Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of Luck and Annoyance: Squeaking Through By The Skin of Your Suit



(Another compelling contest submission.)


Of all the seasonal seasonways, spring is by far the most insidious. Summer is honest in its punishing, carcinogenic, skin-searing brutality. Autumn is frank in its portentiousness, and it makes its intentions known to you by killing leaves before your very eyes. And winter is arguably the most straightforward of them all, bitter and barren in its frigid indifference.

Spring on the other hand tricks you into thinking that all is right with the world. In particular, here in New York, you might be fooled into thinking that this is actually a pleasant place to live. Even I, after pretend-moving to Porland, have temporarily returned to visit in order to enjoy the parks, and the riding, and the over-abundance of banks and chain drug stores. However, I will not be lulled into complacency, for I know we're merely dwelling in that two-month window during which life here is tolerable.

I found myself pondering all this after reading the following "Tweet:"

Ugh.

I suppose if anything inspires me it's the basic animal drive to fulfill my family's basic needs, and if I can also manage to enjoy a solitary, uninterrupted bathroom visit on top of that every now and again then so much the better. I'm sure this isn't what they wanted to hear. Instead, they probably wanted to hear some nonsense about how inspirational life in New York City is. Nonsense. Life here isn't inspirational--it's annoying. Sure, that's a form of inspiration, in that it inspires me to complain, but you can get pretty much the same effect from airplane travel, and in fact if you're ever wondering what it's like to live in New York City just think back on the last time you flew coach. It's exactly like that, including the frequent searches and borderline violations of your civil rights. The only difference is that airline travel is way cheaper, even with the gratuitous baggage charges.

By the way, I didn't know what "freecycling" was (I thought it was the opposite of fixed-gear riding) so I looked it up on a popular user-edited Internet encyclopedia:

Freecycling, also known as Free Recycling, is the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them in landfills.

Is this actually a novel concept? Can't people even give away their old crap anymore without ascribing some self-important term and accompanying lifestyle to it? Is there any limit to people's capacity for congratulating themselves for performing mundane acts? Apparently not. Here I was thinking that when I gave my extra copy of David Hasselhoff's autobiography, "Making Waves," to my neighbor, all I was doing was giving it away. Instead, it turns out I'm actually a "freecycler," and thus entitled to all the ensuing smugness benefits. By the way, here's a video the Tweeters made, and apparently they're inspired by things like bicycles, brunch, and Lady Gaga:



Ugh again. Hopefully something will eventually inspire them to move to Portland where they belong.

Speaking of springtime and congratulating yourself for doing absolutely nothing, I was visiting the Best Made Co. website (I guess I wasn't annoyed enough already) where I learned that air-drying your clothes is apparently now an act of personal expression:

Okay, let me see if I have this straight:

Having a MacBook Pro and an iPhone and an iPad = "Minimalism;"

Giving Old Shit Away = "Freecycling;"

Living in the City and Being a Pretentious Douche = "Urban Homesteading."

Anyway, why does she need to wait until spring to air-dry her clothes? I guess I must be an even better "urban homesteader" than her, because I have an artisanally curated wooden piece of functional design called a "folding drying rack" that allows me to dry clothes all year round. Then again, I guess hanging my Lycra from a rack in my home where nobody can see it doesn't present "an opportunity for creative expression:"

5) The clothesline presents an opportunity for creative expression. There are many ways to hang your clothes out to dry, for example:

a) Totally random: you just hang out to dry your clothes in whatever order you happen to pick them up.

b) By type (ascending/descending order optional): First socks, second short sleeved shirts, third long sleeves, fourth pants, etc…

c) Rainbow: Arrange your clothes in a rainbow spectrum or some other color coordinated way.

d) Whites: For those that separate their laundry, an all white laundry line is always stunning.


I thought this was great advice, and so I took my drying rack outside and arranged my wet laundry on it so it would spell out "Fuck Best Made" in underpants.

