Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sticker Me Nonplussed: Saving Us From Ourselves

This morning, or yesterday evening, or whenever it was, the world of professional cycling was rocked by a shocking piece of news: 2006 Tour de France winner-for-awhile Floyd Landis is retiring from the sport. Not only that, but he also boldly declared that cycling "cannot be fixed," and that even if it could "that's not my job." This deftly noncomittal shirking of any responsibility indicates that he may already have obtained a lucrative job with an airline, medical insurer, or government agency:

However, Landis will not abandon cycling altogether, though he did lay out specific guidelines for any future participation:

"I'll always ride my bike. But I'll never start on a line on a road and try to get to another line on a road faster than another guy. That's over."

Not only would this rule out any sort of road racing, but it would also implicitly prohibit him from partaking in the increasingly popular discipline of "Cat 6" commuter racing. Still, it does leave the door tantalizingly open for a return to mountain bike racing, as well as trackstanding contests, fixed-gear skidding competitions, bicycle-themed hipster party games that participants hilariously refer to as "sports" such as fixed-gear freestyling and bike polo, and of course an attempt at Sam Whittingham's 82.33mph HPV land speed record:

I should point out that "HPV" in this case stands for "Human Powered Vehicle" and not "Human Papillomavirus."

That would be one fast genital wart.

Speaking of land speed records, Whittingham's falls just shy of 88mph, which, as everybody knows, is the magical speed at which time travel becomes possible--provided of course your vehicle is equipped with a Flux capacitor. This would explain how the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork has been flitting about so readily, and in fact yesterday a commenter named "Chris" discovered his temporal portal:


Note that the above image affords us the opportunity to observe him clad in full tights and assuming an untenable position that suggests either a soul patch-ruffling high-speed descent, or else an extremely aero trackstand.

Clearly we are going to be seeing a lot more of this "young man riding a bicycle," and in fact here's yet another perspective from an ad for the London to Paris Cycle Challenge which was forwarded to me by a reader:

This is a highly significant find, for it's the first time we've been able to get a good look at his bike setup, complete with pre-UCI rule change TT geometry:

I'm not sure what that "mystery dingle" is, but I'm guessing it's the Flux capacitor.

But not all dingles are mysterious--sometimes they can take berry form. And without a doubt the Dingleberry of the Moment has to be Eric Ulrich, the New York City Councilman behind the latest mandatory bike registration proposal:

("I used to tell on people in elementary school.")

Ulrich wants city cyclists to pay a small fee for a mandatory registration sticker that they would affix to their bicycles. His proposal first gained citywide attention when he declared that cyclists don't carry identification because "they're in Spandex and whatnot," and that they "scare the hell out of" the senior citizens in his district, who apparently prefer the swift death that accompanies being run down by a motor vehicle. Since then, he's clarified his position by confirming beyond doubt that he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about:

I have never, never seen a cop car pull over a bicyclist for running through a red light. I wish they would, because those are the ones who are creating problems every day in the city. If these people are not obeying traffic laws, they should be held accountable...

First of all, what problems? Second of all, even when they're not in the midst of a "crackdown," police pull over cyclists and give them tickets all the time, as I'm sorry to say I know all too well. Just because you've never seen something doesn't mean it's not happening--I've never seen rats have sex either, yet somehow they manage to reproduce in staggering numbers and even ride the subway. Maybe if we institute mandatory rat registration then all the vermin will start behaving themselves.

The most irritating thing about the bike registration idea is that it's completely gratuitous, since cyclists are already totally accountable for their actions. If you break a traffic law on your bicycle in New York City, the police pull you over and give you a ticket, just like they do if you're driving a car--complete with the same schedule of fines--and if you don't pay it bad things happen to you. In fact, you're even more accountable on a bicycle than you are in a car, since if you have a driver's license and you fail to pay the ticket you got while cycling then they'll suspend your driver's license and you won't be able to drive. Meanwhile, if you run a light in your car nobody's going to try to keep you from cycling--though maybe that's where this whole bike registration thing is going, in which case all those people who get caught driving drunk aren't going to be able to ride old crappy 10-speeds with "bum bars" anymore, and are instead going to have to get around on Rollerblades.

