Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The High Road: Working Your Way Up

Yesterday was April 20th, which, as everybody knows, marked the 429th anniversary of the day that Sir Francis Drake was knighted for circumcising circumnavigating the Earth. Considerably more obscure is the fact that April 20th (or "4/20") is also a "countercultural" holiday during which the sorts of people who keep Altoids tins and eye drops in knitted purses celebrate the consumption of marijuana (or "Wednesday weed"). Presumably then, at 4:20pm yesterday, nearly every high school student, barista, and aspiring screenwriter in North America was thoroughly "stoned."

Like most "holidays" (either "legitimate" or "underground"), 4/20 strikes me as mostly pointless. Generally, holidays exist so that we can observe and appreciate certain aspects of life, but if you truly appreciate or believe in something it seems to me that you should essentially observe it every day. Furthermore, in the case of a marijuana-themed holiday, basing the whole thing on punctuality (4:20 on 4/20, etc.) seems particularly antithetical to the spirit of the substance. If anything, it seems the holiday should be celebrated a day or two late, and at around 10:30-ish, or, like, whenever. Then again, perhaps the fundamental irony that a bunch of people who generally can't be on time for work collectively abandon it with Swiss precision once a year is the whole point. Still, I maintain that the only thing that's good about holidays (at least the "legitimate" ones) is that you get a day off, and I think that instead of celebrating them on fixed dates we should instead pool all of those hours and institute permanent, year-round three day weekends.

Speaking of being late, last week I received an email from a publicist or marketing person or whatever they're called inviting me to preview a television show on the Travel Channel that featured cycling content. The show is called "Dhani Tackles the Globe," and the premise is that "NFL linebacker and travel enthusiast" Dhani Jones travels enthusiastically and partakes in local sports. In the season premiere, Jones goes to Italy and does the Gran Fondo del Monte Grappa. Here's the so-called "sneak peak:"



Anyway, the episode aired last Monday night and I totally forgot about it, though I did eventually see it and it's pretty much what you'd expect: Jones goes to an Italian bike company and gets a fancy race bike; Jones eats pasta prepared by a sturdily-built Italian woman; Jones gets shelled in the first kilometer of climbing but manages to finish; Jones concludes that cycling is really hard and that Italy is awesome. I wasn't especially bothered by the Mackey-esque nature of the endeavor since that's obviously the premise of the show, and I was glad to see that Jones treated cycling respectfully, though I do wonder what Sir Francis Drake would say if he could see that his legacy is basically an army of magazine writers and cable TV hosts who relentlessly eat and recreate their way around the world and then excrete light entertainment and product placement. (I guess if he were stoned, he'd just say, "Whoah.")

Meanwhile, you may remember that way back in July of 2008, some guy got coldcocked by a New York City police officer while participating in Critical Mass. Well, that police officer is now on trial, and the coldcockee apparently celebrated 4/20 yesterday by telling the court about how he likes to smoke the "Wednesday weed" while he takes his morning constitutional:

Moreover, it seems as though he also killed somebody while driving back in 2001.

Now, I don't know what really happened in that highway crash, and certainly the police officer should be convicted if he's guilty of assault, but it would appear that Christopher Long may not exactly be a paradigm of personal responsibility. Furthermore, he seems to be somewhat at odds with the innocent victim of the "bike cultural" imagination. Again, I don't know the whole story, and as his lawyer points out Long is not on trial, but I do tend to doubt that his participation in Critical Mass was motivated primarily by an intense desire to advance the cause of cycling in New York City. In fact, I doubt that most participants in Critical Mass have this motivation. Really, I think that Critical Mass is mostly something that draws a bunch of adventure-seeking daytrippers to the city in the same way that Grateful Dead concerts used to do. Ultimately, I think what happened on that fateful night in 2008 is that douche met douche--which is ultimately what happens whenever large groups of people assemble, since the odds of douche-on-douche contact increase exponentially.

Speaking of douches, another reader sent me this letter which was printed in the Iowa State Daily:

Using math to prove an inane point is basically an intellectual "douche-clamation point." Moreover, his math is completely wrong, because I checked his numbers and here's the answer I got. What's most irritating though, even more so than his idiotic conclusion that cyclists shouldn't ride in the street because they slow down his pickup truck, is this notion that "bicyclists don’t pay registration or attach license plates; therefore, they don’t have a right to the roads and no accountability for how they use them." This is a hallmark of most moronic anti-cycling screeds.

Factual errors regarding taxes aside, it is only the most stupid sort of person who sees someone doing something and thinks that is the only thing they do. I would wager that many cyclists in Iowa (as in most places) also own motor vehicles which are duly registered and which run on the same gasoline this moron puts in his truck. For some reason, though, people like this seem unable to imagine that anybody on a bicycle does anything other than ride a bicycle. Do they see swimmers and think they only swim? Do they see pilots and think they only fly? Are they unable to make the intellectual leap that human beings are more than just the machine they're operating or the activity they're engaged in at the time? Apparently so. I mean, sure, there are some cyclists who are just non-taxpaying heedless stoners (like that Christopher Long guy), but there are also motorists who are reckless and intoxicated menaces to the roads (like that Christopher Long guy).

