Monday, March 21, 2011

Hold Your Lane: Rough Crossings and Triple Rushes

This past Friday, I mentioned that the nebbishes of Park Slope are complaining about (and indeed suing the city over) the extra safety afforded them by their new bike lane, while elsewhere crossing the street remains a high-risk endeavor. I also incorporated video of a crosswalk on Coney Island Avenue to show just how treacherous these crossings can be, which was about as interesting as watching skin form over a pudding--assuming of course that the pudding was sitting in the middle of Coney Island Avenue and in danger of being splattered by light-running cars.

Anyway, as an inexperienced smugness videographer, I failed in two regards:

1) I did not place a cup of pudding in the middle of Coney Island Avenue in order to ratchet up the drama;

2) I did not also create a video of what it's like to cross the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane which would serve as a basis for comparison.

Fortunately, though, it turns out that smugness factory Streetsblog recently did post such a video (still no pudding, sadly), and here it is:



So there you have it. Amazingly, Park Slopers like this woman who looks like early man in a turtleneck:

and this man who looks like an undead Harpo Marx:

think that the Prospect Park West bike lane is too dangerous, while the rest of us are supposed to make do with the seven-second death scramble.

Seems fair to me. As long as they're happy.

Speaking of city planning, whilst utilizing the Twitter I came across the following review of the book I wrate, and while I wouldn't ordinarily subject you to literary criticism I must say that I found the last line deeply offensive:

Having based pretty much every important life decision I've ever made on reducing the likelihood that I will ever have to take a bus, it horrifies me to think that someone might actually opt for that mode of transport over simply affixing two pieces of plastic (or, if you're pretentious and irresistibly compelled to divest yourself of money, hammered metal) to his bicycle.

I've long been searching for the perfect antonym for "epic," and while I guess it's not technically an antonym in that it's a phrase instead of a word, I nevertheless think I may have found it in "If it rains take the bus."

After all, you won't catch bike messengers taking the bus--or using fenders for that matter. This is because their lives are the very definition of "epic" (assuming you're using the sixth definition, which is "risking your life in a fashionable manner without remuneration"), as you will soon see in the new Travel Channel reality show, "Triple Rush:"


Yes, it's even more of a rush than the last time a television production company tried to capture the excitement and irreverence of bringing things to people by bicycle, which was only a "Double Rush:"



If nothing else, "Double Rush" brings us back to a time when mountain bikes were still "edgy" and before they were relegated to the trunk racks of Nissan Pathfinders owned by people with a fondness for baggy shorts and bands like Godsmack, and at the same time affords us a clue of what cultural fate awaits the fixed-gear bicycle.

Of course, this being 2011, the latest iteration of the messenger TV show will take reality show form. (The sitcom was long moribund even before Charlie Sheen sounded its death knell with his latest meltdown.) However, even a reality show takes time to produce, so it's worth noting that this was probably "greenlit" while messengers were enjoying their latest fixed-gear-inspired burst of popularity, and before everyone got bored of them and started doing tricks on their "fixies" instead. Given this, and the fact that a "Triple Rush" is 50% more rush-y than a "Double Rush," it will be interesting to see if this latest show lasts 50% longer than its predecessor, or if it gets cancelled 50% faster.

This is not to say that "Triple Rush" doesn't have a lot going for it--it undoubtedly does, for it boasts a formidable cast. There's a token hipster:

As well as a token hipster:

And even a token hipster:

By the way, if you're a student of hipster mathematics, you probably figured out that:

Andrew = Dillon + Seven Years of Living in Williamsburg

If that was too easy for you, here's another one. What does X equal here?

Jenessa + Two Years of Being a Bike Messenger = X

If you answered "X = Heather," then you're correct:

Though X = Jenessa - All Her Teeth would also have been acceptable.

You've also got to give the Travel Channel credit for putting together a great website, for not only is there information about the show, but there's also lots of gritty real-world video about what it's like to be a messenger on the streetzzz. For example, I really enjoyed "Bike Messenger must-haves:"

"You really need to invest in good outdoor clothing."

