Thursday, April 14, 2011

Safety First, Cyclists Second: All You Riders Feel My Backlash

Further to yesterday's post, in which I mentioned fashion bloggist The Sartorialer, I continue to marvel over the notion that he thinks people should start wearing bicycle locks around their waists.

This is ludicrous for any number of reason, though primarily because the average feeble fashionista would be unable to lift a Kryptonite chain lock, much less walk (or sashay) while wearing one. At best, the fashion world would be laid low by a rash of hip and lower back injuries, and at worst some of the industry's brightest stars would be drowned in unfortunate Hamptons pool party mishaps as their heavy metal accessories consigned them to watery graves in Davy Jones's chlorinate, kidney-shaped locker. I'd hate to be the pool cleaner who had to deal with that scene come Monday morning.

Still, I found myself quite taken by The Stentorianist's comments section. In fact, like a bike lock-clad fashionista on the bottom of a swimming pool, I was unable to tear myself away. This is mostly because I was amazed that many of the commenters seemed like the sorts of people who put Hello Kitty stickers next to their signatures on important documents, but also because apparently the bike chain thing has been done before:

chanel did the biker chain look in 1992.
Model Kristen Mcmenamy on the cover of italian vogue may 1992...complete with an oversize chain belt..
Chanel mixed up a few looks at that time..mixing biker with rapper..and the heavy chains were all part of that.

But the angularity of the biker chain in the first photo ( which reminds me of the necklace Michael Kors sent down the runway..2 years ago) would be a nice update and a retrospective at the same time.

So evidently Chanel didn't think the bike chain look was dumb enough on its own and wisely threw some "rapper" in there for good measure. I'm really kicking myself for missing the messenger/rapper craze, it sounds like it must have been sublimely idiotic. (Incidentally, speaking of "Haute Karlizing," there is indeed a rapper named "Hot Karl.")

I also noticed this post:
Which prompted the following comment:

Just lovely, but she's asking for a brain injury if she's riding without a helmet.

Oh please. Can't a woman in designer clothes who's attractive in a plastic mannequin sort of way even sit on a bike in this country without putting a styrofoam bucket on her head? These are the sorts of people who watch pornography and say, "Very sexy, but they're asking for some nasty chafing if they're planning on having sex without any pubic hair." Anyway, she's clearly a "Beautiful Godzilla," and everybody knows bad things never, ever happen to them.

By the way, The Sartorialist should not be confused with The Stentorian, which is a Bangladeshi metal band:



I think the Bangladeshi heavy metal look is just begging to be Karlized. Just lovely, but they're just asking for brain injury if they're headbanging without a helmet.

Speaking of the dangers of cycling, on Tuesday I mentioned that a member of parliament is proposing a "Dangerous and Reckless Cycling Bill" in the United Britain of Great England, and another reader has since forwarded me this article, which indicates that the British may hate bicycles almost as much as Americans do:

Indeed, on both sides of the Atlantic it would appear that the latest "bike boom" is boomeranging on us like a "hot carl" that has missed its mark. (Once a "hot carl" gets momentum it can be difficult to stop, and the sock can sort of come around, swing underneath your armpit, and "whap" you right in the back of the head.) Also, the article included an account of what may be the "first-ever cycle crime:"

This is a tragic story, and I imagine the exuberant Macmillan setting out on his new invention, only to knock down a little girl. Presumably he then consigned his shameful contraption to the shed and lived out the remainder of his days in ignominy. His only solace must have been that 1842 newpaper report, in which the writer describes his bicycle as "ingenious" even though he coldcocked a child with it. "I don't know what just hit that kid," bystanders must have remarked, "but whatever it was it was awesome."

