Thursday, June 2, 2011

Civic Matters: Do Your Part, Don't Show It

There was once a time when I was indifferent to bike lanes, and when I rode quickly and aggresively. I was one of the Young and the Restless, the Bold and the Beautiful, and I had little fear of ending up in the General Hospital. Now, however, I live in Another World, and thanks to All My Children (17 at last count) I have a different approach to life. Whereas once I approached hairy situations with a mélange of excitement and eagerness, I now confront them with a meh-lange of reluctance and yiddish expletives.

Sure, I still "race" my bike (in that I will occasionaly pin on a number and sit in for as long as possible before getting dropped), but when it comes to "practical" cycling I derive little pleasure from having to fight for my sliver of road against the putzes and yutzes and schmucks who form the legions of the motor vehicle meshuggeneh. Instead, I prefer to comport myself in a civilized fashion in the bike lane. Moreover, it's these very bike lanes that have allowed me to transform myself from wayward scofflaw to cautious fuddy-duddy.


“When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” Mr. Weiner said to Mr. Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”

By doing so, Weiner would quite literally rob me of one of my life's greatest pleasures, that being uncool and unhurried "family style" cycling. This really hurted my feelings and it made me all mad and stuff. So I can't say I'm dismayed that Weiner is now being grilled about a photograph that appeared in the Yfrog account associated with his Twitter depicting an aroused man in his underpants that he can't say "with certitude" isn't him:


Now it seems like Weiner's mayoral bid could be over before it even begins, and he's having a tough time fielding pointed comments such as this one:

Early evening: Weiner does an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who asks why the politician "can't say with certitude" whether he is pictured in the photograph.

"You would know if this was your underpants, for example," Blitzer says.

It's tough to slip one by Wolf Blitzer.

By the way, via the Twitter I've learned that Weiner is not alone, and in fact a Canadian politician is also embroiled in a similar scandal. However, his explanations are far more entertaining:

"Sakach first alleged" continued Examiner.com "that the BlackBerry in George Lepp's pocket took a picture of his penis by accident, and after having his mobile device stolen from him without his notice, the assailant then went through the device and uploaded the picture to Twitter after nearly 12 hours had elapsed."

Ah yes, the old accidental BlackBerry pocket penis shot. To quote a cinema classic, "That shit could really happen."

Meanwhile, while Weiner can't say "with certitude" that those weren't his underpants, I can't say "with certitude" that he didn't also post this "missed connection" on Craigslist:

I sniffed your bike seat... - m4w
Date: 2011-05-27, 5:20PM EDT

... after you parked it outside the bar.

You never know--it could be one of those "accidental" pocket-posts.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm being naive and that it's entirely possible we could end up with a far worse mayor, but I can't help taking pleasure in the situation. (Though I am refraining from "accidentally" taking photographs and Tweeting evidence of this pleasure.) Plus, even if politicians don't kill the bike lanes in New York City, the pro-cycling activists certainly will. Gothamist recently posted this video of a Time's Up! volunteer berating a police officer in the bike lane:



I'm as bothered by cars in the bike lane as anybody, but if there's one rule of thumb you should probably follow while cycling in the city it's "Don't annoy the cops." "Passive Resistance" was one thing, but "Active Kveching" is quite another. Plus, in this case the cop is stopped because he's actually in the middle of giving a ticket, which makes this like poking at a lion while he's tearing apart a gazelle. In this case she appears to have gotten away with it, but generally speaking this sort of thing works out about as well for cyclists as taking a picture of your penis and Tweeting it works out for politicians.

Incidentally, Time's Up! is the same organization that brought us (among other protests) the "Polar Bear Ride," so presumably they won't rest until they've turned political and popular opinion in New York City against bicycles once and for all. Be sure to thank them next time someone fails to take you seriously on your bicycle.

Anyway, I find salmon in the bike lane much more bothersome than even the police cars, and at this time of year salmon can actually outnumber regular cyclists by five to one. That's why I was pleased to receive this German anti-salmon PSA from a reader:



Yes, I often find myself asking, "Is there any way we can stop people from salmoning?" Like, perhaps a bunch of Time's Up! volunteers could dress up as salmon and berate them shrilly until they either go the right way or just quit cycling. One question I never ask myself though is if "aero" can get any quicker. But the crabon Fred factories are asking this question, and the answer appears to be "yes:"


Though it will cost you $2,900:

Ready to launch

The Smart Enve System goes on sale in June 2011, led out by the 6.7, which will be priced at £2100/US$2900). The 3.4 will be available around September and the 8.9 by the end of 2011.