That's right, you heard him--when you're out there on the streetzzz, be sure to wear clothing that was designed to be worn outside. So skip the silk pajamas, Kevin Bacon:

(Not appropriate messenger attire.)

Then there's the obligatory let's-brag-about-how-much-we-crash, which you'll find in "Worst bike accidents in NYC:"


"Just constant injury almost. It's just a dirty job."

I've watched countless messenger-themed videos at this point, and I still can't figure out if they think all the crashing is a good thing or a bad thing.

Anyway, if "Triple Rush" is a hit, hopefully the Travel Channel will spin off some other exciting shows about people's jobs, like "Venti Latte:"

"You really need to invest in a good apron. Just constant exposure to milk almost, it's definitely not a job for the lactose intolerant. If you don't think it's as hardcore as being a bike messenger then you never had to kick a homeless guy out of the bathroom."

After that they could do "Priority Mail:"

"You really need to invest in a good sun hat. Just constant exposure to anthrax almost, plus we deliver envelopes, use big bags, and work in foul weather just like bike messengers do. Sure, we have benefits and a union, but that doesn't make us any less hardcore. Taxis are nothing compared to a disgruntled coworker with an automatic rifle. Cute bike there, Quicksilver, come say 'hello' to David Berkowitz."

Speaking of "epic" (I was many paragraphs ago), cycledom's foremost purveyors of "epic," Rapha, are so profoundly "epic" that they have transcended videos of epic riding and have broken through into the rarefied world of epic soups:


Sure, you could just open up a can of Progresso--and if it rains, you could also take the bus.

Because you can't spell "recipe" without "epic." (Or without transposing the "p" and the "c.")

126 comments:

Anonymous said...

go badgers!

Anonymous said...

Yo Snobbie- good to have you back

Anonymous said...

Podium?

David said...

4th...waaa

Anonymous said...

GO VEGAN.

ringcycles said...

Pozatto!

ken e. said...

coffee fueled snoberati!

Mark Angevine said...

But if you fully-reverse the letters, it's even "epicer"!!

Caleb said...

recipe has epic backwards. Maybe that's your antonym.

Anonymous said...

Repica is a Rapha tradename
Hands off beaverboi!

samh said...

A reality show about NYC bloggers is imminent.

Anonymous said...

huggy just missses the Top 10

Anonymous said...

top 10

Anonymous said...

1st try.Top 20?

Stephen said...

Hey Bike Snob, what gives? I've been reading your blog for ages, finally comment on Friday's post, and you ignore my rant on how your yankee bike law enforcement crackdown is invading Atlanta just like General Sherman?

adamdoesit said...

What does a collection of artisinal knives have to do with lentil soup? Are lentils so epic in their hugeness that they must be cut down to size?

hillbilly said...

can't spell epic without pie. speaking of which, no comment on the XUP clowns on PPW?

ringcycles said...

"...who looks like early man in a turtleneck"

Nah, more like Dorf on civil protest.

mikeweb said...

I think the Travel Channel people need to do a 'collabo' between messengers and the Park Slope Westies. For a working title, I'm thinking "Triple Nebbish"...

Anonymous said...

the time some may want to avoid riding a bike (cold/wet) is exactly the time taking the bus sucks!

Terre Haute Karl said...

Double Rush...that brings back memories. Shortly before that show aired, I was in Las Vegas and my wife & I were given $25 to be part of a focus group for the show. We sat & watched the pilot and then had to fill out a questionnaire. I was so annoyed by the show I was writing long angry answers to all the questions and about half way through I look up and everyone else was long gone, my wife is tapping her foot waiting for me, and I'm like "hang on, gimme another minute." That show was just painful. Good times, good times...

OBA said...

R.I.P. Louie Anderson.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"...Taxis are nothing compared to a disgruntled coworker with an automatic rifle. Cute bike there, Quicksilver, come say 'hello' to David Berkowitz."