It's really this blockheaded inability to recognize the humanity of others that is the root of almost all animosity out there on the roads. In the case of a motorist who has never operated a bicycle as an adult and who is not sufficiently evolved to feel compassion, the result is that he only sees the bicycle and not the human straddling it. (Or, in the case of the recumbent, the bearded human lying on top of it.) The only thing that will change this is a radical overhaul of our motor vehicle licensing policy. Basically, people should be required to travel exclusively by bicycle for at least a year, after which they should be allowed to ride motorcycles for at least another year. Then, once they've gained sufficient experience on both of those vehicles, they should be allowed to legally drive a car--one with a manual transmission, no climate control, no power steering, and no roof. Then, finally, once they've come to the understanding that a car is a powerful machine and not a living room on wheels, they should be allowed to buy and operate that comfy luxury vehicle if they so choose.

Of course, there are plenty of people who will complain and say that this is unfair. Well, tough. For many people, that Lincoln Navigator or 300 horsepower pickup is the first vehicle they operate alone as an adult, and not everybody is equipped to handle that responsibly even if they can afford it (or, more likely, assume the debt that will eventually crush them). If you put someone with no education directly into a college-level class, at the very best he's eventually going to be able to regurgitate a bunch of "facts" he doesn't really understand--just like the "senior in economics" who uses math to explain why you don't deserve to share the road with him. I say if you don't have what it takes to pay your vehicular dues and put in your time on another machine for awhile then you should be forced to get around on something like this, which was forwarded to me by yet another reader:

I guess somebody learned about this whole Aerospoke thing, misinterpreted it, and figured he'd simply cut out the middleman by allowing people to strap them directly to their feet.

Far more awe-inspiring, though, is this "epic" Softride, which was forwarded to me by "Agent Detroit:"



SOFTRIDE Model Snlly MTB Bike 24 Speed - $1500 (Royal Oak Mi)
Date: 2010-04-18, 3:56PM EDT
Reply to: see below

SOFTRIDE Model Snlly MTB Bike 19” FRAME HI-TEC Seat and Handle bar front suspension systems This is a Mountain, Triathlon, and road bike combination all in one, is state of the art technology at its finest. This extremely rare Bicycle features a carbon fiber flex beam that creates a very stable but soft smooth ride along with handle bar suspension that makes this bike second to none in the high performance class. Description 24 speeds Mountain, Triathlon, and Combination road bicycle 19” frame (Comes complete with old man trip travel bag set and many more extras)
phone number 248 548 [deleted] or 248 721 [deleted]




With this bicycle and a pair of those Aerospoke shoes, there is absolutely nothing you'd be unable to do.

149 comments:

Shaun said...

Owned.

Mike said...

FIRST!

Mike said...

DANG!

Anonymous said...

Bang

mikeweb said...

Howdy-way

Paul Bowen said...

Top ten!

Nogocyclist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astroluc said...

top 10 at least...

g said...

Damn, missed the break!!

Salty Seattle said...

9?

Salty Seattle said...

I'm on Time!

Must have been my excitement over Wednesday.. umm... what were we talking about?

dignan said...

top several!

wp said...

bow down before thee!

hillbilly said...

we don't have to spend a year rollerblading, do we?

Anonymous said...

Eros Poli!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

I like how your youtube windows always get cut off on the righthand side.

Anonymous said...

well

Anonymous said...

So you're saying that 4/20 is the Five Borough Bike Tour of pot smoking?

g said...

Did anyone else notice that Cadel looked like he was trying to work out a new victory salute on the bike today? And, that he got a bit confused? The photo at the top of Cyclingnews makes him look like he's trying to insinuate fellatio to the crowd. Maybe that was just me...

Anonymous said...

EVANS! CURSE OF THE RAINBOW BRITE IS OVAHHH

Daddo said...

"It's really this blockheaded inability to recognize the humanity of others that is the root of almost all animosity out there on the roads."

I agree but I have to say, particularly during rush hour in the city, cyclists who obey the rules of the road come off as actual humans while the morons riding like 10 year-olds don't.

Daddo said...

"I like how your youtube windows always get cut off on the righthand side."

re-size your browser ctrl+0

Shaun said...

When people ask me if I stop for stop signs on my bike, I usually answer: "No. I roll through as though I were a motorist." The problem is that they always fail to recognize the irony.

Anonymous said...

Sweet softride. How many babies does that weigh?

broomie said...

That is the biggest bento box I have ever seen.

le correcteur said...

Wow, you're earlier today!

That Iowa guy defines douche. Based on his ideas about drivers and everyone else, he'd better never jaywalk, or else!

Daddo said...

"When people ask me if I stop for stop signs on my bike, I usually answer: "No. I roll through as though I were a motorist." The problem is that they always fail to recognize the irony."

exactly where is the irony?

Ronzoni the Magnificent said...

In the matter of Cop-douche v. Mass-douche, we find that a rookie cop is unlikely to have the insight, observational and spider-sense skills necessary to recognize a total nozzle in the dark. Therefor we find that in knocking down a totally random Mass-douche who turns out to be a total and complete world-class douche that the entirety of Critical Mass is made up of complete and total douchery.