But some things are more annoying than people who get way too into their own laundry and think they're artists for doing their own household chores--like drivers who run red lights and hit cyclists. In fact, a reader recently sent me this shocking video from Seattle:



Fortunately, the rider was unharmed:

Jeff Word was crossing Valley St at the crosswalk from Terry Ave N into South Lake Union Park the evening of May 18 when a driver ran a red light and struck him and his bicycle. Word reacted quickly and was able to put his foot onto the car’s approaching hood and push off. The collision damaged his bike, but Word landed on his feet unharmed after being thrown across the crosswalk.

“I’m doing good,” said Word in an email. “I was so happy that nothing happened I was pretty much laughing afterwards. I’m a chiropractor, too, so I get adjustments all the time.”

Apparently he's not only a chiropractor but a martial artist, because the manner in which he uses his foot to launch himself from the car's hood is worthy of Jackie Chan:


Meanwhile, Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market alerted me to this video from London, in which another cyclists also walks away from what could have been a very serious accident, but in this case it's entirely the cyclist's fault:

Hipster Trash Compactor - East London from jssjmsvckry on Vimeo.

I'd very much like to know if the cameraman caught this by accident or if they were actually filming an "edit." I've been waiting (far from eagerly) for the day one of these stupid "hillbombing" or "mashing" videos goes horribly awry, and if this was one then it looks like we came incredibly close:

This is also what comes of a new wave of "urban cyclists" convinced that their narrow bars and zen-like ability to "pick lines" through traffic allow them to pass through any space they'd like, when in reality they're about as stealthy as a cat after you cut off his whiskers.

Perhaps soon we'll see these urban cyclists wearing skinsuits to further reduce their bulk, and Klaus from Cycling Inquisition was kind enough to let me know recently that a genuine Mario Cipollini "muscle" skinsuit is now available on eBay:

I already have one of course, but I plan to buy this one too so I have another to wear when it's hanging from my artisanal drying rack. Still, nobody wears it like Cipollini himself:


It's almost like he's wearing nothing at all.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

Contador!

Anonymous said...

Was there a rapture I wasn't aware of?
2nd!

Anonymous said...

I will elbow my way to victory!

Hans said...

Göteborg!

dcdouglas said...

Just off the podium.

Should I have doped?

Dan said...

Top Ten Inspired!

Anonymous said...

::breakdances::

Anonymous said...

top ten, no doping, no pushing.

I am a wiped engine said...

Dark, need to use my wipes after that post.

Anonymous said...

Top 10.

cycle

Anonymous said...

TOP 11

Etherhuffer said...

First time I saw the Seattle video, I thought there was no red light. My bad. Nonetheless, why the camera. Who was 'curating' the accident? It has a produced quality of someone wishing to make a point, which I guess they did by getting hit. Just glad the rider was not hurt. I have to drive by there and look, but a lot of construction and recent lane changes there. I would have been a pussy and walked the crosswalk. I like my sangria in my body, not outside of it.

J Scott, my love puppet. said...

Read it. Love it.

Anonymous said...

I don't wish harm on anyone but it does bring on a bit of smugness when you see some dickhead try and make a small gap between traffic and not pull it off.
Gives us all a bad name.

Kenny Banya said...

Man, the little Snob is getting you up early these days.

mikeweb said...

Lunchtime ride in CP time. Back later.

ringcycles said...

Is artistic laundry hanging destined to be the new fixed gear freestyling? Will alley cats be replaced by roof top drip drys?

And, BSYNC, would your hanging of Cipollini's muscle skinsuit be an urban homesteader version of Michelangelo's David? One big rippling Tuscan to another? Maybe, but not so much.

Klaus Mohn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crosspalms said...

Spring commute checklist in Chicago:
Fog? check. Rain? check. Cold? check. Wind in face? check. At least I didn't have to plant my foot on anybody's hood in traffic. Both those videos are scary.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the Cipo skinsuit Speedo.

LOOK LEFT

James said...

What about free loading? Can I be a part of the free loading culture?

Anonymous said...

And Cipo is curating a (formerly?) white sitting-on device.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

RandyS said...

"like drivers who run red lights and hit cyclists" Actually it was the cyclist who had the red light. For a martial artist he sure isn't aware of his surroundings.