Nice one Snob.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to Rapha to figure out a way to make Lentil soup require a $500+ knife investment.

Anonymous said...

Take the bus?
A friend of mine used to refer to Muni (our bus service) as "The Center for Disease Transmission." In the winter the overcrowded and wet passengers fog up the windows. Every hand-hold iscovered in slime. Nasty. I'll ride in th open thank you.
Also, that putz took all the stickers from a library book? What a putz.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A bike messenger story not likely to appear on Triple Rush:
I was lucky enough to be a bike messenger living in Manhattan. Lots of
fringe benefits; one of them being--going home for lunch.
I had a co-worker buddy who used to stop by. One time I
gave him a set of keys, so he could feed my cats while I was on vacation. He did a good job and I let him hold on to the keys. One day I'm home for lunch and I noticed a messenger bag full of packages on the kitchen floor. Next I see my buddy. He tells me he met a chick on the street and they were just about to consumate their relationship. It was
a studio apartment. I told him to take her in the bathroom.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

ant1 said...

recipe is epicer backwards.

Anonymous said...

Recipe backwards is epicer? What could be more epic than that?

g-roc said...

The only thing worse than taking the bus is riding in a smelly, rolling steam room full of wet passengers, not having a clue where you are because the windows are fogged up.

I am the steel only engine said...

They even make fenders out of bamboo, so please don't take the bus.

They also make water bottles out of bamboo, but it is a superficial wrapping around some bpa plastic, so it kind of defeats the purpose.

MMMM. Bambooo.

Anonymous said...

This just in:

JPow riding for Rapha/Condor. Condor is the latest attempt to charge excessive prices for the same OEM kit found on ebay. Super-charged smugness! What's happened to cyclocrossworld's funding?

Staying true to Los Angeles' love of litigation, cyclists are preparing for new, better, civil penalties. http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/protecting-bicyclists-rights-anti-harassment-ordinance-soon-to-be-law/

It's not law yet, and probably won't be. Seeing how one of their own finally(20+ years later) got busted. http://laist.com/2008/07/07/road_rage_motorist_vs_cyclists_on_m.php A law benefiting a few liberals straying from the bike path won't pass. The elite of los angeles rule their autopia with an iron fist.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, bad news, the New York centric don't care about Atlanta or Georgie, or really anything south of the Mason Dixon except for New Orleans.

crosspalms said...

I can see why the PPW early-man types are upset about the bike lane. That video is terrifying. No wonder the pudding refused to appear in it.

Fired by Bloomberg said...

turtleneck = http://amzn.to/hUqbPj

Tom Hughes said...

Actually recipe is epic"er" backwards. Not only is it the anti-epic, it is more that that, hence the "er".

Anonymous said...

adam goldberg, david arquette and the late, great robert pastorelli and double rush still didn't make it past one season? there indeed is no accounting for the fickle taste of the american public.

Gift Horse Dental Hygienist said...

"..the nebbishes of Park Slope are complaining about (and indeed suing the city over) the extra safety afforded them by their new bike lane"

I'd argue (but probably not persuasively)that there is a neglible or even negative safety benefit of adding bike lanes, but the feeling of safety is probably increased and that's really the goal.

Anonymous said...

For Sale - Real Bike Messenger Lock

http://bit.ly/eXsgEm

Anonymous said...

With those knives it must be WILD Lentil Soup.

Anonymous said...

Fodder:
Dangerous Cycling (1934)
http://www.archivalclothing.com/2011/03/cycling-dangerously-practices-condemned.html

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that $200,000+ NYU education going to good use...

Anonymous said...

Why do you need knives to make soup?

Domestic or wild or organic lentil soup?

I just use a spoon, is that wrong?

Anonymous said...

I see from the review that there are stickers with your book. How do I download those onto my Kindle?

Catfish Hunter said...

