Monday, September 13, 2010

People Are People: Dealing With It


Like many people, I prefer to focus on aspects of life that are pleasurable and that do not pose a challenge to my meager intellect or trip the hair trigger of my moral outrage. Unfortunately, in a world filled with injustice, famine, war, toxic baby toys, and sitcoms starring Charlie Sheen that have lain waste to the entertainment landscape with their seven-year reigns of terror, this can sometimes be very difficult to do. Still, I try my best, which is why football and/or soccer star David Beckham's recent purchase of a "fixie" (forwarded to me by a number of readers) is big news in the carefully "curated" Universe of Fatuousness that I inhabit:

Strolling down a Santa Monica street with a brakeless fixed-gear bicycle in one hand and a wallet containing millions of dollars in the other, he looks like a hunter who has just shot a particularly robust pheasant. This photo is still more proof that the fixed-gear trend is almost exactly like a horror movie villain, in that every time you think it's dead it emits a blood-curdling squeal and springs violently back to life. Furthermore, with each ungodly resurrection its appearance grows more garish and sickening, as Jared Leto's arrival at the MTV Video Music Awards on his new Chari & Co. douche chariot (also forwarded to me by a number of readers) illustrates:

The continued existence of the MTV despite the nasal exhortations of the mid-1980s is proof that our society is sick, and in terms of cultural fare its Video Music Awards show is a bucket of fast food chicken that is rife with salmonella. Here is what salmonella looks like under extreme magnification:

("We're salmonella, but a lot of people confuse us with syphilis.")

And here is what it sounds like after you think it's dead but emits a blood-curdling squeal and springs violently back to life.

But as assiduously as I strive to focus entirely on these sorts of current events, even I sometimes fall victim to actual "news." This usually happens when I turn on the television and actual news is on it and I am too lazy to change the channel. (Obviously turning the television off altogether is not an option. TVs are like refrigerators; they need to be running pretty much all the time.) For example, this morning that Imam who's building that mosque or Islamic cultural center or whatever it is in downtown Manhattan was talking, and I accidentally found myself paying attention. Like coffee, religion props people up and gets them through their day, and in this sense I believe that religious institutions are like Starbucks in that there are way too many of them and they sell a lot of crap--the only difference is that at least Starbucks pays taxes and offers WiFi. So I find myself approaching a debate about the opening of any religious institution (or, for that matter, a Starbucks) the same way I do the World Series, in that any hopes I do have regarding the outcome are informed only by my underlying belief that the entire sport is stupid.

Anyway, contemplating religion is a sure way to lose one's faith in humanity, and any I may have had left was badly shaken by this story which I received from someone at "Bicycling:"


I realize that sharing such a story on a Monday is a fine way to cast a pall over the entire work week, but once I lift the Veil of Denial I tend to find myself swamped with ugliness. I also couldn't help considering it in the context of this blog post, which innumerable people have forwarded me since it was published and which many you have probably seen already:

While the ironically-named Felix Salmon makes a number of good points, I was somewhat troubled by the following paragraph:

In what universe do nearly all motorists follow nearly all the rules? Certainly not in New York City. Not even in my Universe of Fatuousness is this the case. Sure, motorists do not break the rules in the same way that bicyclists do--for example, you won't see 10 or 15 cars roll through a red light at a busy intersection, and it's rare (though not unheard of) for drivers to use the sidewalk. However, when you consider the number of people who drive above the speed limit, or drive while talking on the phone, or drive with suspended or revoked licenses, or drive with lapsed insurance, or the drivers who live in New York but register and insure their cars out of state, motorists are certainly as wont to break the law as cyclists. They just do it differently, and usually with more disastrous consequenses. Consider this horrible story:

Until I read the above article this morning, I was still lodged in my Shell of Denial, but this finally pried me out of it like a deftly-wielded lobster fork. A cyclist who runs a light or salmons is only breaking the law at that moment, but the woman driving with a suspended license is breaking the law from the moment she puts her car in gear, and the reality is that streets are just as full of rogue drivers as rogue cyclists. Cycling aside, it's hard to imagine that anybody who's ever driven a car in New York City could make this statement:

The motorist-motorist encounter, by contrast, is very highly choreographed, with lights and lanes and speed limits and indicator lights and even a dedicated corps of traffic police to enforce the rules. The rules aim to minimize car crashes, and again, as a general rule, they do a pretty good job.