Worst of all, mandatory citywide bicycle registration will have no impact on the worst cycling scofflaws anyway. Take the brakeless hipsters, for example. I'd wager that 80% of Williamsburg hipsters have an out-of-state driver's license with their parents' address on it, which means that when they get pulled over for running a light and the cop asks to see their bicycle registration all they have to do is show their California ID and explain that they're just in town for Monstertrack. Plus, electric bicycles are already illegal in New York state, yet that's not stopping food delivery people from riding them 20mph on the sidewalk. The whole thing evokes the whole "nametag fiasco" from "Seinfeld," and Ulrich's chief advisor must be Lloyd Braun.

All of this is enough to make you want to move to Portland--until you consider that a lawmaker in Oregon (that's the state where they have Portland) is actually trying to ban child "portaging," as I recently learned from a reader:

(Portlanders upon hearing the news: "This calls for immediate discussion!")

I'd gladly take putting a registration sticker on my bike over not having the right to carry my own child on it, and should this law pass it would undermine Portland's smugness irrevocably. Artisanal framebuilders and cycling soup vendors are all pretty good sources of self-satisfaction, but there is no more smug cycling act than throwing a bunch of towheaded children with last names for first names into a "bakfiets," and if Portlanders are unable to do that they might as well just turn their compost heaps into tire fires and start drinking Sanka instead of Stumptown. At the same time, there's no cheaper argument than invoking children's lives, which is what Mitch Greenlick is doing:

"If it's true that it's unsafe, we have an obligation to protect people. If I thought a law would save one child's life, I would step in and do it. Wouldn't you?"

Absolutely--which is why I'm sure he also wants to ban children under six from cars and airplanes. In fact, I think we should take this even further and pass a federal law that makes it illegal to let children outside until they're 21 years old, after which, until they're 35, they can only leave the house if they're accompanied by a parent and legal guardian and are wearing a helmet. Williamsburg would then look like a great big Pop Warner football game--which, thanks to the advent of hipster kickball, is pretty much what it looks like already.

So where can you go if you're willing to take a little responsibility for yourself and you don't mind playing somewhat "fast and loose" with the safety of your offspring? Well, if you look fabulous enough, maybe you can move to Copenhagen and become "Cycle Chic:"


Actually, since that Oregon law would only prohibit you from carrying your child on the bike or in a trailer, this might technically be legal.

125 comments:

Anonymous said...

top

ken e. said...

what?

Anonymous said...

POH-dee-umm ?

Anonymous said...

it was the tailwind...

Astroluc said...

top 5?

Latin PIg said...

OurthFay

Anonymous said...

Top ten....

Anonymous said...

Thank you bike commuters for turning Portland into the most legislated place to ride a bike in America

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No Comment.

mikeweb said...

Bird is the word

samh said...

Just say no to hipsters. Floyd's apparently on board. Landis said, "...cycling 'cannot be fixed'".

Telonicus McPhaerson said...

America, fuck yeah!

gator joe said...

So Snob,
When you moving to Portland?

I am a retro bike engine said...

Picking on Landis just seems mean at this point.

Picking on tri-dork and stock photos is great, and I wait to hear where he will pop up next.

The new lone wolf for 2011.

Anonymous said...

http://bit.ly/Bi7aY

http://bit.ly/htU4Pw

mikeweb said...

Maybe the stock bike photo guy will reap enough royalties from his image use to be able to buy a new black saddle pack and a matching black t-shirt.

le Correcteur said...

Paused to read; missed top 10; top 20 though?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"Mystery dingle"

I'll be laughing about that for the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

Green lick, heh.

crosspalms said...