Either that or maybe that cop could spot a nozzle coming at him from a long way off. Could it be that something happened that isn't obvious in the video? Nah, cop's gotta be wrong and the entirety of CM is made up of assholes.

dignan said...

Good post. 10/10.

While I don't need a moral compass, as I have my faith in Lob, your point about road users not recognizing each other's humanity is spot on.

Since we're instituting a tiered licensing system with equipment regulations, can we also get a rule that says bumper stickers must be apolitical, good-natured and funny? The only exception would be "Stop being a douche."

Nogocyclist said...

Daddo, the cause of the YouTube being cut off is due to blogger, not his browser. If you post a YouTube to your blog using the embed codes that YouTube creates, it is too large. You have to go into the HTML coding and set the size smaller manually. Bike Snob probably just does not want to go through that hassle every time he posts a YouTube.

The viewer can right click on the video and select watch on YouTube to see it full size. I usually do this anyway. For some reason the videos seem to load faster if you do this. YouTube can be so slow it can be aggravating, especially if you watch in HD.

gregoryyy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Robinson said...

Those chariot-wheel roller blades remind me of the Wheelers in Return To Oz

Shaun said...

"exactly where is the irony?"

Well you see... A motorist asks if I stop for stop signs in an accusatory "damn-cyclists-never-stop-for-stop-signs" manner and I respond by telling them that I run stop signs just like motorists do. Thus the irony. I guess it IS more complicated than I thought?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Nogocyclist,

Beyond typing words into this magic box I am largely helpless and incompetent when it comes to "curating" this blog.

--BSNYC

Alicia said...

As a person who grew up in Ames, Iowa where Iowa State University is located, I'd like to add that they really need more bike lanes, especially on Lincoln way. Is that a bike lane or a sidewalk? Hard to tell.

Charles said...

"Managed to halt my inertia and change my vector"

Nice.....

RIP Guru

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Regarding the Douche on Douche collision...

When a vinegar truck and water truck collide on the highway what sound is made?

DOUCHE!

That lame joke got me kicked out of wood shop in 8th grade.

ISU Alumni Cyclists said...

Dear Tom,
Thanks for making your fellow ISU alumni sound like assholes to the rest of the world. YOU sir are a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of using math to prove an inane point, why don't we analyze the odds of douche-on-douche contact in large groups? Because it's about as boring as comparing the relative effects of different brands of chamois cream? Well, yes, but the results may be just as surprising:

Suppose a proportion D of the general populace is douchey. In a random group of N people, we'd like to assess the probability P that at least two douches are in the group. (By the Law of Universal Douche Attraction we can assume that the existence of two douches guarantees their contact.)

We can calculate P as 1 - (probability of only 0 or 1 douches), and the latter quantity is (1-D)^N + ND(1-D)^(N-1) by a simple exercise in binomial probabilities. Thus, we conclude that

P = 1-(1+(N-1)D)(1-D)^(N-1).

Being very generous to the general populace, let's assume it to be only 5% douchey, so that D=0.05. In this scenario, the above formula predicts greater than even odds for douche-on-douche contact in groups larger than 33 people. In a 50-person, parade-permit-illegal critical mass event, there's an astonishing 72% chance of douchetacular contactitude, a sobering figure. Given that I like to keep my chances of D-on-D contact below 15%, I'm henceforth eschewing social events including more than 13 participants...

mikeweb said...

@ Shaun:

When people ask me if I stop for stop signs on my bike, I usually answer: "No. I roll through as though I were a motorist." The problem is that they always fail to recognize the irony.

When people ask me the same about red lights, I usually say "I don't pay too much attention to them. You know, kind of like drivers with speed limit signs."

Alicia said...

Ames, Iowa cycling laws.
http://www.cityofames.org/worksweb/trafficdepartment/Bike.htm

Anonymous said...

Dhani Jones is known for riding his bike to football practice, so that may have something to do with how he treats cycling

db said...

A pretty dead-on assessment of urban cycling issues, Snob. Thanks for posting that.

acquiesce808 said...

WAHOO! Iowa State! go 'clones! Ames, representin' in the houzzze! oh, wait. an econ major palping his Physics 201 mathways. how about curating an economic impact statement on the inflationary trajectory of DOUCHEBAGS! (really, they are sssooo xpensive.)

streepo said...

Yeah!! What he said!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess tom rees, "senior in economics" is trying his hand at a little social satire and failing miserably. Given how poorly conceived his arguement is and his equally flacid is his sense of sarcasm (e.g. "my chosen mode of transportation, a fossil fuel burning pickup" meh), I would expect this article was taken (by the iowa state daily) from tom's school newspaper and the school being something like the South Eastern Iowa School of Corn Technology. I suggest young tommy stick to his senior thesis on the effects of cow tipping on the mid-west economy. feckin' eejit!

Shaun said...

@Anon 1:21 PM

Pure mathematical douche-bag geniusway. Thanks!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:24pm,

Thanks--yes, a reader just emailed me this link from "Bicycling" about Dhani Jones, which explains why the episode rang pretty true. It's worth watching if you catch it.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Isn't Fran Fondo del Monte Grappa the title of the Italian version of The Nanny, where Fran Fondo is a hair stylist that becomes the nanny for two childern of a widower, who's also famous Grappa producer?