I do my share of driving and I had no idea all that cutting people off and speeding and changing lanes without signaling and blowing through stop signs was "choreographed"--no wonder I find driving (to say nothing of cycling) in New York City so irritating. And I can't believe anybody who's spent any time in New York City at the helm of any vehicle could make the following statement:

Yes, having a one-way system means you’ll sometimes have to go a couple of blocks out of your way, but cars do that automatically, and most of the time they’re going slower than the bikes.

I can't possibly the only person who's almost been killed by a driver speeding down an entire city block in reverse to snag a parking space.

Again, Salmon makes many excellent points, but I was dismayed to see he fell into the same trap (or, in his case, net) as most other people who try to address this issue, which is to suppose that drivers and cyclists and pedestrians are somehow "different," or that their nature is somehow determined by their vehicle. Excluding for the moment the fact that many people are pedestrians and cyclists and drivers at various points in the day, a considerate person is a considerate person and an idiot is an idiot, and both will behave as such regardless of how they are propelling themselves at any given moment. "People are People," sang some awful 80s band, and saying drivers rarely break the rules but cyclists always do is like saying poor people commit crime all the time but rich people rarely do. Of course rich people are criminals too--they just rob you differently.

Of course, there are signs of progress in New York City--or at least of smugness, as one reader informs me:

However, the author was apparently still disappointed for a number of reasons, among these being the fact that there were no small children among the cargo:

There are two Cargobikes but no children. In all fairness the kids might have just been dropped off at the daycare center but again, seeing people carrying their precious cargo around on bikes is the surest sign of the perceived danger being low.

Oddly, I see cyclists carrying children on bicycles all the time in New York City, though rarely in cargo bikes. Of course, this could be less because we have a poorly-evolved "bike culture" and more because, in New York, cargo bikes are affectations for loft-dwelling single people who have too much disposable income. But I guess in the World of Smugness, not having a small child rattling around in your cargo bike is the equivalent of putting a brake on your track bike. Somehow, it makes you a "wuss."

It's heartening to know that, should we one day finally rid ourselves of religion, we'll still be able to judge each other based on vehicle choice. People are people after all.

128 comments:

ant1 said...

ant1st!

ant1 said...

oh yeah

ant1 said...

full podium?

Anonymous said...

AYHSMB

jplf said...

Damn, Close.
www.jplf.wordpress.com

Shu-Sin said...

top 10

Surly Bastard said...

Top ten again!

Anonymous said...

Schleck

Paul Bowen said...

Top ten again! Damn I'm on fire!

Surly Bastard said...

Yeah, I have no life.

Surly Bastard said...

Another sweep ant1. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Moin!

slowallonian said...

...but no ceegar!

BadBeard said...

NOWHERENEAR1ST

Go Ant1

xyxax said...

Out of the top 10 but closest to the equator?

ANTS WEEP

ant1 said...

snobby - nothing about little tommy v today?

Bad Lawyer said...

L'Shanah Tovah!

RANTWICK said...

Holy crap! WTG ant1

Neil said...

"a considerate person is a considerate person and an idiot is an idiot, and both will behave as such regardless of how they are propelling themselves at any given moment"

love it

Astroluc said...

pack fodder...

somehow, in the eyes of many motorists (at the time) when you add a bicycle to a fellow human, it somehow makes them less than human.

Sad day.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Snob:
Your blog today regarding those bike accidents has created significant angst or dare I day welschmerz on my part. As you said so astutely, schmucks are schmucks, however many wheels you travel on.

On second thought, isn't welschmerz a kind of mustard?

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

I had tried to comment on Salmon's article on that Reuters website, but got tired of filling out the essay they call a membership form to do so.

What I was going to say is that what most drivers don't realize is that the vast majority of cyclists don't want to have to be in their way to begin with. But the reality of cycling means that there's things called potholes, broken glass, vehicles parked in bike lanes or just otherwise double parked, pedestrians standing or walking in bike lanes who may or may not be pushing strollers/ rolling luggage/ shopping carts full of their possessions, etc. and, of course, car doors.

mander said...