Floyd may have a future as a stock photo model and will be able to explain how there are no drugs, none, in the mystery dingle.

Anonymous said...

here is the bike dork on his way to work:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-10932223-businessman-in-a-suit.php

Note that he hasn't changed his bike. Maybe stock photography doesn't pay well enough to buy two bikes.

Grump said...

I believe that Floyd is planning to get a job at UPS so that he can start paying back all that money he fooled people into giving him.

Doug said...

I fear no plastisizer test. I store my blood in wine bottles. It's burgundy in color, and goes in the 'fridge just like a fine Bordeaux. Perfect for that lazy TDF rest day refreshment.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we institute mandatory rat registration then all the vermin will start behaving themselves."

Rats do not wear lycra, they never carry identification, and proper identification is moot since they all look alike. This makes them alot like hipsters and oriental delivery men.

Anonymous said...

The mystery dingle is obviously a minimalist fender.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A registration sticker on my PX10? Merde! No way! Maybe
a registration dingle.

Anonymous said...

fookin´ rats´ dingles!

Buffalo Bill said...

Nice pram!

Retro Fred said...

If Councilman Ulrich hasn't seen it, then it must not exist. Sounds logical to me.

Anonymous said...

Too late again....this sucks

CommieCanuck said...

I loved Landis' big announcement, talk about redundant. "I can't be fired, because I quit".
Anyway, he's got a new job already as Kid Rock's groupee sex stunt double, which could bring back the second interpretation of HPV.

CommieCanuck said...

I believe that Floyd is planning to get a job at UPS so that he can start paying back all that money he fooled people into giving him.

Seriously, what kind of pathetic people contribute to a sports celebrity's defense fund? Don't these people have Nigerian Princesses to support?

grog said...

pramcycle
mysdingle
ratistration

crosspalms said...

If child seats are outlawed, then only outlaws will have child seats.

Anonymous said...

Evidently time travel has the unwanted side effect of changing the crank from the right to the left side of the bike.

H

Test Tickle said...

am i the only person who noticed the left side drivetrain in the retro rad racer from yesterday's trip-athlon ad?

for this, i feel i should stand atop today's podium.

YOUR SLOW

balls.

Anonymous said...

AYHSMMD!!!

(All You Haters Suck My Mystery Dingle)

Dick Cheney said...

NOTM YJOB

FOCK YRSF

HERT ATAK

Anonymous said...

Snobby, this is EXACTLY what the child protection services (at least in Texas) want you to do! "...it illegal to let children outside until they're 21 years old, after which, until they're 35, they can only leave the house if they're accompanied by a parent and legal guardian and are wearing a helmet."

Anonymous said...

am i the only person who noticed the left side drivetrain in the retro rad racer from yesterday's trip-athlon ad?

Apparently not. Anon (not me) beat you by 6 minutes.

Does it count that I noticed that the entire photo was flopped when I first read the post?

hillbilly said...

Floyd's statement wouldn't keep him from cat 6 racing, since there is no start or finish line, you know, which is what also keeps it from being racing.

Onan-O-mouth said...

xXxtremely areo trackstand!

Strong Light Speed said...

There was time not too long ago when you could carry anything on your bike, provided you kept yourself upright and rolling
straight. I've carried kids, girlfriends and pets on a bike with
without the stigma of being an outlaw. But these days there
are people who've taken it upon themselves to guard us from danger. Don't know if I should be grateful or scared.

Indy Falconheads said...

screw y'all.

I'm getting me a dingle.

bikesgonewild said...

...i actually like ol' floyd but i thought his recent race results suggested he retired a couple a' years ago...

...'eric ulrich' is just bitter that his german cousin 'jan ulrich' was accused of being a part of 'operation puerto' which involved selling illegal timeshares in spanish coastal cities...

3G said...

why can't you be more like Lloyd Braun?

3G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Test Tickle said...

dammit! was ganked by someone who calls themselves "H"

apparently heroin is the new dope....