H

Daddo said...

Wait, motorists don't stop at stop signs where you live?

What country is that? It sounds like a blood bath.

Where I live, motorists only very rarely run a stop sign - usually when they are drunk or texting (which are no excuses, btw) and not just out of a blatant sense that "the sign doesn't apply to me"...like the way most cyclists run through stop signs - and red lights too.

Astroluc said...

At the shop they asked if I wanted a front brake. I said, "What do you mean? Yeah, I want a front brake!" They said that some people don't. I said, "Well, I still want a front brake."

good man!

Anonymous said...

funny one today. the only time I ride on the sidewalk is to avoid or get around a bad driver. I do run my share of stop signs and lights but never to anyone else's detriment and those are only meant for assholes in cars anyway.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

"Whoah."

Daddo said...

Funny...I drive my car on the sidewalk to get away from bad cyclists.

JL said...

I think there's douchery to go around. The Iowa senior is a douche for using math to explain the effect of broadsiding a bicyclist with his truck, which is both obvious and irrelevant to his point.

But bsnyc is also off-point by pointing out that a cyclist might also have a car and therefore pay his/her share for the road. Theoretically, they've paid for their share when they're driving, not cycling. Of course, all this is moot (and dumb) because registration fees, tolls, etc. only pay for a fraction of building and maintaining roads. Income taxes pay for the bulk of this stuff, so this argument is about as dumb on both sides as my saying rich people should have their own lanes on the highway because they pay the most in taxes.

The fact is roads should accommodate cyclists because enough of the citizenry wants it and it serves the public good. Like speed limits: inconvenient for drivers but better for the general public.

Nogocyclist said...

Snob, I hope this does not bore too many folks, I was not going to show how to correct this because it would be boring and too long for someone who does not blog and might not want to know how to correct this.

It is not that hard to correct but you have to look at a bunch of foreign language to do it. (HTML Code, that is a foreign language isn't it??) Here is the code to post the Dhani YouTube:(note all "<"s and ">"s have been removed so they are not interpreted as tags and you can see the code here.)

object width="560" height="340"param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VMAsWbZIKaQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel =0"/param param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/param param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/param embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VMAsWbZIKaQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"/embed/object/b/b

To see this you have to be in the edit HTML if I remember right. To make the YouTube video fit, all you have to change is at the very end. Where it says width="560" set it to like 440 and height="340" set it to 230 (or so.) No need to change anything else in all this coding.

Of course if you do this, preview it first.

This post should put me on the podium for "Most boring comment on BSNYC 2010" ??

Patrick said...

The only remote point that Iowa douche makes is when some cyclist transition from sidewalk to street or vise versa. Coming from the point of both cyclist and motorist I find it very un-nerving when cyclist transition in this way. Seattle legally allows cyclist to ride on the sidewalk. Pedestrians typically move at a predictable pace, many times I have been waiting to turn across a crosswalk while waiting for pedestrians to clear only to start my turn and have a cyclist dart across the crosswalk then merge back into traffic. If you are on the roadway I will share and pay respect like I would expect the roadway to be shared while cycling. If you ride on the sidewalk stay on the sidewalk.

g said...

Daddo,
If you need to see that sort of behavior in motorist, I sincerely suggest you come to South Florida. It will be an eye opening experience for you it would appear. And, a word of advice, never, ever be the first vehicle through the green light.

Mike said...

You're dead on regarding CM... and everything else. You rock, Snob.

JThorstensen said...

I'm a physics professor (beard, helmet mirror, but not recumbent -- I have my dignity!), and in my expert opinion that kid had better stick with economics.

Jake Ryan said...

Iowa guy is right about a bike tax, we should be paying pedestrian taxes if we walk on sidewalks too.

DUSH BAGG

mikeweb said...

Daddo,

You need to familiarize yourself with the term California stop.

I don't know where you drive, but when I lived in the 'burbs of NYC and drove more often, NOBODY would come to a complete standing stop at a stop sign. One time I actually did do that in my old Mazda B2000 pickup, and I got rear-ended. True story.

Alicia said...

Patrick, that's the problem in Ames (or at least the last time I was there on a bike) The 'sidewalks' are often the bike paths but sometimes they transition back onto the road. There's another set of rules on campus. It's not consistent or clear. Blaming the cyclist is a bit unfair.

Anonymous said...

He was a daaaay tripper
One way ticket yeah
It took us soooo long
To find out
And we found out

devin said...

Imbecile! That's the Softride "Sully," not "Snelly." Named so because of famed mountain biker (and all round awesome dude) Jim Sullivan. From whom I learned such things as: mountain biking, espresso drinking, how to get women to go on rides with you, how to "rock" a pink Softride through the woods of WA.

Anonymous said...