This is an outstanding post RT, right up there with your very best stuff.

Anonymous said...

great !
Problem is that you are fighting irrationality (or plain madness) with rationality.
That is a lost fight. At the other hand, it is most entertaining because you also use humor as a weapon. Perhaps you should start a new religion or political party ?
Geert Wilders

mikeweb said...

ant1 is a meanie! His podium sweep crushed poor Anon 12:59's hopes and dreams... now he/she may never choose to be un-anonymous. Not to mention the self promoting jplf's aspirations.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, your Rabbi called AGAIN. He sounded really pissed. He wants you to call him.

ant1 said...

mikeweb - no gifts

Brendan said...

what's wrong with depeche mode?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me but I don't quite see how someone leaving their car door open leads to a fatal bike accident with only the car driver bearing responsibility. How can you not see an open door and not know (or hear) that there's a bus right next to you?

Anonymous said...

ant1 is lame, and posts nearly as much as me

POST MSTR

Chris said...

Have to disagree with your criticism of Felix Salmon. I don't have a car but I do think cyclists break far more rules. The amount of people I know who cycle home totally drunk after a night out is high. And yet those people would never dream of driving while intoxicated.

Shu-Sin said...

jeezzz... you shook me today, rtms. i had a coffee accident while walking back to sit and read your post and a thought went over my head: the coffee spilled because i didn't look for a fraction of a second and if i lose my concentration on my commute for that split second...
my heart aches for the two poor souls. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Antoine, vaguely familiar retort. Where have I heard that before?

Dr. Feel Good said...

Snob, this is one of your best. "Like coffee, religion props people up and gets them through their day, and in this sense I believe that religious institutions are like Starbucks in that there are way too many of them and they sell a lot of crap..."
And as you say, "...at least Starbucks pays taxes....."
Classics.

g said...

Anon 153,
I believe the door was opened into the rider, not in front of them and I am sure when they were knocked from their bike, not jumped or swerved, they could very well have had knowledge of the bus. They probably not planning on being under it, though.
So, you're right. Bitch deserved it.

Anonymous said...

@G, the article only says the door was open - you came to one conclusion, me another. And quit with the theatrics, I didn't say she deserved it, I said she (probably) also bore some responsibility. There's a big difference between the two.

leroy said...

Soylent Green is people.

Saints and assholes are too. Sometimes they're both.

(Ant1 -- please provide your WADA sample to Anon 1:54 & 1:53. No cup necessary.)

Ride safe all!

Charlie said...

"or, in his case, net"

heehee

Anonymous said...

so you're say the bitch partially deserved it?

leroy said...

Okay, maybe Anon 1:53 doesn't deserve Ant1's sample.

But the NY Post article says the door clipped the rider, not just that an open door caused the accident.

(Of course, the NY Post is not exactly known for accuracy.)

jimmynuetron said...

Beckham's has no toe straps! Are his flip flops proprietary secret Sidi spd's? No. I highly doubt it. Beckhams does not skid. Beckham does not leave rubber. I bet he can only track stand for like 30 seconds anyways, which is really gay. I can track stand for like ever. I did once. I've been track standing since high school, straight.

Anonymous said...

Great, now I have Depeche Mode stuck in my head.

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!
and kids shouldn't be in cargo bikes...let 'em pull their own weight...after they're 3 1/2 years old...a tandem / kidback / bike friday / trail a bike...cheaper than a cargo bike too. Unless you're hauling "cargo" every day...why not get a trailer for the 2x a week big haulage?

David Henderson said...

Great post!

It was and is terrible to hear about the cyclists (Bobby Bowen and the girl (name withheld) who was thrown from her bike from an opening car door and then run over by a bus). Their lives were taken so carelessly and flippantly.

I am not an authority on bike safety, but I have learned a few survival tactics from riding many thousands of miles on the road. I am sharing them via the address below. Any additions are most welcome and might save someone else some skin or more.

http://myworldfromabicycle.blogspot.com/2010/08/bike-safe-my-survival-tactics-for-road.html

Justine Valinotti said...

Most riders who get "doored" are clipped on the side. In other words, the driver doesn't open the car door until the cyclist is next to it.