Triple Rush. Reminds me of a PJ O'Rourke comment: These folks are living a wiffle-ball life. Substance, weight, gravitas and a horsehide fastball? No way,just the whistle of the ball with the holes in it........

David Henderson said...

Double Rush. Blast from the past. Love to see the "kid" make a delivery now.

I don't know where the "kid" is now-a-days, but I'll bet that where ever he is, he probably isn't smelling too good.

Kaliente Karl said...

There is something about this post that makes me want to take a Rapha knife, cut my wrists, crawl under my bed, and slowly bleed to death.

Anonymous said...

45th

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:35 PM: ....the New York centric don't care about Atlanta or Georgia, or really anything south of the Mason Dixon except for New Orleans....

- but the New York centric do give the illusion of caring, as in "...we blessed the residents of Atlanta with our presence so as to afford them a glimpse of a refined culture, and also so we could check that city off of our list".

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:12 - (can't believe I'm talking about soup) Not all soup comes from a can.

Concerned 2.0 said...

Bikers complaining about pedestrians is the same as car drivers complaining about bikers. Pedestrians = lowest on the food chain = get priority.

Anonymous said...

Godsmack? You're trolling, right?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1.11: After some reflection, and counselling, I left all the stickers in the book I borrowed from the library. Mainly because I'm over 21, and had no idea what to do with them.

Anonymous said...

Rapha's epic canned soup: made in China, from herbs that grow on Mt. Ventoux.

Chris said...

AND OF COURSE RECIPE SPELLED BACKWARD IS EPIC-ER

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grog said...

If you don't buy the book, then take the bus.

aprillikesbikes said...

So, let me get this straight: That reviewer rides the bus whenever it rains?

Tell him to move to Portland. He'd be riding the bus/train pretty much every day except for July and August and maybe parts of June and September.

Fenders forever!

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Major Larry Labia said...

WTF spelled backwards is kcufehttahw.

my2hands said...

"They terk er jerbs"

It took that dude two weeks to read your book?

Oh, and go Buckeyes!

Anonymous said...

Knives; they're for chopping the bacon that goes into the lentil soup, no?

Epic shopping in France.

Epicèrie.

hey nonny mouse

crosspalms said...

Epic readings in philosophy: Epictetus.
Epic warnings about our future from Cipo: epicenity.

Nebraska bike commuter (non d.w.i. edition) ) said...

Recipe may be epic-er backwards, (I think I read that somewhere) but "If it rains, take the Bus" makes another Snobby acronym.

IIRTTB

Kaliente Karl said...

If you had a recipe for dinosaur meat, it would be truly epicene.

bikesgonewild said...

...'sdrawkcab' is 'backwards' backwards...

...that might not be a recipe for epic but (1)-it's a fact, (2)-i'm the only one mentioning that as opposed to the 43 of you who commented on epicer & (3)-backwards backwards has a 3 letter word for taxi included...

...speaking of which, "double rush", despite a decent cast, was hoping to play on the format of the great tv sitcom "taxi", also set in lower manhattan & which had a superb cast...danny devito, marilu henner, tony danza, christopher lloyd, carol kane, judd hirsch, andy kaufman & at the time an 'un-drugged to the gills' jeff conway...

...so...'double rush', better than a sharp stick in the eye...upcoming "triple rush" ???...better wear your glasses...

...just sayin'...

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

Toothless Eh?

crosspalms said...

bgw,
And an anagram of backwards is bawd racks. These are excellent bicycle accessories for carrying the likes of the recumbent lass who took today off.

Marcel Da Chump said...

What? No bike messenger comments?
This one's for the cast of Triple Rush:
I was at the scene after a bike messenger's head
was crushed by a truck's wheel. There was so much blood,
the ground looked like it was covered in thick paint.
Fast and carefree has a high price.

Velo Shitstorm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Velo Shitstorm said...

messenger comment you were looking for; http://veloshitstorm.blogspot.com/2011/03/monster-track-2011.html

bikesgonewild said...

...crosspalms...good point...i was kinda looking at the word anagramatically myself but, hey, let's be honest, i was getting all confused...

