We Shall Overcome".

Like when Obama won.

Billy Reid said...

I suppose it legally might be a "trespass of chattel", but it would be incredibly funny if someone rearranged the gold spacers and actually put the stem on top.

Anonymous said...

The finger pant glove is made for:
Finger banging
Juicing tulips
George Micheals
Picking up a six pack
Administrating the six pack
Cockelng kanadians
Only one hand
Vincent Gallo

Anonymous said...

That is the chapsIOC gloves bros

Szczepaniak brothers said...

This comment has been removed by the UCI.

frilly said...

'his suppleness is so impressive.'

Oh what I wouldn't give to have that kind of knowledge firsthand.

*sigh*

JTK said...

infernal loch... made me snicker

dignan said...

normal gloves must be "finger shants"

ervgopwr said...

Google bicycle maps sent me on a road with glass in it and I flatted: google owes me a new tire/tube...

however, on the same ride I found $20 just laying in the street. I found that all on my own...

it also kicked my dog, and drank my beer, help! somebody do something...

John and Emmy said...

Advanced clay-cutting technology.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion to reporter for next story:

Report how well an umbrella works as a parachute when jumping off the Empire State Building.

yyz113 said...

Add a seatless seatway to the mix, ribbed & textured pursuit bars, & it would start resemble mr. garrison's (south park) vehicle...

Frank Eeckman said...

Crossing ethnic neighborhoods may be challenging, but none as challenging as "swim across the Atlantic Ocean" as Google maps used to recommend.
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/03/google-maps-shows-funny-directions.html

Test Tickle said...

i think i saw that exact same bike (the golden dildo) last week here in Seattle. I was thinking to mice elf:

CUTT HEFU

CKIN STEE

RERT UBE!

balls.

Anonymous said...

Just mapped my four most common routes. Yes, I think a morning commute down Wacker sounds great, especially after taking every side street through Bucktown just to get to Milwaukee.

Anonymous said...

all you snobbers suck my balls

Eddy Burckx said...

Grammatically, Contador's actually stating that "This afternoon" is a "great man." "With Mr. Specialized" modifies "afternoon." The question is who this "This Afternoon" really is and what he's done with Contador's bang finger.

eeeeeeeeee said...

Commie Canuck, that was awesome. Perhaps a shrunken Karenni head as a hood ornament.

Mongo Pusher said...

Efimkin & Martin

Anonymous said...

commie...would you like renew your subcription to Teen Beat
if you act now you will get a coupon for a free order of manchos and a personal message from corey feldman

edom bin necker said...

me and rikim are going up to hazard tomorrow i wants to go to the mask but rikim wants to go to the red lobster

im telling rikim he aint getting no virgineans if he goes switching religions on me

John Romeo Alpha said...

"goes without saying" is the fingerbang of the English language.

J. Voigt Fanway said...

Jens Voigt does have the best cycling mantra tho':

"Shut up, legs."

Smorg said...

I would rent a bike and ride anywhere near LAX, actually. ;o) Though it might still be safer in that part of town than riding along some streets of NYC... At least you won't get ambushed by a bunch of Hasids using their Matzo balls as weapon!

PS: Jen Voigt rules, man! (regardless of where... or whether... he finishes) ;o)

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

kerry said...

As we say in Oz, bloody beauty , mate!

That was hilarious!!

kerry said...

I want that google avoid engine xtra-
dog poo by side of cycle paths
glass
roos
headwinds
butt crack single-speeds, who sneer at my lycra
revheads that sneer at my lycra then try to run me over at stoplights
side of road cycle paths that mysteriously turn into solid roads( a Canberra favorite)

kerry said...

frilly, I 'll fight you for him!



( well, if he was Armstrong, maybe!)

Anonymous said...

Eight gold spacers: ribbed for her pleasure.

BISOUBISOU said...

cut the cheese:

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/sb10066642d-001.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=6C4008C0FD9EB5A5B44C95C9DA4F82361C8B733DE2CC979419A3A7D85A484E24D4B40B3E875A785D

http://www.itchypixel.net/photos/cutting_cheese.jpg

http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/71918746.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=AA1747D0965B1B3D11F051C6018D68C2BB6A11D576AAF468DE3E6622E8752A9FE30A760B0D811297

Gavin said...

Kill and eat the journalist like so much Kasha?

Doubtful.

Everybody knows journalists aren't kosher!

S. Sprocket said...

That newspaper reporter needs to report to Bicycle Safety Camp ASAP! Yeah!

lol said...

性功能障礙 ,陽萎 ,陽痿 ,生物科技 ,壯陽 ,男性疾病 ,性功能 ,韭菜籽 ,起陽籽 ,高血壓 ,外遇 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,外遇 ,外遇 ,徵信社 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,外遇 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,失眠 ,安養中心 ,老人癡呆症 ,疝氣 ,看護 ,情緒管理 ,微整型美容 ,精神分裂症 ,憂鬱症 ,瘦身減肥 ,baby ,月子餐 ,孕婦 ,生產 ,坐月子 ,坐月子中心

lol said...