That's what happened to me when I got "doored" the day before Thanksgiving. And the driver yelled, "You should watch where you're going!"

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it, but reading this post made it shrivel.

Brent said...

The common perception that city cycling is dangerous may make it more likely that people comfortable with risk will take it up. If, in fact, riders are risk-takers, then I would argue that the relatively high (i.e., more than half) law compliance among cyclists is the amazing factoid, and not the minority who flout traffic rules. Perhaps we need better infrastructure to attract the timid, and presumably more law abiding.

Anonymous said...

I miss my old friend, the alpaca. His flaming nostrils sear the indignity off this mess.

kurtz said...

Satisfying observations - religious institutions vs. starbucks.

jms hnsy said...

People are people & idiots are idiots.
I would far rather be hit by an idiot on a bike than an idiot in a car.

Idiots on bikes should be celebrated!

ONE LESS IDIOT IN A CAR

Anonymous said...

Okay so I'm new to NYC, from Seattle - and I'm no dumb kid. Only been here for a few weeks, and I love the free-for-all style out here. Doesn't matter if it's cars, pedestrians, or other bikers - you know everybody is going to behave as selfishly as possible. Where I'm from, the cars yield you (the biker) the right of way when it's NOT YOUR TURN TO GO. So you sit there and wait for them, while they are trying to show how polite they are. It's not polite when you inconvenience everybody by holding up the proper flow of traffic. Believe me, it's hectic here, but that's not a bad thing.
I ride pretty aggressive in traffic. I lanesplit, I overtake cars on the left or right or whatever. I - what is it called where you creep thru the crosswalk (not blocking it, okay) at the light to cut the intersection as soon as you can - Shoaling? Yeah I do that too. But you know what else? I don't endanger or inconvenience anybody else with my riding because I have enough skill on my bike and I keep my eyes open. I don't cut people off and I don't hit pedestrians.
I don't take risks that legs cant get me out of, I have a brake on my fixie, I have front and rear lights on my bike at night. I don't worry about getting doored because I am aware of the danger and I don't get close enough to cars that might fling a door open at me. When I'm heading into a narrow street with pedestrians I slow down a bit and keep my eyes on everyone at the margins, the cars on either side of me, and the driver seats of the parked cars. I've never been hit, I've ridden this hard for years.
What ever happened to personal responsibility? I will never claim that I "almost got killed by a driver" because I assume that the driver in the car to my left might swerve at me unexpectedly. When they do, I see it coming and I swerve. I never claim I "almost got killed" by that car backing down the street because I know that certain types of people are willing to do that when they pass a parking spot half a block behind them. I never claim I "almost got killed when an unexpected pedestrian stepped into the bike lane." When a pedestrian steps off the sidewalk, I knew he was a danger because I saw him NEAR the street without paying attention to the bike lane and I paid extra attention to him. Other people's actions are never unexpected if you expect them to behave erratically. Give yourself room to maneuver around them - anything that happens to your while you're on your bike is YOUR FAULT.

I thought people identified a certain toughness and independent spirit with being a biker. When people whine about how hard it is to do something optional I want to tell them to keep their complaints to themselves and just not do it.

sorry I don't have an account
My name is Ryan

Anonymous said...

go back to seattle

Salty and Sore said...

Snobbie-

You're right about Depeche Mode being a horrible band from the 1980s. Your reference to one of their songs started to give me that skin-crawly feeling, like I used to get when Back in the Day was still only a comment made by old people and had not yet been appropriated by hipsters, but then I realized that the only place I've heard their music lately is on the Oldies station, where if I'm hearing it there, it's now cool, cuz everything that I choose to listen to is cool, no matter what. You are now welcome to refer to music by Depeche Mode in whatever manner you choose, since they are only cool, if I happen to choose to subject myself to their songs at the time.

...never again is what you swore.. the time before.

But still not Morrissey.

veloron said...

Damn, Ryan is such a badass.

Bikers wear leather and ride/drive motorcycles, cyclists ride bicycles.

Salty and Sore said...

Ryan-

And let me say thank you again, from everyone here in Seattle, for leaving.