I've never managed to figure out how the amateurs who actually pay for wheels like this manage to successfully rationalize their absurd purchases season after season. At a certain point, you'd think they'd realize they just spent almost $3,000 on a pair of wheels yet they still suck just as badly as they did $2,700 ago. Then again, maybe I'm missing the point of amateur bike racing and it's really no longer about winning or losing--instead, it's about whose bike has the best "yaw" data. ("Yaw" is the new "watts.") Maybe in a few years they can finally dispense with the actual "riding" part and Cat 4 races can just consist of the riders sitting in wind tunnels one at a time and then comparing their graphs. At least they're wouldn't be so many crashes.

Speaking of competition, it's time to finally bring the "There Will Be Action Wipes" contest to a close:


Once again, here are the finalists. Study them, feel them, sniff them, and taste them, and then vote below on your favorite. The polling results will decide the final podium. Remember, you're not only choosing the symbol that will represent cycling forevermore, but you're also deciding who will get a bunch of Action Wipes and a Liz Hatch video (otherwise known as the "Cat 5 date night" package):

#1



#2

#3


#4




#5




Which symbol shall represent cycling forevermore?

Thanks very much for your vote. You have now fulfilled your civic duty for the next 15 years.



79 comments:

Cognorant said...

I'm going for it!!

Cognorant said...

Damn!

Anonymous said...

Ladies!!!!!!!!

Cognorant said...

Allmost a sweep...damn you anonymous!

Anonymous said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

TOP TEN! Time to update my sponsors.

Anonymous said...

Why does anyone care that they have the first (pointless) comment?

Easton Heights Blogger said...

podeedum

hillbilly said...

Thanks for finally putting into words what I do, now I know what to say when people ask me if I "race"

Anonymous said...

racing to post comments is lame

thegock said...

SEAT SNFR

Anonymous said...

Brilliant cognorant, well done sir. A triple crown winner comes but once in a lifetime. And I won't remain anonymous forever...the NY times, Wall St. Journal, and Fox 'news' are vying to reveal my true identity. Cheers,
Ladies

le Correcteur said...

Classic, snob:

"Maybe in a few years they can finally dispense with the actual "riding" part and Cat 4 races can just consist of the riders sitting in wind tunnels one at a time and then comparing their graphs. At least they're wouldn't be so many crashes."

And to think, with a little effort, I could have been top ten. Oh, well; was on a relaxed family type ride.

Cognorant said...

I usually think its stupid and pointless too. But then I was first, second and fourth and the winnerining is intoxicating. Tomorrow I will return to apathy....unless I accidentally "podium" again, then I will be so much better than all of you.

Cognorant said...

Why do people care that people care that they have the first pointless comment?

Genuinely curious.

samh said...

All You Retro Freds Dork My Skid Trunk Elephant

crosspalms said...

I picked number 4 because Anthony Weiner donated his penis to it. It's my way of thanking him for helping the cause of cycling. It makes me wish I had a Twitter account so I could take a picture of it and send it to everybody.
RIBN CUTR

Marcel Da Chump said...

Let Weinergate be this lesson to politicians:
it's bad karma to be anti-bike lanes.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

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

I feel like I've had the first pointless comment lots of times, and nowhere near the podium, either.
And does that photo show Andrew Breitbart as the reincarnation of Martin Erzinger?

Weiner Bluge said...

ANTI BIKE

Live with it you NYC Bitches. I'm 'Cumming" for you!

Bad Lawyer said...

Those were my underpants! Who hacked my blawg pic gallery?

ce said...

Why didn't you Larry King the photo of A. Weiner? Pictures of A. Weiner are definitely NSFW. Public exposure of A. Weiner might have already ruined a political career, can we please ensure it doesn't have an adverse effect on anyone else's career?
Also, would it be too late to call off the competition and start over with the German Chopper Salmon replacing TTTWRFFTPTD?

A Weiner's Crotch said...

AYHSMPT

All You Haters Suck My Pup Tent

A Weiner said...

DUMB CMNT

A Weiner said...

When that ribbon cutting goes down you keep those scissors away from my panties.

ce said...

A. Weiner isn't performing well in the polls, but IS performing well as the pole.

Nogocyclist said...

Those two guys had to sneak in the theater to see those movies? If they would have gone in the front door, they would have probably been paid to sit through those movies. They were that corny.

Twistyface said...

Hehehehe... you have a guy called A. Weiner?? Who is his deputy? Mike Hunt? Ophelia Toole?

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P

ce said...

Breaking news: It was all a set up perpetrated by a couple of nuts working under A. Weiner. Apparently they got the sack.

Anonymous said...

i picked #3 b/c #4 is obscene. Funny, but obscene.

Anonymous said...

ce @1:35 -- Brilliant. Well played, sir!

Dickhead with the bubble bike said...

When the wind tunnel races start, the glory days of the aero bubble bike begin!!

grog said...

meh-shuggeneh

Anonymous said...

This Weiner has been removed by the author.


balls

ervgopwr said...