"I do tend to doubt that his participation in Critical Mass was motivated primarily by an intense desire to advance the cause of cycling in New York City. In fact, I doubt that most participants in Critical Mass have this motivation. Really, I think that Critical Mass is mostly something that draws a bunch of adventure-seeking daytrippers to the city in the same way that Grateful Dead concerts used to do. "

While you start out writing about New York City's critical mass you end up sounding much more general. In my own experience, I agree that NYC CM has devolved into something of a "douche on douche" fest but it wasn't always that way and in most cities where I regularly rode CM for a period of time (Chicago, SF, Ithaca) it was a decidedly non-hostile event that let cyclists of all sorts ride on public streets, for one afternoon a month, without the fear of being mowed down. If it has become a feud between testosterone fueled cops and anarcho-cyclist joy riders in NY, it would seem to me that this condition resulted in large part from the NYPD's decision to drive out the "everyone" in CM leaving it only to that class of douche who isn't concerned about carrying an arrest record.

Daddo said...

"South Florida"?
I've ridden a bike in "South Florida".
I distinctly remember people in cars stopping at stop signs and red lights. Must have been a flukey day.
(Delray to Miami, BTW)

David Stearns said...

"Are they unable to make the intellectual leap that human beings are more than just the machine they're operating or the activity they're engaged in at the time?"

This is the adult version of not being able to grasp the fundamental concept of "object permanence" which is why 9-month-olds love to play peek-a-boo. Their little brains haven't yet mastered the concept that things still exist, even though they don't see them.

Peek-A-Boo! I'm a biker! No! I'm taking a shit while I smoke a fatty! Peek-A-Boo! What am I now?!?!

sufferist said...

Wow! the softride is a beauty. Looking back now I wish that I had purchased a single bike that I could use as a commuter, triathlon, road racer and cargo hauler...I kinda feel a little stupid now, but live and learn...

ant1 said...

devin - how does one go about getting girls to go on rides?

ringcycles said...

Thank you anon 1:21 for the formula for odds of douche-on-douche contact. From what I understand douche-on-douche contact can lead to a nasty urinary tract infection. No need for the gallon bottle of cranberry juice now.

Anonymous said...

Daddo, where I live and work it seems a god-given right to drive through red lights, even for public buses promoting the installation of new red-light cameras...

roomservicetaco said...

Dhani Jones has been a cyclist - or at least a fg nu fred - for a little while:

http://urbanvelo.org/dhani-jones-fixed-gear-linebacker/

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-3-12-17716-1,00.html

http://www.mensjournal.com/my-favorite-things-dhani-jones

Shaun said...

Maybe I'm being to hard on motorists. Why just yesterday an ├╝ber-courteous motorist came to a rare complete stop at a red light (when they were making a right turn) and generously waved me through the green light that I had.

Stupid Name said...

Crap, weed Tuesday and weed Wednesday. The pressure is going to be my demise.

So what is the purpose of the new type of shoe wheelies? I really need to know, only purpose is to take my 11,000 dollars away.

"This is a Mountain, Triathlon, and road bike combination all in one, is state of the art technology at its finest."

A new type of omni bike, I bet it is also a "clown bike" too. I bet it will also fit people 4' to 7'.

State of the art in 1991.

Jefe said...

I'm learning so much today, and just from the comments...math, software applications, Iowa traffic laws... This Internet stuff is so educational. However, do not not spend a great deal of time figuring out how to convert non-cyclists from thinking that minor breaches of the traffic laws should disqualify bikes from public use or display. They will never get it, even as they continue to violate those same laws in their motorized death projectiles.

NatiKid said...

you forgot to mention that Long guy is "an itinerant gardener"!!

thats freakin hilarious

Anonymous said...

You have all enjoyed the typographical font voice of the Snob... Now is your chance to hear the actual real vocal chords of the Man-o-Snob "his self" on Monday the 25th of April via the radio and on the web. Snob will be interviewed and take email questions from 9 am to 12 noon on the Bob W. Show. In the NYC region, tune to 91.1 FM for WFMU over the ether, or go to WFMU.org to live stream the show, or listen on itunes radio under the Eclectic category.

mikeweb said...

@ g,

It's not just you.

Exciting finish and awesome job by the rainbow jersey-way.

boys on the hoods said...

Doucheyness is not the exclusive domain of Iowa. We have our fair share of it north of the border as well. On my morning communte I was cut off by a vehicle aimer who was merging into a bus/cycling lane while texting on his popular brand of PDA. Both activities illegal under current Ontario traffic law.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:21-Impressive binomial calculation. But do you assume that the 5% proportion of douchiness is uniform throughout the population? I would have to believe that the douchiness proportion increases greatly in certain gentri-verses.

Todd-you make me laugh.

Texas Transplant said...

http://images2.fanpop.com/images/quiz/219000/219430_1243461899517_400_241.jpg

Wheelers become real.

il Professore said...

Great stuff man. I definitely am going to have some follow up on my blog on this one, and Capt. Douche-The-Economics-Douch-King, after I take a nap and go ride.

Keep it rolling, thanks.

http://squadraprofessore.com

boys on the hoods said...

Sir Francis Drake saying "Whoah." Wasn't that in Bill and Teds excellent adventure??

Krys Hines said...

BSNYC's book will be for sale at Domestique-Cafe Cyclo Sportif in Dundas, On. by mid-May...Just thought I'd let people know...K
www.cafedomestique.com

3G said...