Sadly, today pedestrain/cyclist encounters are still fraught with tension:

You shouted "BIKE LANE!"while jaywalking w/ur kids - 35 (Gramercy)
Date: 2011-04-12, 8:57AM EDT

To the guy who shouted "bike lane! BIKE LANE!" at me while jaywalking w/his kids on 22nd street and 1st ave at 8:35am this morning:

Sir, with all due respect, did you see the bike lane? There was a 50-foot Amstel Light truck parked in it. I was avoiding that truck—which is my right—and then trying to avoid you and your children as you strolled into the street against the light with a cluster of unwitting pedestrians. Now I understand there's some backlash against cyclists, so the degree to which you're a mindless mouthpiece for our fossil-fuel dependent culture can't be held against you, but next time you shout advice at someone in the street, you should make sure you're obeying the law first.

And sorry I yelled "fuck you," but you kinda deserved it.


Now that's some smugness.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, another rider apparently crashed into some Starbucks:

Bike / Starbucks collision - m4w - 27 (Midtown West)
Date: 2011-04-11, 8:12PM EDT

It was the Americas Avenue (6thAve). Wish I got yur contact info to follow up, I think you hurt your hand but you said you were ok. Are you? Contact me, what a smash! sorry again for the mess.:/
J.S.


"There was steamed milk everywhere!," recounted one horrified witness. Fortunately, I hear Starbucks has a generous crash replacement program, so hopefully the victim has been made whole again.

Alas, it would seem that even in the bike-friendly Netherlands acrimony is the order of the day, for apparently disgruntled Dutchmen have strewn tacks all over the Amstel Gold Race parcours ("parcours" is pretentious for "course"):

Years ago, someone was actually doing this very same thing in Central Park, and many a frustrated roadie was forced to extricate thumbtacks from his expensive color-matched Vittorias. Eventually, though, the thumb-tacking bandit tired of his exploits and cyclists were once again able to ride around and around the park unmolested, but evidently the NYPD have now stepped in to take up the slack.

Certainly though none of this is to say that cyclists shouldn't be careful, and to that end many readers have forwarded me these "9 Tips for Beginner Cyclists," which features the likeness of the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork, who is universally acknowledged and respected as a stamp of legitimacy on cycling content:

Sadly, these tips are hopelessly unhip. Use your gears?!? Try telling that to "Generation Fixie!" They make their own rules (and then conform to them mindlessly). After all, if Generation Fixie used gears then we wouldn't have pointless videos like this one, which I saw on another fashion blog called "Prolly is not Probably:"
If you're wondering why this video even exists, it's because if a hipster so much as touches a bicycle anywhere in the world then it must be filmed. "For Immediate Release! Hipster Rides Through Tunnel!" However, if he enjoys riding "fast," he might want to rethink that upright position:

He looks like he should be inflating a tire, not riding a race bike. Plus, people tend to gradually relax their positions as they get older, which means that by the time this rider is 30 he'll be riding a fixed-gear recumbent. In the meantime, if he wants to be both comfy and speedy, he should get himself a "RoundTail," of which I was informed by Stevil Kinevil of All Hail The Black Market:

Finally, the next generation gets its very own Y-Foil.

87 comments:

SmellyNelly said...

FIRST

Sandy said...

meh

me said...

podium

wishiwasmerckx said...

Just missed the podium!

Anonymous said...

From wife oil to round tail pretty much sums up my marriage

ints said...

Novice hipsters need to "Use their gear."
no-dium.

ringcycles said...

Slipped my pedal.

g said...

Top 10?

Surly Bastard said...

Feeling top ten back lases ... ouch!

le Correcteur said...

top ten!

samh said...

BSNYC, Haute Karlizing the Fixie Generation.

Kenny Banya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

FUCK THE FASHIONISTAS TOP 13 BABY!!!!!!!

apophasis said...

Man, he doesn't know about drop bars, does he?

And that roundtail thing is hideous. This is coming from someone who wouldn't mind owning a Y-foil.

Kenny Banya said...

I got nothin'

OBA said...

FIXIE HOWL:
I saw the best minds of [FIXIE] generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix[IE],
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the [FIXIE]machinery of night...

xyxax said...

England = Scotland's kilt hose.

crosspalms said...

all you helmets, save my brain. sorry, helments.
The Round Tail site mentions lateral stiffness and vertical compliance. So it must be good. Also says one of the advantages of those big rings is more space for logos. Maybe they should talk to NASCAR. Judging from the wheels, Campy already is.