As Mr. Weiner is Jon Stewart's friend, I like to give him some credit, but yeah, his anti-bike status is strongly considered.

How can a supposed strong lefty (not just the way he hangs/droops) be anti bike?

Rocky Mountain Chuck said...

CE, thanks for that one!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"Cat 5 date night package" -that's damn funny.

mikeweb said...

What a great day for a lunchtime ride in Central Park! A few Salmon, but no Weiners in sight.

Anonymous said...

snarf'n

Udder said...

I'm sorry, all the entries suck. Badly.

mikeweb said...

A saw that video earlier today on Gothamist. I have to agree: why berate a cop for parking in the bike lane when they're actually conducting police business as opposed to, say, picking up pizzas or jabbering on their cell phone.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe #3 and #4 are leading the vote, when #1 and #2 are so much better. I thought Bush voters had all retreated into Alaskan wilderness.
Anyway, I wish the winner many pleasant moments of saddle sniffing and crotch cleansing with the Action Wipes.

Anonymous said...

#2 obviously needs a yellow soul patch

Anonymous said...

Dem fools be swervin'

mikeweb said...

Yes, I cast my vote for #2, even though there was no taster.

Anonymous said...

1 and 2 don't have clip on aero bars, 2 looks more like a yellow jersey than T shirt.

Anonymous said...

Damnit why not #4? It captures the fun and excitement of cycling.

Anonymous said...

I cannot say with any certainty, whether or not that is Mr. Weiner in #4.

LK said...

We'll certainly be watching your tweeter for the "accidental" pocket shot on the yfrog.... just stating the obvious....

Skid Mark said...

AYHVFMES

All You Haters Vote For My Elephant Stick

A Weiner said...

SKID MARK

yogisurf said...

It's a 'toss' up between 2 and 3 for me. I had to see pre-UCI geometry. Fun contest. Long live the Dork.

Chazu said...

Such ambiguities can be eliminated by wearing nothing but Fruit of the Loom whitie-tighties with RTMS on the crotch.

Anonymous said...

Can someone translate what the German kids say in the video? And did the bike salmon really yell "shit" at the end?

bikesgonewild said...

...it's called "play it forward", active kvetching chick...

...you, luckily got the opportunity to ride away after 'interfering with an officer of the law doing his duty' wherein he could have also held you accountable for your actions...

...but you can be sure that down the line, if said officer is ever in a confrontation with another cyclist whilst in a bad mood himself, i'm bettin' that cyclist is gonna pay for your attitude...

...the dichotomy of him being parked in the bike lane whilst issuing a ticket when there are obvious alternatives is understandable but cops do that even out here in our little "cycling shangri la"...

...i don't understand that kind of move either but discretion CAN often be the better part of valor, especially when dealing with cops...

Anonymous said...

What?

cornhole said...

aw fuck

NWA said...

F the police!

Anonymous said...

All You Haters Suck My Twitter

Angry Dragon said...

All You Haters Twitter My Elephant Trunk

philip williamson said...

I guess the voters don't want to be 'number 1' or 'number 2'...

I voted for #1 because the rubbery legs and soul patch crack me up. The bike isn't as funny as it could be, though.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

Proud to vote with the clear minority. Though not as amusing as the other entries, it gets the international symbol gestalt down, while including all the Fredtastic details we expect.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

#5, that is.

Seymour Wiener said...

HAV2 PICK
NMBR TREE

UNDR PNTS
PCKT POOL
CMOR WENR
DICK TWIT
MONY SHOT
BIKE LANE
WILL STAY

urchin said...

Where's my activator!!??

J Scott. A mouth hug a day. said...

Voted for #3.
Also, as stated. You may have given that cop the motivatoin to really harrass someone. Though he did seem pretty level headed. Compared to some.

3G said...

"putzes and yutzes and schmucks" sounds like an excerpt from a Dr Seuss book

Lions and tigers and bears said...

Oh my

Anonymous said...

Can you do a post on how framebuilder videos are the new fixed gear "edits." holy crap there are so many out there now. hufnagel, bilenky, horse, ellis, etc, etc. how many times can you watch a guy dramatically light up a torch. framebuilding is the new zen.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Panties said...

Anonymous!

crosspalms said...

I think I see one of those classic movie scenes: Panties and Anonymous run toward one another through a field of flowers in slow motion.

Scott said...

should have been a dutch bike

Daniel said...

A bit late, but since some of you have asked for it, here is the translation of the German video:

Girl on the right: "Cool helme(n)t!"
Girl on the left: "But unfortunately the wrong side of the street ..."
Bike Salmon: "Sh*t!!!"
Speaker: "Did you already know? Riding on the wrong side of the street is the most common source of bicycle accidents."

Cheers
Daniel

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Fixie Bikes said...

Humility is important.