Yes, people stop here just to be polite to cyclists. If you don't take them up on their kindness, you're being rude, but I can tell that's not something you understand much about. If you find yourself in a position where you can't take them up on the offer, WAVE THEM THROUGH. It's called signalling, and it's not just up to cars. As cyclists, we have the power to indicate to other users of the roadway what we are about to do.

You should try it! It goes along way, even in New York, I've heard. I often get smiles and friendly waves back, and no, it's not always because of my bra size.

and to your other point: I used to believe the opposite that if a car was in an accident, it was the fault of the operator, no matter what the circumstance. Having a defensive attitude while operating a vehicle is a healthy attitude to take, but it just doesn't speak to reality in every situation. For example, I was T-boned in a neighborhood intersection, doing 15 miles an hour around a traffic circle, for no reason at all. I asked the guy why he continued to drive straight into me when I was right in front of his windshield, and all he said was, "I thought you would yield." Dude! I was already in the intersection, proceeding normally, and you plowed into me! WTF! My fault for being an accident? I've tried to make it my fault, and I just can't. Sometimes shit happens to you, just because idiots are allowed to breathe.

Enjoy your stay in New York!

"Guppy" Honaker said...

Let's not kid ourselves (your closing lines), we'll not only still judge each other based on vehicle choice, but also hairstyles!

As to your comment about sitcoms with Chalie Sheen (near the beginning), amen to that brother.

- David

Aloe Vera 101
Holistic Health Info.

ant1 said...

ryan - how do you keep track of all those cars and potential street entering pedestrians on wednesdays? i don't thing i could stay that focused.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Quicksquirt- that's the funniest thing you ever said.

ervgopwr said...

Ant1 nice job.

Love the starbucks/religion comparrison.

As to a unified code of the road; follow the money and see who is the chosen mode.

Cycling, many attend, few understand.

P.S. Ryan, save your time, just say, i'm a neu-Fredork and I'm glad to be here.

ervgopwr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Snobbie,
You know I love you, but you're damn close to suggesting its ok for us to ride helter skelter just becuase drivers break the law between sometimes and often.

Seriously, one can't get all righteous unless one rides righteously. On my commute i wait at every light - it's hilarious soemtimes but I do. I yield to peds, I never ride on the sidewalk. I get smiles from the peds and respect from the drivers. And when I don't, I'm in the right and I go off like nuts - fire from mouth just like in you book!
I'm way more FOR Salmon than I am against him.
I procliam we all set an example...

..and that Jared Leto is a jackass.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Ryan,

Welcome to New York. Let's compare notes in 10 years.

DaddoOne,

Not what I was suggesting at all. I just get a little frustrated by the "(x) are the worst offenders" arguments when we should all be teaming up against Rollerbladers.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

When I am cycling I always use the flag semaphore signaling system. That way I can be sure to be clear regarding my intentions.

Sometimes, when I am in a generous mood, I will signal the lyrics from a meaningful song:

"Now you're punching
And you're kicking
And you're shouting at me
I'm relying on your common decency
So far it hasn't surfaced
But I'm sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fists

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand"

Ryan said...

My name is Ryan, and I'm an alcaholic.

Anonymous said...

ant1 is not required to leave a sample with the WADA. He has taken care of that with a cash *ahem* donation.

Sigurd said...

Right on, anon 5:56. As long as we're quoting from Depeche Mode's back catalogue, here are two more traffic-related gems:

Death is everywhere
there are flies on the windscreen
for a start
reminding us
we could be torn apart

(Fly on the windscreen / Black Celebration)

Girl of eighteen
Fell in love everything
Found new life in Jesus Christ
Hit by a car, ended up
on a life support machine

(Blasphemous rumours / Some great reward).

Anonymous said...

Ryan cracks me up. Sounds like my friend who has had TWO reckless driving citations (managed to wiggle out of them with community service) in two years--and that's only because he got caught those two times. Dude drives like a complete asshole--speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, passing in no passing zones, using the left-turn bay as a passing lane (no shit!) and general dickishness.

His justification for his behavior? He's a superior driver, of course! He can handle any situation because every other driver out there is an idiot. Yep.

frilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Test Tickle said...

some people...

you ask them what time it is and they proceed to tell you how to build a watch...

balls.

Anonymous said...

"I can't possibly the only person who's almost been killed by a driver speeding down an entire city block in reverse to snag a parking space."