...btw...i just watched that episode of 'double rush' & like the series when it was on tv, it actually was funny & well written with good hooks but i see again what i knew at the time...it wasn't gonna last because most folks can't relate to, nor do they care about "bike culture" stuff...

..."...mores the shame..." to put it in literary context...

g-roc said...

Hey, guess what? Epic-er is re-cipE spelled backwards! I can't believe no one's pointed this out yet!

... oh wait, but I'm in the top ten right? Top twenty?

Onyer Lefft said...

Crosspalms, look again. Disembodied recumbabe legs.

Anonymous said...

Did it actually take Bryan two and a half weeks to read your book?
I know, figuring out how to tear up a library book must have taxed his intellect to the hilt, but even then.

Friendo said...

PUDN SKIN

TRPL RUSH

BUSB UMER

RING FACE

TOOT HLES

LNTL SOUP

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 6:39pm...no, actually it took him like a year + the two & a half weeks & he got it from the library...

...& on top of that, he'd rather take the bus than use fenders in the rain...

...douchebag 'bry' must be a close personal friend of ev bogus...

bikesgonewild said...

...& all this talk of 'pudding skins' is like way to close to the revelations about 'coney island whitefish', ya ???...

...prob'ly hard to tell the difference in the gloaming at a rainy crosswalk...

Sopy said...

My lentil soup includes lots of chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Then I add cooked lentils (so they don't absorb all the flavor). Bacon is nice too!
But all I really need is a paring knife.
It seems that overkill with amount and quality of equipment is The American Way.

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I could use some epic pussy right about now.

Marcel Da Chump said...

I know a couple of the veterans on Triple Rush. The dispatcher Rocket and the biker Greg.
Rocket and I rode for the same company two decades ago. He was a real hard worker and a fun guy; loved to tell funny stories-like the time he grabbed a handfull of a hooker's ass and rode way as she yelled out to him, "you got it, Puerto Rico!".
Greg is an artist. An excellent draughtsman who's won Phil Wood hubs and a Brooks saddle ,among other prizes, for his bike-themed drawings. That's Greg Ugalde, Snob. Remember?

Anonymous said...

Being a bike messenger is really not all that exciting. Sorry.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Being anonymous is not all that exciting. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

how's the dummydex these days?
http://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/2278482458.html

Anonymous said...

I was in Williamsburg yesterday...that whole area needs to get its ass kicked, pronto. Who let these candy-asses into MY city?

bikesgonewild said...

...marcel da chump...do think anon 8:52pm is the same anonymous as anon 10:09pm or just another 'anon 00:00am/pm' who's also afraid to commit to an identity but feels 'ok' filling in ???...

...we honestly wouldn't know even if they tried to verify one way or another...

...in a world made more 'corporate' every day, wherein one's identity is now all about the number(s) one represents, you'd think these 'anon 00:00 am/pm's' would want to stand up for something other than anonymity...

...guess they're 'comfortable' that way...

JDH said...

Top 80!

PawnShop said...

Epicer:
Taking prepared food and reverting it to the original form of its ingredients. If the prepared food contains dairy, and you didn't stuff a calf into a cow's uterus, you weren't "epicer".

Anonymous said...

From what people are saying, Triple Rush will be as real as a reality show gets. I'm looking forward to it.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

agreed, the busses and trains always suck and they suck much more on rainy days - so does the car driving (in rush hour anyway).

the only thing I don't like about riding in the rain are THESE STUPID FUCKIN' PANTS I HAVE TO WEAR TO STAY DRY!

leroy said...

Scoff if you must, but anyone named Toothless Heather would of necessity know all one needs to know about epic soup.

bikesgonewild said...

...leroy...you are, as always, the voice of fucking reason...

...ahh, not "fucking" reason so much as "fuckin'" reason...

...you're so reasonable (even though it's perhaps with the help of your dog) that i know you know what i mean...

Philip Williamson said...