Corvus said...

Fixie Generation uses gears in SF. I just got back from my honeymoon out there and only saw a couple of hipsters willing to torture themselves for the their style. Most bikes I saw had multiple gears.

Anonymous said...

roundtail looks like its own bike rack

xyxax said...

Lack of pubic hair and chafing are the cause of Glasgow's Gorbals.

mikeweb said...

Caliente Carlo occupying the #2 podium spot at La Vuelta a Castilla y Leon.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Harry Houdini said...

That pool thing.. I did it first.

ORIG INAL

Indy Falconheads said...

I wonder what the warning label on the "bike lock chain belt" would say about pools?

The Tashkent Terror said...

"[...] Carbon finer or other such materials [...]" (from http://roundtail.ca/index.php/main/benefits )

so, where do I put my bidons on this contraption?..

Cynical, Foul Mouthed Goofball said...

Since none of the fashionistas will be actually locking up a bike with their fashion accessories, they can be made of plastic like the rest of their getups.

Paul Bowen said...

Of course [a lot of] the English hate cyclists - if Hitler had got here he would in all seriousness have found a broad stratum of British society very much in tune with his view of the world; those people or their heirs and successors are still here and they will never be able to stomach the unregistered freedom of the cyclist. They pretend to be upset about other stuff but really it's the freedom that gets them where they live.

lol @ Anon 12.05

Babelfish said...

"This handmade bicycle has been ASTM approved, is 10x greater in vertical compliance and 60x greater in vibration absorption, and helps reduce stress & fatigue to the riders spine."

Translation:

This design allows us to build a steel frame that has veritcal compliance that is actually measurable. By German scientists, at least.

shu-sin said...

O lob, save us from all the beautiful godzillas in nyc on beautiful days like today! i don't think it's my imagination that cycling is more dangerous at the beginning of spring as all the above, and wobbly freds come out of hibernation to head in every wrong direction on their bikes. i almost wished for rain this morning.

Paul Bowen said...

The round tail has "10x greater vertical compliance" apparently.

http://roundtail.ca/index.php/main/bikes

hillbilly said...

hi to the izzo

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"Lycra Louts"

-thats funny!

Matt said...

http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/9-Tips-for-Beginner-Cyclists.htm?cmp=276&memberid=85138817&lyrisid=21692133

The TTTSWRFfPTD is a beginner cyclist!

The Taxman said...

One for you, nineteen for me.

Comment deleted said...

What do you call a bunch of chain-clad fashionistas at the bottom of a swimming pool?

A start.

Serial Killer Cannibal said...

Bake feets at 325 degrees. Baste often

Marcel Da Chump said...

I can attest to the hip and lower back injury caused by wearing chain locks around your waist. I was training for the FDNY physical test doing reverse-incline pushups and I heard a loud cracking sound from my left hip area. My whole left leg went numb, the pain excruciating; couldn't walk on it for a month and failed the physical. Affected my golf swing as well, which really makes me rue all those years I wore that damn chain.

Anonymous said...

The bike backlash has moved into the DC area. I got ticketed this morning for running a red light. The cop said it was part of a state wide program to cut down on "pedestrian" traffic violations.

I am the fuck you engine said...

English or "Bobbys" like cyclists money just as much as American police officers. They don't hate you as much as they view you as being a likely victim who will not get belligerent, will give them money, and make them feel bad.

Cops are a lot like con-men, just without a code of ethics.

"And sorry I yelled "fuck you," but you kinda deserved it."

This dude is not clear on the entire "fuck you" concept. Whenever I yell "fuck you" they very clearly deserve it, and I have no desire to apologize after words.

These are the only two words that I can think requires some commitment to before, during, and after use.

Jay Walker said...

Violations? What violations?

Anonymous Hipster said...

I was into Stentorian before they were cool.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or does that Radzi kid bear more than a passing resemblance to a hamster on a wheel in that video...?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh, a nice day in NYC. Meaning? A plethora of d-bags racing you on a commute they haven't attempted on a bike in 6 months.