Awesome beyond awesome post today.

Say, are you going to have an audio version of the book? If so, which celebrity is going to narrate? I wonder if you could get Rip Taylor to do it. Drunk of course

ringcycles said...

Boys on the Hoods; No, it was So-Crates, the greek that wrote the lyrics to "Dust in the Wind" for Kansas.

Anonymous said...

A talking head on fox news referred the critical mass ride as a protest.

Salty Seattle said...

Stop!

There's nothing wrong with Snobbie's YouTube size. He fits me juuust riiight.

Y'all are just intimidated.

I'm told there's a pill you can take, if it's truly a concern for you.

whir said...

"Furthermore, he seems to be somewhat at odds with the innocent victim of the 'bike cultural' imagination."

Huh? He is an innocent victim, you can see pretty clearly in the videos that he's biking along by himself and the cop steps over to him to hurl him off his bike. Maybe he's not the best dude in the world, but he doesn't deserve a random takedown.

Anonymous said...

Snob,
There's a Slate article today you might be interested in:"Are There Really No Hipsters in China? Irony-resisting Chinese bicyclists have skipped the fixed-gear trend that has swept the rest of the world"

http://www.slate.com/id/2250893/

Bad Lawyer said...

Snob--

I thought about "blawging" about the Critical Mass-assault, but doesn't the video of the assault speak for itself. I was readking about he cross examination fo the cyclist, it was premised on the old "rape defense" tactic, i.e. "admit it, you're a slut!?"

I think the recent acquittal of the NYC cops who allegedly anally probed the punk with the flashlight, inspired this cop's defense. It's pretty over the top.

BL

frilly said...

I watched that episode of Dhani Tackles the Globe. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He was funny, humble, and very respectful of cycling. At one point while climbing the Monte Grappa, he says this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. It was good.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:21PM "Given that I like to keep my chances of D-on-D contact below 15%, I'm henceforth eschewing social events including more than 13 participants..."

Didn't work for the Last Supper, and they kept it at exactly 13. You might want to review your math.

Anonymous said...

The dude smokes (or "tokes" as the kids say) his Wednesday weed every day during his morning constipational, not constitutional. I can prove it with math if you want me to...

Billy Reid said...

sadness. Last time I checked, Iowa State's traffic code still read "all bicycles must yield to all cars at all times." That's what I found out when a space cadet high school girl put me and my bike through her windshield.

Oh and another thing... said...

...this "dude" better get the hell out of NYC. He actually took the stand against a cop and told them all about his daily weed intake? What an idiot! He won't make it five seconds on the streets without getting strip searched and tossed in the clink for the next 20 years.

urchin said...

whir---you'd be surprised how many people actually do deserve a random takedown...


I'm actually quite interested to see that the p-far trend has infiltrated the rollerblade world.

Also, can't help appreciating the 'cat in the hat' effect from the grips-on-bar-ends cockpitway on the softie.

Lastly--I think it would be cool if Rip Torn did the audio book, but only if he stops in the middle to beat you over the head with a floor pump, Snob. Just for realism.

Velcro said...

Holy hell that Victory motorcycle add is annoying...

Anonymous said...

Dude's math is wrong. A bicyclist/automobile collision will invariably result in the deformation of the rider, bike and bumper.
This is an inelastic collision, so kinetic energy is not conserved.

Anonymous said...

Waaaa Waaaa Waaaa, my bike riding feelings are hurt cuz what that mean bully wrote.

Jesus, buck up, don't be such a pussy.

Matt said...

Ahhh, yes, the letters page of the Iowa State Daily. Back when I was in Ames, my chums used to write in under the name Emho Bohica with letters guaranteed to light off long outraged letters wars. This was pre-Internet of course. Emho would respond to this one with something along the lines of "In my country, the only cyclists are the Christian slaves of my youngest wife" or something like that. Eventually the Daily realized that Emho wasn't an actual student and the correspondence came to an end, but it was fun while it lasted.

boys on the hoods said...

ringcycles; Ok, but it would have been a great scene with So-crates, Napolean and Drake all sharing a splif and looking at the SoCal mall foodcourt....all together now "WHOAH"

Anonymous said...

Finally, you got marginalized eh, snob. And look what a poor sap you turned into. hahahahaha

Salty Seattle said...

Alright,

I'll say it, since no one else has.

Not stopping at stop signs, or stop lights for that matter, is a douchey move, whether you're a bike, car, truck, rollerblader, wheelchair, pedestrian, dog, wild animal or stroller. Traffic controls exist to help give guidance to all users sharing the roadway. Is it okay to do, as a cyclist, if you know it's safe? Sure, go nuts. But, it's still a douchey thing to do. Accept it, and keep pedaling, driving, rolling, crawling or whatever you do, you douche.

As such, I say, we start a new cycling movement: Critical Stop. At all stop signs, or stop lights, take the full lane, and actually stop and wait for the light to change, or for the traffic to clear. Let the cars line up behind your bike (or group of bikes.) Proceed only when the light turns green.

It's a revolution. And it feels great. Besides, if you're in such a hurry to get somewhere, you should really reevaluate how, you as a cyclist, deserve to claim you're a better human being than the driver that just ran you down for the same reason.