坐月子餐 ,到府坐月子 ,產後護理 ,新生兒 ,孕婦 ,月子餐 ,更年期 ,玻尿酸 ,婦產科 ,醫學美容 ,月子中心 ,坐月子中心 ,美白 ,飛梭雷射 ,水餃 ,台北素食餐廳 ,吃素 ,素食 ,素食水餃 ,素食餐廳 ,健康飲食 ,團購美食 ,包裝設計 ,伴手禮盒 ,紀念品 ,茶葉 ,禮品 ,茶葉禮盒 ,雷射雕刻 ,伴手禮 ,禮品公司 ,贈品 ,玫瑰花束,花店,盆栽

lol said...

氣球佈置,婚禮佈置,情人花束,新竹花店,會場佈置,網路花店,蘭花,木柵動物園,台北民宿,台北旅遊,坪林,坪林茶葉博物館,宜蘭民宿,真情民宿,深坑老街,貓空,太平山,宜蘭民宿,宜蘭旅遊,水餃 ,團購美食 ,水管不通 ,抽化糞池 ,洗水塔 ,消毒 ,馬桶 ,馬桶不通 ,通水管 ,通馬桶 ,上順旅行社,大興旅行社,五福旅行社,天喜旅行社,天福旅行社,日本自由行

lol said...

日本訂房,日本機票,CI設計 ,FPR大型公仔製作 ,大圖輸出 ,空間設計 ,活動行銷 ,展場設計施工 ,會場佈置 ,節慶佈置 ,道具製作 ,櫥窗佈置 ,水管不通 ,包通 ,抽化糞池 ,抽水肥 ,洗水塔 ,馬桶 ,馬桶不通,清水溝 ,通水管 ,通馬桶 ,二手車,中古車,抽水肥 ,通水管 ,通馬桶 ,肉毒桿菌 ,玻尿酸 ,美容美白 ,健檢 ,淨膚雷射 ,電波拉皮 ,韓風整形 ,醫學美容 ,體檢 ,加盟

lol said...

加盟創業 ,早餐店加盟 ,創業 ,創業加盟 ,禿頭 ,玻尿酸 ,美白 ,減肥 ,痘疤 ,雷射溶脂 ,電波拉皮 ,皺紋 ,醫學美容 ,104法拍網 ,大台北法拍屋 ,台北法拍屋 ,房屋仲介 ,房屋買賣 ,板橋法拍屋 ,法拍 ,法拍屋 ,法拍屋查詢系統 ,信義房屋 ,肉毒桿菌 ,抽脂 ,玻尿酸 ,飛梭雷射 ,淨膚雷射 ,植髮 ,微晶瓷 ,雷射溶脂 ,電波拉皮 ,醫學美容診所 ,truss,ERP

lol said...

性功能障礙 ,陽萎 ,陽痿 ,生物科技 ,壯陽 ,男性疾病 ,性功能 ,韭菜籽 ,起陽籽 ,高血壓 ,外遇 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,外遇 ,外遇 ,徵信社 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,外遇 ,徵信 ,徵信社 ,失眠 ,安養中心 ,老人癡呆症 ,疝氣 ,看護 ,情緒管理 ,微整型美容 ,精神分裂症 ,憂鬱症 ,瘦身減肥 ,baby ,月子餐 ,孕婦 ,生產 ,坐月子 ,坐月子中心

ibrahim said...

Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat

Anonymous said...

iPad Bicycle / Motorcycle Mount

The new Apple iPad has Steve Jobs, the highest paid in a decade! However, the Apple iPad is lacking, rumors have it they are improving their designs rapidly! What the new Apple iPad lacks in most is a mount, something to secure the Apple iPad while on the go.

I am a big fan of going green, by riding my PEDEGO electric bicycle more. However, the only things I have really found out there to secure the new Apple iPad is a jacket, talk about all that heat! Recent E-Bay ads have slowly reached more and more options, as demands increase. I tested a bicycle mount, the only one I have found so far. I was the only bid, I think perhaps because the word is not out there yet. I have never seen anything like it before. It mounts onto your bicycle handlebars. My Apple iPad is uncrushed, undamaged, and works great on my bicycle. I now have a GPS, a Speedometer, music, the weather, the news all on the go on my bicycle. I could not ask for a better mount! I am impressed with this design. This design also allows me to turn my apple iPad 360 degrees, as well as access all the ports. Checking out e-Bay as “iPad Bicycle”, “iPad Mount”, the seller is TPFIINC.

Viagra said...

I could read in here excellent ideas because I'm also a cyclist this is the style of life I like.

Bike Locks said...

I want to buy the cycle like racing type. There get some information today after reading this blog. I really appreciate your work.

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli sohbet seslisohbet
sohbet siteleri sesli chat siteleri
seslichat sesli chat
herkesburda herkes burda
sohbetmerkezi sohbetmerkezi