How does this possibly compare to the staggering numbers of wrong-way riders in nyc?

Not all laws are equal. Driving w/o registration is not in the same category as habitual red-light running.

I run red lights all the time like any self-respecting biker. But if it kills me it'll be my own damn fault.

Anonymous said...

brilliant!

Cognorant said...

"Cars hate pedestrians, pedestrians hate cars, everyone hates bicyclists"

Universal truths.

Anonymous said...

Where do all you fools get that BSNYC is condoning breaking the law on a bike. He's saying if you're an idiot you're an idiot and you'll ride like one.

I had a green light the other day and as many times before all the pedestrians decided they should cross in front of me and as before I thought I could find a gap. Turns out a little ten year old had other plans as she ran in front of me and we collided. I feel like an idiot even though I had the law on my side and right of way, I still should have been more cautious.

Anonymous said...

I always ride with an old pole vault pole which I carry like a jousting lance. That way I can easily clear away the "erratic" pedestrians before they get near my front tire. I can't tell you how many times that has save my bike from getting scratched.

leroy said...

Ryan -- I was going to welcome you to New York, but BSNYC beat me to it.

I was going to make a joke, but my heart just isn't in it today.

All I have is an admonishment that reliance on cat-like reflexes is best confined to the litter box.

It's not much of a joke because I couldn't shake the feeling while reading your post that you had unwittingly written your eulogy.

I don't think you thought through your post and I don't think you really believe it.

Your faith that you can expect the unexpected is magical thinking. It may make you feel good, it can even relax you and help you focus, but it can't protect you.

My advice for riding in NY: don't mistake luck for skill.

Do that and you will be around in ten years to compare notes. And I have a feeling that experience will have changed you.

I love riding in NYC and have thousands of miles here. I've learned that a little humility about one's skills is a valuable asset.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Leroy, sagacious words.

Cognorant said...

Leroy...right on. In my humble opinion it's all about the humility. It's great that guys like Ryan have all of that confidence in their skill but I'm sorry, you can't predict everything. A big killer of motorcyclists is the oncoming left turning car/van/truck. All the skill & mojo in the world can't predict that one quick enough to save your skin. It's plain arrogance to think that you of all people can avoid every accident because you're just that good. Practice some humility & everyone seems a little happier.

Humilitarily yours,

Cog.

Cognorant said...

And right on wishiwasmerckx for making me have to look up the word segacious!!

Kent Johnson said...

Great post today, right on the money!

Anonymous said...

BikeSnobNYC just linked to Dead Kennedys! My whole life just came full circle. Seriously, I thought I was the sh*t back in the day riding my old Motobecane around Philly with my Walkman blasting DK and/or Crass and/or (fill in self-important anarchopunk band name here). These days, I pretend I've matured, but maybe it's just that my reflexes have slowed enough that I can't keep up with the Ryans of the world (also I live in NC, slightly less hectic than Filthadelphia). Thank you for today's post, Snob. It is sobering to remember how our very safety is subject to inattentive/ entitled people, whether on or off the bike. Be always safe and courteous, it'll look good on your tombstone!
-Blake

Anonymous said...

I've recently known of, in a 6 degrees of separation type situation, not only the Hofstra Professor killed 2 weeks ago, my nephew being a music student at Hofstra as well as an avid cyclist, but also a Brooklyn College student, whose mother was a colleague at the college and whose son was murdered last April by a driver late for work running a red light. The cyclist - Jake McDonaugh was hit broadside on Beverly and Flatbush, said van driver having no valid driver license.

The major point to be made about cyclists killed by motor vehicles, the issue of who's worse, motorists who break the law or cyclists, is that a cyclist that hits a car pretty much NEVER kills the driver or passengers, yet the reverse is too often the case.

Thus you cannot treat, nor complain as deeply about the errant cyclists that breaks the law. They rarely kill even a pedestrian, though it does happen, much less inflict any kind of injury whatsoever on a motorist.

The trouble is the drivers, and the law needs to get re-written to the effect that if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, you are automatically assumed to be at fault, by virtue of an inability to control your vehicle. If you inflict injury, your vehicle insurance pays all medical. If you kill someone, you lose your license for 5 years as well as any other charges that might apply. If you get caught driving without a license, you go to jail for 5 years.