VEIN STIK

balls.

dominic said...

So there's a job to "fix bicycling" and Floyd turned it down. I heard it's run by a non-profit.

Kenny Banya said...

"samh said...
Just say no to hipsters. Floyd's apparently on board. Landis said, "...cycling 'cannot be fixed'"."

Gold samh, GOLD!

Retro Fred said...

I put some radical new bars on my bike & just got my yellow t shirt back from the cleaners. Anyone know where there's a triathlon this weekend?

gsport george said...

Ulrich (who has got a gap suspiciously close to the width of a safety razor between his very sculpted eyebrows, cant he proudly wear a mono-brow and still be ridiculed for his views alone?) clearly considers the bike registration just a first step:-
"But if you're 18 and use city streets, you should be accountable.... they share the roads with drivers and pedestrians and they have a responsibility to follow the same laws."

He clearly intends to extend the registration to pedestrians who will presumably need to get a licence too.


The chin-hiding Mitch Greenlick on the other hand is clearly trying to PROMOTE Bakfiets since he cleverly worded his statement to cover children on the BACK of the bike or in trailers. Clearly the powerful Dutch Bike Lobby is firing the first shots in the war against the Madsen...

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:29, I thought the delivery men were all Puerto Rican, not oriental? At least that's what some German said last week.

Anonymous said...

If there was rat registration instituted then Councilman Ulrich would have to register as a sex offender.

e.e crankset said...

Brakeless hipsters
Make me want to
Break something.
Or fix them
So they can't
Reproduce.

CommieCanuck said...

Anon 1:29, I thought the delivery men were all Puerto Rican, not oriental? At least that's what some German said last week.

Only a Spaniard would post this.

FOOK TARD said...

Bike polo is too a sport!
But at least you didn't deny that cycle ball was a sport.
Because it's UCI-sanctioned?

The mystery dingle may be akin to the beard of a wild turkey.

Neil said...

Have you ever tried to ride with a 7 year old in a child seat? It's not as easy as it sounds.

Anonymous said...

If you outlaw child-portaging, only outlaws will have children. M'kay?

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

WTF with Eric "The Dingleberry" Ulrich's eyebrows?!

Ugh said...

And now you can get a ticket for running a red light in Central Park, even during car-free hours. Geez, I do my best to obey the law, but this sounds like a bunch of lazy cops shooting fish in a barrel to fill a quota.

http://gothamist.com/2011/01/18/cyclists_fined_270_for_running_red.php

CommieCanuck said...

Bike carriers don't kill children, children kill children.

They'll have to pry my child carrier from my cold, dead, sticky and slightly smelly hands.

headset haiku said...

Eric Ulrich lost a bit
of his mind and sense
when he shaved off unibrow.

Salty and Sore said...

About the NYC vermin control...

This is just a thought from way out here on the left coast, but maybe the city should buy all the rats Mets tickets, and teach them about baseball.

Houston's LoneWolf said...

Nobody likes a rat, just say'n

Salty and Sore said...

@samh and Anon 3:28-

Bravo!

ervgopwr said...

Gold today, what's instore for Wednesday?

My guess is Floyd unretires, shows his junk to some jets personel and then re-retires and goes home to mississippi.

db said...

Man, poor start for 2011... perhaps a stupidity tax is in order?

Marcel Da Chump said...

I apologize for the countless red lights I rode my bikes through in my forty years of cycling in NewYork. Now
that Eric Ulrich has enlightened me to all the problems I created-homelessness, violent crime, unemployment,the long lines at Trader Joe's and so on and so on- Ilive in shame and contrition. MEA CULPA. I'm lashing my back raw.

Bil Smith said...