I think Snob already coined a phrase for the annual spring hatching of the fixters and Cat 6 roadie idiots, no?

It's really a weird thing, b/c on one hand, I love the nice weather too, especially after the fairly crappy winter we had here.

But, you cannot travel over one of the bridges without a lot of those guys you casually went by on the incline, deciding they "need revenge". While you coast down, they have been TRACKING you the whole time, hammering out of the saddle. Now that you're just coasting, they SPRINT past you and give a look, just to make sure you know that they "won" in the end.

And then, of course, they swerve into traffic and almost get killed b/c they're so out of control from their exhausted "race" and shitty bike handling skills.

In other words: NYC finds ways to suck even on nice days.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12:31 "roundtail looks like its own bike rack"

Gold! I am going to steal this line and claim it as my own.

Anonymous said...

The Gorbals were demolished in the 1960s to prevent chafing. They were then replaced by a vertical Gorbal made from concrete.

"Yaffa yat? Whit yatyaffa?"

hey nonny mouse

grog said...

Lob knows, Weinerdog knows, waist-wearing heavy chain isn't new.

Paul Ilechko said...

Sunday April 20th? Are you sure, Cycling News? And, BTW, this is the 46th, not the 43rd, edition of the race.

Anonymous said...

shu-sin,

I feel ya. A super beautiful Godzilla almost killed me today near Strand's. The old "box truck and a parked van" salmon game of chicken. And yes, she looked at me as if I was the one doing something wrong. I'm not pretty enough to get in her way, duh!

Anonymous said...

Snob, would you be interested in a collabo with Steve Tilford regarding statistical analysis of bike race results and tactics?

Chris said...

I want an Icecream Cone Frame bike!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:46pm,

Why, yes. Yes I would. Thank you for asking.

--Bicycle "Snob" New York City/Rip Torn's Mug Shot

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:28 ...

Ah yes, the Cat 6/7/8 "look."
Really, is there anything as amusing in the world of cycling?

republocrat said...

I am sponsoring a bill in Congress honoring "hot carl" Sastre.

-Doped as well as Armstrong, only Sastre costs less, so we're outsourcing.

-"Fuego Carlos" evades law enforcement as well as anyone on Wall Street or K Street.

-Armstrong has done too much good. Before Armstrong, none of you heard of cancer.

-Outsourced heroes increases corporate subsidies. Investment banks need more R&D subsidies to develop new American heroes.

The calendar for Congress honoring people is pretty packed, but I've found a spot in June between 'Wall Street fealty day' and 'Executive compensation day.'

Sastre IS hot carl!

xyxax said...

Mr. Bicycle "Snob" New York City:

How was Battenkill? Any recap?

crosspalms said...

I've been saving all year for Wall Street Fealty Day. Do they come to my house and take it, or do I have to deliver it?

Rupert Murdoch said...

You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan said...

Show me a naked babe on that O Ring or Roundtail thing-a-ma-jig and MAYBE I will be interested...

republocrat said...

Crosspalms,

Wall Street has your money already. It's called Quantitative Easing. Wall Street is a member of the 'always right' patent pool, so they deserve everything they ask for. Immediately.

You poor, unwashed bicycle riding cohorts already have the bill!

Still the beard and I are fighting hard for the table scraps from the Wealthiest 2% welfare programs. They deserve the money more than the rest of you.

Todd Colby said...

Delightful, as usual.

crosspalms said...

Good, that means I can leave the house early and get a good spot for watching the parade. Goldman Sachs always has the best float.

Anonymous said...

The Gorbals is the most crime-infested area of Glasgow, so, assuming things were the same then, the reporters sanitized the event so it could be digested by the Victorian reader.
The article needs translation:
"gentlemen from Dumsfries-shire" = raving mad drunk man (or raving mad Scotsman, in short)
"little girl" = disease-ridden whore

crosspalms said...

Now if Richard Sachs had a float -- THAT would be something.