May he who is without douchiness cast the first stone.

Fierce Panties said...

Every April 20th we celebrate by watching Dirty Harry. You remember the climatic scene when Scorpio takes Sir Francis Drake exit with a bus load of kids?

dbrun13 said...

@Devin-
"Named so because of famed mountain biker (and all round awesome dude) Jim Sullivan."

I was schooled many times on the singletrack of B'ham by Mr. Sullivan atop his full boinger Allslop bike (with slicks!). He's still rocking that bike today.

ervgopwr said...

Lots o people today. And I've got the math to prove it.

Ervgopwr, geography major.

Shaun said...

@Salty

Point taken. I only run lights and signs when I think it's safe to do so. And I admit that the same is true for most motorists. Having said that, I'll concede that it's douchey and take full douchponsibility for my actions.

Fred said...

Snob wrote: telling the court about how he likes to smoke the "Wednesday weed" while he takes his morning constitutional.

Everyone who ever took a pull from Mr. Long's bong just threw up a little in their mouth.

Anonymous said...

ugh. motorists are such reckless irresponsible selfish pigs. if you wish to drive in the united states you should undergo a series of psychological examinations and your photo and full name should appear large on the doors, roof, trunk and hood of your vehicle. but even then there would still be plenty of "humps" on the road, many drunk. the escalade being piloted by the big fat 300lb 35 year old italian douchebag who still lives with his parents. the loud, speeding rice burner complete with coffee can tail pipe being driven by the worst most idiotic empty headed loser poser wanna-be jerkoff in a flat brimmed cap. these horrible driver types aside what it really comes down to is freedom. they see a person on a bike safely run a red light and it tears them up that although they had to "pay" which was their choice, they have to sit and wait in their death box and you can go freely. you should have to wait because they have to wait. your common asshole, 90% of our "friends & neighbors" or almost everyone on facebook if you will are just these selfish pursed lipped stone throwing disapproving plebians who know of nothing but resentment and petty jealousies between each other and everyone else. the thing about "middle class" or common people in america is that all they do is work then come home watch tv and go to bed. they eat and shit as often as possible in between - fast food is a favorite. along with this "strong work ethic" comes alot of pride and a great deal of entitlement. i.e. "i payed for those roads" and so on. they don't realize reason you have to register get plates etc. is because you motorists have a bad reputation of killing people and speeding away at 100 mph. leaving the victim(s) to die in the road. how many times is it in the new york papers that a "dark colored suv" killed someone and sped off.. once a week? more? has the media made this "dark colored suv" into the new "young black male" of back in the day as the killer on the street that your typical ignorant self-entitled white everyday jerk asshole like tom rees needs to affix a shotgun to his pickup to protect himself from in iowa? from the bike car debate to the disgusting behavior catholic church and those who support them, a great deal of america is operating ass backwards and will never get it right. they are the salmon of life, and be careful they're coming head on and have too much pride to move over a tiny bit. they'd rather kill you than suffer the indignity of allowing a bicycle or another motorist for that matter pass them by.
sorry bikesnob.

Shram said...

fuck Patrick Pogan and fuck Tom Rees.

Hey Tommy: motor vehicles registrations don't pay for the roads, sales taxes do, and I'm pretty sure no bicyclist gets out from paying those. douche.

Salty Seattle said...

Anon 5:55-

You spilled bong juice on the floor too.

Anonymous said...

From the IDAHO State Code, bitches:

49-720. STOPPING -- TURN AND STOP SIGNALS.

A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic-control signal shall stop before entering the intersection, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn without stopping or may cautiously make a left-hand turn onto a one-way highway without stopping.

You punk ass chumps in NYC can stop and shit, but up here in the motherfucking 208, we roll them reds! (After coming to a complete stop and with no cross traffic present, mind you...)

Anonymous said...

anon 5:55 here. wow that rant makes me sound like a bit of a nut myself. I can assure you I'm a kind caring person. having grown up in a particularly meatheaded section of queens certain attitudes really bring out the devil in me. you know, same as tom rees when gets behind the wheel of his truck.

Anonymous said...

salty seatle,

with all due respect, it feels great to run red lights on a bike conversely its a bummer to have to slow down, de-clip, come to a complete stop, and then have to start all over again. perhaps I'm just a douche in this respect but if you are not doing so at the expense of others than what's the harm? I propose and alternate cycling movement, CM - constant momentum.

Society of Bicycle Engineers said...

Softride seat beams are the ONLY practical approved use of crabon

agent detroit said...

ha!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30532841&l=8111a46509&id=1119934035

Anonymous said...

anon 5:55, glad the lithium only took half an hour to kick in. safe travels.

mikeweb said...

Anon 5:55 for President!

Zac said...

I spent one day in Iowa on a cross-country bike trip and read a similarly douchy letter from a woman who wrote that cyclists should be barred from roads with speed limits over 30mph -- and the reason she cited to back this up was essentially that she liked to follow other cars too closely to be safe, but phrased in a way that put theoretical cyclists at fault. So frustrating.

Also, I'm calling unnecessarily harsh on BSNYC's review of that critical mass cop shover. The guy can be a total asshole and a criminal, it doesn't matter. The cop is clearly at fault and his defense, if any, is comical.