Anon 1:11 - my SF-raised friend used to refer to Muni as The Shame Train. The shame extended to all buses everywhere.

網站設計 said...

hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!

Velo Shitstorm said...

A lot of liberal arts degrees among the cast of Triple Rush. College loans are a bitch on $13,000.00 a year and $950.00 a month rent for a one room flat in Brooklyn.

fabricio said...

yep overeducated white kids are the only messengers. they'll do it until daddy stops paying for their insurance

Stupid Name said...

98 comments on soup.

Anonymous said...

If that messenger lady is the smartest person you`ll ever meet, her dream should be to work for Doctors witout borders as a......doctor.

Johnny Crash said...

Triple Rush - I see an opportunity for some product placement:

http://www.hiplok.com/

David said...

If naked recumbent girl becomes a messenger and has her own episode on reality TV, I would watch that show. But she probably doesn't have good enough outdoor clothing.

And nebbish? What the hell is a nebbish? I get that the word is some kind of insult, but come on, Snob; it's like you live in New York, or something.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Bgw,
You're so spot-on with that corporate riff.
Some folks are innocently living in a "Brave New World".

Burt Reynolds said...

You holier-than-thou "non" anonymous types crack me up.

Yawn.

Loni Anderson said...

You were happy in my hole, Burt.

Jack Lemmon said...

Damn it, I was holier than Walter Matthau!

Tony Randall said...

But you were not holeyer than Walter's socks.

Walter Matthau said...

I never had holey socks. Bought new ones, wore them once, and threw them out. Putz.

zoomer said...

zoom
lantern rouge

Oscar Madison said...

Felix!

Bert said...

You think Felix was a pain in the ass? Just try living with Ernie.

Bert said...

I mean Oscar. Not not that Oscar. Gee, this is confusing...

space alien outside your window said...

yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring!

yip yip yip yip yip yip!

Anonymous said...

I once got a BJ from toothless Heather, but she was a crack whore, not a bike messenger.

Tym said...

i think they found all the white hipster couriers in NYC

Jack Klugman said...

Sorry I'm late guys. I was down at the track. Hey, anybody seen Rip Torn? He owes me fifty bucks.

D. Hawerchuk said...

holy shit, whoever came up with the cast of The Odd Couple, Sesame Street, et al is a fuckin genius. I'm crying, sweating, AND peeing myself at the same time. Thank you for some much needed humor in a seriously fucked up time. and I know I'm a day late but I'm so glad I read the comments. GOLD!

Jack Klugman said...

Seriously, if anyone sees Rip, please let me know. I didn't have such a good day at the track, and I could use that fifty bucks about now.

Jeanne said...

Recipe is epicer, spelled backwards. It's what makes chefs so much cooler than bike messengers and mountain bikers.

Anonymous said...

just what exactly is Sammy Hagar and that cop guy from the Village People up to in that foto!!

Anonymous said...

So that is how one operates a "sling bag."

Anonymous said...

check out cyclelogicalgear.com their killing it. Their USA made products are sweet!!!

PCM said...

It doesn't have to rain to justify fenders: I bike through horse urine!

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retretret said...

The Descendants (Alexander Payne) ***1/2 - Alexander Payne, for me at least,
is a mixed bag of a filmmaker. I thought his early work,
Citizen Ruth and Election are a lot stronger as a whole, from his latter works,
About Schmidt and Sideways. This is like the latter two, an imperfect film,
far from a masterpiece but the strong ensemble of actors especially George Clooney in the central
role rises above the flaws and give this film a whole lot of depth and emotional heft without being too saccharine or cliched.
It's overall a very, very good film.

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retretret said...

Unfortunately, what we can see in western Europe and US has nothing to do with capitalism. Among other deformations,
huge amount of activities which are in capitalism performed by entrepreneurs are carried out by governments.
If we ask "is capitalism in crisis" in this situation, this question is meaningless

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Fixie Bikes said...

Woah, that dude really does look like harpo.