The cycling legislation that Bike Snob mentioned, HB 2228, has not yet been assigned to a committee. BikePortland.org reports Rep. Greenlick agreed that when (and if) the bill comes before a committee, he will move to strike the violation provision (see http://bikeportland.org/2011/01/13/breaking-greenlick-bill-to-be-amended-changed-to-study-only-45977). Apparently you can monitor the status of HB 2228 at http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2011/hb2228/

Anonymous said...

nothing worse than dumbfuck logic! If one life is saved then I support it???? If any of my representatives displayed this logic I would do everything possible to assure they never held public office again

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cat 6 racing, have you seen the "silly commuter racing" thread on the bikeradar forums? Admittedly, it's somewhat London-centric; it's quite entertaining though, even for those who don't live there.

hey nonny green thing

pumpkin eater said...

Can't believe Floyd's getting press when Lance is on the hot seat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you snob for pointing out the absolute stupidity of the "if just one life is saved" arguments. Lob protect us from those who can't understand the concept of cost-benefit.

elsailor said...

"bicycle-themed hipster party games that participants hilariously refer to as 'sports' such as fixed-gear freestyling and bike polo"

don't forget stationary sprinting! IRO Sprints, Goldsprints, or whatever the kids are calling 'em these days.

Stranded said...

Lloyd Braun rides a ten-speed! Actually, both Lloyd Brauns ride a ten-speed, or rather two ten-speeds, I expect, since, as those of us who watch Seinfeld reruns when we should be out riding know, at least two different actors appeared as LB.

Mario Minimalisto said...

Brooks has finally made available The Worlds First Full Leather Douche' Bag*


*This product NOT to be used outdoors while raining or in a heavy morning dew.

The girl in the short skirt said...

I predict Floyd's next move will be to send the email he is no doubt even now crafting, which will threaten to accuse the makers of Michelob light "beer" of putting banned substances in their brew if they don't give him his very own commercial, just like Lance's only lamer. As any good fred should know, cheap Scotch and 7up is a much better drink on which to run red lights and not know it. Long live the crappy ten-speed.

Anonymous said...

You never disappoint.

Atala the Pun said...

Nor do you dis a point.

BoaB said...

@ Neil said...
"Have you ever tried to ride with a 7 year old in a child seat? It's not as easy as it sounds.

January 18, 2011 4:08 PM"

Well, no, actually. I have never tried to ride with a 7 year old in a child seat. There just never seems to be enough room in the seat for both of us.

Hmh said...

Hiya - drift trikes in New Zealand - it sounds cool but IMHO just isn't. Gratuitously stupid footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URAkFJvuHZY
and here:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealand/news/article.cfm?l_id=71&objectid=10700599

(OK, not sure if this is breaking news, and yes it's three wheels not two... but I live in NZ, I am a proud Kiwi, and yet at the same time this is the nation that gave the world the Ugg boot and wheelie bin racing, plus national coverage of a punchup at a lawn mower race because nothing more interesting was happening. Love your country, just love it with open eyes.)

hardy said...

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&similar_photo_id=&searchterm=cyclist&anyorall=all&search_cat=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&search_group=all&orient=all&photographer_name=&searchtermx=&safesearch=&color=

ce said...

Hmh, you Kiwis may well claim the recumbent alternative to the fuxie craze as your own, but how dare you make claim to Australia's beloved Ugg boot? On yer bike! ...or skiddy trike thingy...

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

Thanks Snob, stock photography of bicycles is an underexploited gold mine of hilarity. Please keep digging. Time travelling mountain bikers with bar end mounted dingles breaking the 88mph threshold in skin suits next if possible please.

Wayward Son said...

Why did I click on the greenish hipster kickballer? I'm upping my meds as of right now.

Anonymous said...

More spokes in front. 36 vs 32 rear.

Diego said...

Nice

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

You're smug, self-righteous and sarcastic.

I laughed so hard at this post that I peed in my pants.

Keep up the good work.

At least I think it was pee. With me you never know.

thorpej said...

Uh... isn't Retro-Fred-From-Tridork's bike a Nishiki Linear "Funnybike"? I could swear that the front wheel is smaller than the rear wheel...

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