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

I'd hit it, helmet or no.

Anonymous said...

Someone threw tacks on the Galveston Half-Ironman parcours last weekend. I imagine it was total mayhem as dozens of triathletes attempted to change their own tires without going to a bike shop AND remount their bikes.

The Wealthy 2% said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!

Eat shit and die, peasants.

Johnny Dangerously said...

Rupert, you sound familiar.

Buffalo Bill said...

It's the excellent research that keeps me coming back here. For example:

Karl was also a writer for World Wrestling Entertainment for seven months during 2006.

Before reading this post, I did not know that.

Anonymous said...

< The Gorbals is the most crime-infested area of Glasgow >

Aye, if you ask someone from the east end; if you ask someone from the Gorbals they'd suggest that it would be somewhere near Parkhead!

And we're not always drunk; our drunks can be quite loud and expansive, though, and like a wee sing-song....often encouraging the whole train carriage to join in...

Just back from the first velodrome session of the year (it's outdoors).

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Do these fixed gear guys take their riding practises into other aspects of their lives? For example, does sex with a fixie rider go, "pedal pedal Pedal Pedal PEDAL PEDAL swerve. Over"? Doesn't look a whole lot of fun.

Friendo said...

BACK LASH
LOCK CLAD
POOL CLNR
BANG METL
KARL IZED
PARC OURS
ROAD TACK

Anonymous said...

Hey, There's Hot Carl...AND...Hot Karl

So, yeah, I would definitely Hot Karl the Shallowrialist.

I'll leave the Hot Carl to his beautiful Shallowrialistette.

Arthur said...

What a mouth on that guy!

Anonymous said...

@ anon 5.28

Yes and no....

I'll get back to you on that.

hey nonny mouse

leroy said...

This morning, on West 44th, a pedestrian jay walked into the path of a cyclist riding alongside a line of stopped cars. The cyclist hit his brakes rather than the pedestrian. The pedestrian loudly opined, "you can get a ticket for that." I was following the cyclist and thought the pedestrian must have meant theater tickets. We were close to Broadway.

This evening, a cyclist in a Quick Step kit was loudly telling tourists to "stay to the right" as he climbed the Brooklyn Bridge. I followed him up the Bridge politely saying "sorry" and "thank you" to the folks he had startled. But I thought it best to let him hammer the descent alone. Too technical for me.

It's a jungle out there.

And I'm getting tired of the noise.

ce said...

The Bicycle and Bicycle Related Contraption "Snob" of New York City and Greater Earth, I would prefer it if you did a statistical analysis of whatever is going on with Steve Tilford's hair.

ce said...

The Tashkent Terror 12:46,

Q: "so, where do I put my bidons on this contraption?.."

A: Use a saddlebladder, you saddlebladder.

A said...

A picture is worth a thousand words:

http://hidebehindyourcross.blogspot.com/2009/06/halo-courier-review.html

mat the kat said...

Wow, I thought, that Stentorian bass guy (who apparently is Bass Baba) is busier than Les Claypool. And a couple of minutes later there's another one, more of a Flea-alike. Overdose!

mikeweb said...

Despite the slight 'spring pullback' this a.m. after yesterday's pleasant weather-way, the salmon were running strong. Politely pointed out to a couple of them the error of their ways. Completely futile, I know, but Quixote is my middle name.

mikey said...

Something about shit "high-end" frames wants me to save all the components off of it...

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

Hi Fuck you engine—that guy who yelled "fuck you" was me. I just felt bad because the douche was strolling out into the street with his two young daughters. Tender ears.

Hi Snob—how was I being smug?

PS: 1st ave was so much better before the bike lane. That thing's a death tunnel. These bike lanes have made things worse for everyone.

Other anonymous guy whining about getting owned on the bridge: either learn to ride faster or lighten up.

leroy: try the Manhattan bridge.

Anonymous said...

looks like the hipster in the video broke 7 maybe 8 of the "rules" for new bikers. Classic

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Fixie Bikes said...

Maybe over the should wouldn't be too bad, but definitely not around the waist.