Time to end the carnage.

SB

Anonymous said...

Great Post Snob.

"a considerate person is a considerate person and an idiot is an idiot, and both will behave as such regardless of how they are propelling themselves at any given moment" applies equally in the southern hemisphere in Melbourne, Australia.

PawnShop said...

R.I.P Ryan,
rended by Lexus.
Despite his fine
and cat-quick reflexes.

FULS ERND

Anonymous said...

Ryan: "When people whine about how hard it is to do something optional I want to tell them to keep their complaints to themselves and just not do it."

Screw you, I will continue to do all kinds of hard optional stuff AND bitch about it.

Anonymous said...

Entertaining post and comments.

Anonymous said...

Cognoran:
Any mention of the oncoming left turning car and I have to remind myself to start breathing again. No phrase goes thru your mind faster than "I can't believe this guy doesn't see me" when a car is lurching across a road trying to beat a car that is half a block behind you. Fortunately, my "catlike" reflexes allowed me to delay contact for an spit-second so that I went into the quarter panel instead of under the front bumper. And the ironic twist - the driver was an avid cyclist who's attention was distracted for only a second. For some reason my fear wasn't to get back on the bike, it was in getting back behind the wheel of a car. It can happen just that easily.

Anonymous said...

If you think about it, Ryan and Jared Leto have the same attitude about cycling. They just show it off in different ways.

And also Ryan, I bet if you asked every member of this board who has 7+ years of cycling in NYC year round that every single one of them has probably at some point been doored or hit by a vehicle somehow or another no matter their skill level.

Really sad week for cyclists here in NYC. Least of all the fact that multiple witnesses said that the driver was reponsible for dooring the cyclist into the bus. Her relative even attempted to blame the car behind them despite the protestation of multiple witnesses. So the police followed the driver to the baby shower she left the scene for. So stop semantically arguing whether or not a 23 year old barista who was going to see her mom in 2 weeks deserved to die.

I feel bad that I get angry at the stupidity of some pedestrians or curbside car passengers, etc. I'm not really mad at them as people; it's just that erratic behavior forces an urban cyclist into needing to quickly get into a lane position based on reaction that could be dangerous to them - i.e. you don't have time to check your blind spot in the rear for a vehicle.

I Deraille said...

Props to Leto and Beckam for riding. Even if their bikes are silly.

bikesgonewild said...

...sheesh...

...ryan is like a fucking god to me...

...just sayin'...



...but honestly, the only one around here with 'cat-quick reflexes' is the indefatigable ant1...whether he pee's in the bottle or not...

Alpha male said...

Wonderful article,thanks for putting this together! "This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!"

Anonymous said...

92nd!

ken e. (can't type) said...

got nothing. much love!

YYLD DUMI
ANT! SCOR

Anonymous said...

David Beckham's rims:
All You Haters Suck My Soccer Balls
Jared Leto's rims:
All You Haters... Yeah, Fair Point I Deserve It

It's a pity Beckham rides (or at least poses with) a fadcycle and not a recumbent. "Bent it like Beckham" has a good ring to it.
ce

Anonymous said...

Call me Cav!!!

The race goes in the other direction!

alpha male said...

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GeologyJoe said...

1st pic, sweet Bikeman sticker. bath, maine

Anonymous said...

ryan i understand where you are coming from. i lived in seattle and moved to ny and biked for a few years here. i treated it as a challenge, an amusement park, etc. i think the poster who talked about humility is right. i had the wrong attitude and probably could have got myself hurt or killed. i ended up stopping riding, mostly. it's not for everyone.

it sure was a pleasure though not to be able to see around corners vs in seattle where every car is an SUV.

wishiwasmerckx said...

99th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th. Like taking candy from a baby.

Zentriathlon said...

Love it when I've got my kid on my bike and I pull up next to a dad doing the same thing. Then I speak to him in Amsterdamian and he looks at me with confusion.

ant1 said...

anon 5:57 - damn right! the best part is the receipts say books or coffee on them. try to find a crime here mr. novitsky.

PawnShop said...

Amsterdamian?
I thought it was Hollandaise...

Anonymous said...