Marcel Da Chump said...

The douchery of Best Made:
limitless
peerless
and unstoppable.
They're cornering the smug market.

Whered my underoos go? said...

I would be afraid that someone might confuse my ROYGBIV laundry installation in my yard as an attempt at freecycling.

Terre Haute Karl said...

Freecycling is the reciprocal of garbage picking.

agent detroit said...

don't forget fixed gear freecycling which i invented 3 years ago...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agentdetroit/3329277708/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agentdetroit/3692683248/in/photostream

ant1 said...

ant1st!

leroy said...

Randy S --

Go to the link for the Seattle clip to see that cyclist had the crosswalk signal. The red light you see indicates the park entrance to which the cyclist is headed is closed to cars. The car that hit him ran a red light, possibly due to glare from sun.

Anonymous said...

Ladies!!!!!

shu-sin said...

Randy, no, the cyclist has the green light... though it's hard to blame the motorist because she's clearly blinded by the low sun in her face.

Anonymous said...

All You New Yorkers Suck My Inspiration, really.

leroy said...

My lycra is hanging on the back of my office door and with luck the artisianal drying process will be fully curated for the ride home this evening.

And with further luck, no one I know will get too close on the ride home.

If I had known Mikeweb was going to brave the Park this afternoon, I might have brought a spare kit to join him.

hillbilly said...

is porland near portland?

Etherhuffer said...

I believe the cyclist has a 'walk' sign, but he rides in the crosswalk. Where to go with that? I dunno.

And why the video, by whom?

Anonymous said...

Is that an amurkin fancy pickup truck in London?

BRIT FORD

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't expect anything less: The sun breaks out in Seattle, and cars start smashing into things.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Your shit-striped underdrawers belong in the dryer of shame, not on display on the clothesline for all the world to see.

SteveL said...

The london video looks like a normal day in the city. The red lane is bus+Taxi+motorbike+bicycle, the bike in front swung out to get round the queue but aimed for a gap just as the bus came out. You have to remember: visibility of a bus is awful, and that bike probably swung in on the blindspot of the driver (who would be sitting on the right hand side of the bus). Not rigged, just a weekday commute where somebody made some bad decisions.

I've just shown it to my kids as a "What not to do" road safety video

Nibbles said...

Such bull-shit. "I was blinded by the sun" is a terrible excuse for hitting things with your car.

If you can't see, you don't just drive around hoping for the best. People in seattle put a lot of faith into their driving skills. I see that when it snows here too. People just haul ass hoping everything will be ok.

Also, that little spot by S. lake union is always a cluster fuck. from there to westlake and down to mercer. Law of tonnage rules those 3 square blocks.

mikeweb said...

Life here isn't inspirational--it's annoying. Sure, that's a form of inspiration, in that it inspires me to complain, but you can get pretty much the same effect from airplane travel, and in fact if you're ever wondering what it's like to live in New York City just think back on the last time you flew coach. It's exactly like that, including the frequent searches and borderline violations of your civil rights. The only difference is that airline travel is way cheaper, even with the gratuitous baggage charges.

Snob, this has to be one of the most spot-on and amusing non-cycling related observational metaphors you've ever dictated to Vito to type into the computer.
FTW!

Etherhuffer said...

Nibbles, that was my point. What was the guy thinking? Not trying to hang a turd on him, but really, it is a cluster-foo there big time. Not to mention the SLUT tracks down there as well. I mean, I could choose to ride naked through Mogadishu with wads of cash stuck in my butt crack, but why would I?

Nibbles said...

Maybe cause somethymes you have to actually get someplace?

Anonymous said...

Etherhuffer,
Great stuff.

Nibbles said...

And sorry, you can't blame the victim this time Etherhuffer. The cyclist was wearing a helment and is therefore immune to criticism.

mikeweb said...

@leroy,

You missed a great ride. The "Bike
& Roll"ers were out in force. I managed 3 laps before I felt my serenity slipping away.

WorldNekkid said...