J-Bird said...

So there I was, taking a nice dump, when, reaching for the toilet paper, I spilled bong water all over my brand new MC Hammer-style bike pants. Total bummer.

David said...

Well, I have a simple solution to the problem of cars and bikes. Ban all electric/gasoline/diesel/french-fry-grease poweredvehicles entirely. Let people who can't pedal and steer at the same time ride buses powered by a set of pedals under each seat. No more SUV size vehicles operated by one moron--it'd take at least a dozen, who would have to struggle to get it up to lethal speed. No more eighteen-wheelers, except those powered by an entire peloton of washed-up-weeded-up ex-pro racers. Solves global warming, wars for oil, and unemployment, too.

Salty Seattle said...

Anon 6:34-

Part of me wants to say, "If it's such a problem to clip out, you might want to consider flat pedals, or toe clips," but you ride, and therefore I love you.

Yeah, I get it. I like to keep it rolling (on Wednesdays especially,) as much as possible too. Maybe my attitude comes from too many years of commuting, but it's just so much fun.

When you run a stop light in front of a motor vehicle, you piss them off for the next time they see a cyclist, in an evil kind of,
"pay it forward" effect. It's stupid and road-ragey, but by arguing in favor of breaking the law, you're road-ragey too.

If you would, do me a favor, and watch your ass out there. And if you're not going to do that, watch your Karma.

I hate this topic, as it's one that we can never agree on, but I still love you all.

Salty Seattle said...

Shaun-

Points to you, sir.

Congratulations on your podium win, today, too!

Salty Seattle said...

Anon 6:14-

any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways

Doesn't that constitute a traffic jam in Idaho?

Jealous of your state's leniency. Work on your marijuana laws, and we'll talk again.

And soon.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug said...

Hey- Anon 5:55, here's another rant on the same subject-http://velocodger.blogspot.com/2009/12/life-as-dog.html

Nogocyclist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nogocyclist said...

I think I have been knocked off the podium for being long winded in the comments section today. If all the long winded comments by "Anonymous" are by the same "Anonymous" I am but a mere Cat 3.

If Anonymous @1:21, 2:05, especially 5:55, 6:14, and 6:30 (admitted to be An 5:55) Commenters are all the same, I bow out of this race. You have taken the yellow jersey for the Tour, and this is only the third stage of the week.

Jase said...

Really, cyclists and motorists have a common enemy - the traffic light. They're a vestigial stone-age solution. All the latent computing power in all the brains stopped at a light needs to be activated, rather than dictated to. See:
Traffic Lights: Hate

Love/Hate Artistic Cycling said...

Anon. 3:37, thank you for the Salon link for it led to more bar spins (among other tricks) than I've seen in a long time.

Salty Seattle said...

Wow.

I was way salty today. Guess who's gotta wear the g- string tomorrow. Damn.

Nogocyclist said...

David at 9:30 In my area it would be nice to have the option to take a bus. We do not have bus service, subways (or train service of any kind), affordable taxi service, or any public transportation of any kind (fuel free or not.) We also do not have sidewalks or bike lanes on 90% of the main roads.

The transportation structure for my area assumes everyone is going to drive a truck or car. There are bike commuters but in the whole metropolitan area of 450,000 there are probably less than 20 that commute daily exclusively by bike.

Our bike friendly towns in this area are the ones that have multi use trails that are almost exclusively used for non commuting purposes.

If the problems in NYC and such places with cars is bad, come south. It is so bad here, hardly anyone even tries to commute by bike or foot.

ken e. said...

thanks everyone! snob, quality work every time.

RIDE SAFE
ETAL YLD!

Anonymous said...

Fresh!

http://www.slate.com/id/2250893/

captain said...

Hahaha, snobbers... I like how you very subtly chose a screen shot of the chariot skates inventor with an EXTREMELY nonplussed look on his face!!!

gromit said...

Dave Koesel built a MTB wheelset for me. James Huang rebuilt my suspension fork. Dhani Jones - well I really only ran into him at a midnight album release party at a record store. I don't think he was there for the Soul Coughing, though. Anyways how many more people that I knew or met in college do you plan to feature? It's getting strange.

Also, Dhani shared classes with some of my friends on the U of Michigan cycling team. I can verify he was interested in cycling even then.

-g

Thomas said...

Drivers of 4000 pound cars say that 200 pound bike&riders should stay off the road. Weight ratio is 20 to 1. 18-wheelers weigh 80,000 pounds. Ratio to 4000 pounds is 20-to-1. Do the 18-wheeler drivers get to say that cars should stay off the road?

----

Road use taxes paid for a particular vehicle are generally proportional to the wear & tear caused by that vehicle. How many potholes do bicycles cause?

Nogocyclist said...

Thomas,

I have worked with enough truck drivers over the years to know they would wish cars would stay off the road, too. They probably complain more than cyclist do about idiots in cars and SUVs. Of course when they are not in their 18 wheelers, most of them are driving pickups or cars.

Clark Nikolai said...

They're like little penny-farthings for the feet.

Anonymous said...

Awesome screed.

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