Are you there Ryan? It's me Margaret.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

don't they speak Dutchen?

Anonymous said...

No comments about the NYC Century, the Bike Jumble and "dancy party" or that half-assed NY Post articles about how crabon bikes has replaced Sports Cars for divorced men in their 40s????!!!?? You dissapoint me, Snobby!

Adrian said...

As a biker and a cyclist, i always err on the side of caution and fall back on my biker training which works on the basis that every other road user is out to kill you.

Anonymous said...

"contemplating religion is a sure way to lose one's faith in humanity"

Amen, brother

Stranded said...

In the immortal words of Dr. Perry Cox, "People are bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling." Plus, 98% of drivers think most people are bad drivers.

Anonymous said...

That bitch that got hit by a bus probably deserved it. She probably cut off the bus ( no right turn in front of bus) only to get clipped by a car door. karma lol

Anonymous said...

um...?
http://www.geekologie.com/2007/07/nimbus_20inch_ultimate_wheel.php

Jackart said...

Just popped in from the daily dish...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Take the lane.

If they insist that a bike is a vehicle, then take the lane like any other vehicle.
If they honk, wave.
If they scream, sing.
If they threaten, memorize the plate number.

But take the lane.

crookedletter said...

I found your blog posted by someone on Facebook and enjoyed quite a few of your sentences- more than one of which induced laughter, for which you have my gratitude.

Henry Whistler said...

Um, the Depeche Mode haters need to go fark themselves in their annicular cavities. They were also a great 90s band, and a great 00s band. The recent "Playing the Angel" was one of their best releases, and they've always gotten regular radio airplay on popular stations. Is this some New York thing? Where I live this wisdom isn't even questioned. In fact, the resource specialist I'm working with today is wearing a Violator t-shirt, and a young boy piped up, "Depeche Mode, I like them!" And so does my step-daughter. They're arguably one of the best and most important bands of the past thirty years, and I wager their music will still be listened to for many decades to come.

Fools!

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

I bike, a lot. I also drive. Most motorists do not come to a full stop at stop signs and many run changing lights when they are really red.

I see only cyclists, however. running traffic lights on full red and stop signs like they do not even exist.

When I am on my bike I thank the cyclists SO much for pissing off the drivers I also have to cope with as a cyclist.

C'mon folks. I'm 63 years old and when I bike I stop and stay through red traffic lights and come to a full stop at every stop sign. (Same as I do in my car.)

It's not that hard to do.

crispinblue said...

One of your best RTMS

Anonymous said...

Brilliant site, I had not come across bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com previously in my searches!
Continue the good work!

Anonymous said...

PS: the Ryan in this post beats up his girlfriends when they try to dump him, then denies wrongdoing to his friends, attempting to paint his timid exgirlfriend as a liar despite photos of the bruises on her neck, while pleading for clemency and forgiveness in court, stating "sometimes we do things we don't mean." Worst kind of self-righteous unlearning jerk. Won't even own up and apologize, because that would mean he was wrong, and he can't deal with it.

Hi Ryan. Creep.

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Anonymous said...

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best bike trainer said...

This is for crispinblue. What is RTMS you are talking?

chiggins said...

Again, Salmon makes many excellent points, but I was dismayed to see he fell into the same trap (or, in his case, net) as most other people who try to address this issue, which is to suppose that drivers and cyclists and pedestrians are somehow "different," or that their nature is somehow determined by their vehicle.

No one will ever read this since it's way past the freshness date. Nevertheless...

I'm not saying that an asshole on feet won't be an asshole on a bike or in a car. But, mode of conveyance is a context, and as an extension of one's senses and ability to act, can and does change one's behavior.

Do you, BSNYC sir, not have a different attitude and orientation to a ride on your road bike than you do on your Xtra?

I find riding Big Apples and Albatross bars puts me in a very different frame of mind than riding drops and skinny tires, and there's something about riding a city-shod Stumpjumper that makes me wanna pop wheelies.

It doesn't answer the chicken egg problem of whether or not assholes are initially attracted to BMW's or BMW's make people into assholes, but I tend to think of that as a feedback loop anyway.

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fixie bikes said...

People are terrible, this is the art we have to deal with.

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Stacie Walpool said...

Holy crap! WTG ant1