The answer to this entire post is World Naked Bike Ride.

http://wnbrnyc.tumblr.com/
http://bit.ly/Bi7aY

Dave said...

Yes, April is the cruellest month - closely followed by May.

Word is Eliot used to ride a fixie with the bars upside down. But just for the irony.

Anonymous said...

If you get squashed between a London Red Bus and a American-style-quasi-pick-up truck while 2 semi-hot London hotties are watching, you pretty much have it going for Vallhalla/Shamayim/"A-Place-Where-Nothing,Nothing-Really-Happens".
If you do it while visualising a naked aero-Cipo or a Semi-Aero Time-Traveling T-Shirt-Wearing Retro-Fred From The Planet Tridork, you will bypass the mandatory Odin/RipTorn/Yahweh/LanceArmstrong scrutiny and be directly accepted into the Pantheon Of The Greatest Jackasses.

Astroluc said...

god that red-light running is scary... glad he wasn't hurt and the driver was probably ignorant -- I just had a situation similar to this (but thankfully was not hit) a week ago, where a guy blew a light to turn into my lane of travel, and flipped me off as he was doing it... :/

needless to say, we had words where he plainly said that I was wrong (for going straight on a green, I might add) and that if I ever got in front of him again he'd "cause me great expense" ... so I took a pic of his car and plate # then he stormed off like a child.

be careful out there... some drivers are just plain dangerous a$$holes.

Etherhuffer said...

Ha! A helment is good to have when a SLUT smacks you in the head. Or those girls on Aurora Ave.

Who is going to be the first douche to ride through the tunnel when it opens? Same guys who rode the West Sea Bridge? They better wear helments and body armor. I rode Western down to the West Sea Bridge from town. We are going to need some kevlar tires on that stretch for a while.

John Michael Swartz said...

A favorite Sarah Lawrence moment of mine is when an art history professor explained how you could tell Manet's Olympia was a prostitute because she still had her shoes on...

Anonymous said...

@Etherhuffer

cool story dude.

Tyler's Chimera said...

My chimera Tyler, is offering the following instructional courses of study;

Blood Doping 101

Blood Doping 102

Pass that pee-pee test (with special mystery instructor! Here's a hint. His initials are G.H.)

Also masked proffesori F. A. will be presenting an especial programme. Back-stabbing your best friends for chump change.

Krusty the KKKlown said...

That "NYC Inspiration" video is literally sickening

bikesgonewild said...

...freecycling...why the neighborhood looks like crap on days the garbage men don't show up...

...clotheslines...bsnyc/pdx/sfo/rtms hangs 'best made' out to dry...they need it, they're wet behind the ears...

...just sayin'...

LJF said...

PSA: SUNGLASSES...F'IN USE THEM!

Loren said...

Stupid sexy Cipo....

Marcel Da Chump said...

Nice to hear cycling issues in other parts of the country.

The INSPIRED BY NYC video had the opposite effect on me: DEPRESSED BY NYC.

Twistyface said...

I have never attempted to visualise a naked aero-Cipo, and I hope I never do.

Anonymous said...

Inspired by BSNYC?

Anonymous said...

Prize is a BestMade clothes peg (retails at $18.99/ea)

Etherhuffer said...

So.....seems the video is now a pizzing match on Seattle Bike Blog. Conspiracy! Rage! Scorn! Accusations! Ah, how pedestrian of me to make fun....
But do read the comments:

http://seattlebikeblog.com/2011/05/23/incredible-video-person-biking-hit-by-car-near-slu-park-lands-on-his-feet/#more-4387

HK 416 said...

Great post Snob. Nice mix of topics, as ever.

----------------------------------

Being dazzled by the sun makes it acceptable to run over people? Nice - must try that myself.

Drew said...

Freecycling not smug enough for you?

Minimalist dumpster diving; AKA "Freeganism" could be your way of life.

freegan.info

crosspalms said...

Etherhuffer,
Thanks for the link. Pretty amazing comments. I like this guy's take on the "it was all staged" folks: "Ever since Obama released his birth certificate these clowns have been feeling lost and adrift."

Tom Fucoloto said...

I'm tired.

Kurt said...

Ok, maybe the driver ran a red, but that dude popped out into traffic from between stopped cars. Not wise in least. Got to check first. And wasn't he on the left side the road/intersection? Strike two. The nice manga kick avoided strike three.

Etherhuffer said...

Hey Tom, if that was you, what happened? Can the driver charge you for an 'adjustment?' OK, so my bad. I have to admit that at first look something didn't ring true about the video. Having read he blog comments, the story looks more sane. I think that is the problem with no backstory to news vids.

Lulea said...

That Seattle intersection is a mess do to construction. For those asking why he is taking the crosswalk over that is where you can transition to a bike trail along Westlake. Also in Seattle it is legal to ride on the sidewalk or the street.

Anonymous said...

Inspired by Lady Gaga? Come on, who isn't? She certainly looks better in just her panties (like on Letterman the other night) than Cipollini looks not in even his panties. Whose Brooks bike seat (er, sorry, SADDLE) would you rather be?

Anonymous said...

Scattante (n., singular): artisanal drying rack that's been freecycled from its previous useway.

Anonymous said...

Anybody notice you can't spell artisanal without anal?

Matt DeBlass said...

I've noticed that in spite of having items like a $90 first-aid kit (seriously? Ninety bucks for some Band-Aids and an Ace bandage? Jeez), Best Made does NOT offer an artisanally-crafted clothes-hanging device, preferably woven from fine, strong, sustainable American plant fibers. Based on their other items, if they are inspired to "curate" such as thing, it should sell for about $160.

Pickle Bread said...

Dill dough

Jimio said...

The biker still should have looked to see if any insane car drivers were comming. Dont assume the cars will stop. Dont assume car drivers can see you apprearing suddenly out of nowhere between cars. Dont assume car drivers can see very well with the sun in front of them. I dont assume anything while riding my bike. No biker should. If you want to live, dont assume anything.

Name said...

Talking about bike and car accidents, take a look at what Critical Mass has been achieving worldwide. This was a few months ago. Image is a little poor but speaks for itself.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKcwhDJkqRY&feature=related

Riggs said...

Good lord. Horrific. Absolutely horrific.

I often thought I would see that in SF when they rode down there. Once again, physics shows it's boss. The naieve nature of CM riders is deadly.

Anonymous said...

A well-oiled Cipolini would have oozed right through the Red Bus-pickup truck gap and popped out the front. The observing two hotties would have ooooed and ahhhhed.

bikesgonewild said...

...Pickle Bread sez...'Dill dough'...

...bwahahaha...simple joke, both cute & funny...

bikesgonewild said...

...@name & riggs...that story & vid were well played out, as you suggest, a few months ago...

Angelina said...

I like to attach my clothes horse to my bike thus achieving artistic expression while engaging in sustainable drying and environmentally appropriate transport.

Anonymous said...

I love stealing panties off the line and carrots out of a garden.

yogisurf said...

Mario needs a Larry King or two...

Anonymous said...

Regarding the London film; there are an increasing number of riders down there who film commutes; did you not have a link to one here recently of a stroppy van driver? Anyway, this is in case something happens to anyone and it's then on film. There's probably a dedicated thread for it on

www.bikeradar.com

...where you will also find the rules, food chain numbers and another thread on "silly commuter racing". Hope this helps.

hey nonny mouse

bicycle belts said...

Apparently, I'm a recycler, not a freecycler!

wheel balancing said...

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Cheap Tyre Changer said...

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Fancy Dress said...

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plumbing said...

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Anonymous said...

Here what i found -> vision correction

@domestic cleaning said...

Got it attention-grabbing, Photos are really imposing and atypical to stumble on anywhere else .

Water Consultants said...

That was an interesting post on such a unique topic. Well, I like the springs a lot, it's the best time to hang out with your friends and dear ones there is no obstacle of rain, cold or hot.

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Used Cars for Sale said...

It's definitely fun to bike around NYC during the summer but important to be aware of cars when on the road.


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Fixie Bikes said...

NYC inspires everything.

free car ads said...

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