Monday, September 19, 2011

BSNYC Field Trip: The Tail of Two Cities

As you may have surmised from my Tweetering account, I spent my time away from this blog traveling abroad and getting a few more stamps put into my "passing port." At some point in the future my thoughts and observations regarding this trip may find their way into some larger work of prose, but in the meantime I'd like to share just a few of them with you. First though, as a citizen of the United States of America, I am legally obligated to display the following disclaimer, and if you're also an American you're legally obligated to read it:

WARNING: Do not attempt international travel. Leaving the United States may provoke thought and result in reflection, dissatisfaction with the quality of your social services, and acute Arby's withdrawal. The US Department of State shall not be held responsible for your imprisonment or death at the hands of a godless socialist foreign power. If you must visit another country, be sure to wear latex gloves at all times to avoid foreign currency-borne illness. Have a great trip!

With that out of the way, I spent the bulk of my time in two (2) non-American cities, one of which was Amsterdam. When one thinks of Amsterdam, one thinks of the heady aroma of "Wednesday weed" wafting out of the coffee shops, the even headier aroma of human genitalia wafting out of the red light district, and of course the notorious feral cats that have taken to the canals over the centuries and evolved into strange flesh-eating otter-like creatures that have been known to bite off at the wrist the hands of unsuspecting tourists. But let's leave all that aside for the moment and look at that other hallmark of "the big A," which is bikes:

Simply put, in Amsterdam people ride bikes to go places. More than this, though, they ride bikes to go places without making any sort of fuss about it. Consider the woman above, who is "portaging" not only an entire human child but also a full-sized stroller as well as whatever she's got in those big red bags:

This is not to say that we don't "portage" stuff by bike here in the United States of Canada's Undercarriage--it's just that we're unable to do so without making an incredibly big deal about it. I myself am unable to carry so much as a single smallish box on my Surly Big Dummy without issuing forth multiple "tweets" as well as at least one verbose blog post. Meanwhile, here's a woman carrying much more than that simply as a matter of course, and incredibly she's seeking no attention or approbation whatsoever. If she lived in Portland she'd have an entire child-portaging blog called "Stroller Lady" and would already be the subject of an epic-length Bikeportland.org interview as well as a two-hour documentary at the Bicycle Film Festival.

By the way, I'm not sure the child seat is in fact telescoping, but it would be awesome if it was. I imagine it shooting Inspector Gadget-like 20 feet into the air with the simple push of a button so that your child can report to you on the traffic conditions.

Similarly, the recreational cyclists I observed in Amsterdam were equally prosaic. Whereas the typical recreational cyclist in America is generally a corpulent middle-aged man on a precious $6,000 crabon Colnago that is buckling under his weight, his Dutch counterpart is perfectly happy to make do with a humble Polnago:

Yes, Polnago:

Purists may scoff at the LAY-oh-pard kit, but he'd probably ride effortlessly away from the typical Cat 3 without so much as interrupting his texting as a stiff crosswind blew you into a canal.

As for crabon, that would appear to be the domain of the younger set, who are more than capable of acting as their own mechanics:

Yes, in Amsterdam, recreational cycling and practical cycling exist side-by-side, and practitioners of both appear to be uniquely free from self-delusion. Also, it should go without saying that in such a permissive and bicycle-centric city, a sight like this is so common as to hardly warrant mentioning:


In any case, during my time in Amsterdam I rode neither a Polnago nor a recumbent; instead, I transported myself and my progeny by means of a "bake feets:"

Oh yes, I baked feets, and I liked it.

Henry Cutler of WorkCycles was kind enough to furnish me with this rowboat on wheels during my stay, and I can say without irony or sarcasm that the effortless portaging of humans and supplies that it allowed was an absolute pleasure. By the way, here's the WorkCycles shop in the Jordaan district:


Where the typical bicycle on the workstand lift is not only eminently practical but also weighs upwards of 400 pounds:

Had I been alone I might have opted for a sober, gentlemanly number such as this:

Or this, which I also found myself admiring:

But since I was visiting with my family the Wagon Queen Family Truckster was the clear choice.

To say that Henry Cutler also showed us around Amsterdam is to understate his good company and ability as a cultural ambassador, and to say that riding around a city where cycling is a completely normal mode of transportation is to understate how pleasant it is to be someplace where you can simply get on a bike with your family without giving a shit. Here are people riding bikes without giving a shit:

Ironically, while I was in Amsterdam a bit of a kerfuffle arose on Bikeportland about how Fred Armisen of "Portlandia" is too much of a "woosie" to ride in the most cycling-friendly city in America. In particular, he's afraid of the streetcar tracks:

"Armisen is young and healthy. If he's too afraid to bike in the Pearl, what does that say about our city?"

To me it says that the city of Portland should remove an entire mode of public transportation to make it easier for someone who probably hasn't been on a bicycle since he was 9 to move there and ridicule them. I wonder if anything will ever be enough for the people of Portland--who, were they to be liberated from their hated streetcar tracks, would probably find some other cycling injustice to rail against, such as the high cost of Stumptown coffee or an overabundance of low-hanging tree branches. It seems to me that focussing on streetcar tracks as an obstacle to cycling is like saying the problem with living in Antarctica is that there aren't enough Whole Foods. Anyway, Amsterdam is completely covered in tram tracks and it doesn't seem to pose much of a problem:

Then again, no Portander should ever have to run the risk of crashing his or her $5,000 Beloved "commuter" bicycle.

Anyway, if you do tire of the tram tracks in Amsterdam, it's pretty easy to escape the city and disappear into a Van Gogh painting:


As for the other city I visited, it was a place called "London," and as a New Yorker I found sights like this all too familiar:

Also as in New York, some people in London wear helments, other people don't, and some just split the difference by wearing helments but not fastening them:

And you seem equally likely in both New York and London to be cut off by a douchebag in a very expensive German motorcar:

However, there are also crucial differences between these two great cities. For example, bicycle commuters in London appear to take so-called "Cat 6" racing far more seriously than New Yorkers and would probably trounce us in a city-vs-city commuting competition. In fact, I'm reasonably sure the top riders in London actually get call-ups at the red lights:

(London Cat 6 starting grid.)

Also, safety vests are clearly very popular in London:


And to stand at the curb is to witness a constant procession of Day-Glo streaks:

Anecdotally, I'd also say that folding bicycles are more popular in London than they are in New York (along with the ubiquitous safety vest):

By the way, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but Londoners also like to wear safety vests:


And here's someone riding a folding bike and wearing a safety vest, just to make sure they've got all their London style cues covered:

Of course, if you don't wear a safety vest in London, the law requires that you instead don a pair of baggy shorts:


They really do like their baggy shorts over there:


As for the fixed-gear riders, Londoners can pull off a pink-cuff-and-purple-sock combo in a way that New Yorkers simply cannot:

That's because the London gentleman knows something that the loutish New Yorker doesn't--which is that the only way to pull them both together successfully is with a stripey mime shirt.

It should not surprise you then to learn that, as a New Yorker myself, I was not even remotely stylish and instead dressed poorly and transported myself by means of the so-called "Boris Bikes:"

Just go to one of the many docking stations:

Skip the 35(!) pages of terms and conditions that presumably say your family won't sue Barclay's if you die:


And then take to the impossibly confusing London streets! Just remember, the brakes are "reversed," but they're so vague and the bike is so heavy it doesn't really matter:

Also, according to page 26 of the terms and conditions, if you grab the wrong brake and fly headlong into the Thames, you have no legal recourse.

I was skeptical of the system at first, but it won me over very quickly. The docking stations were convenient, the bicycles were functional, and I even received swift and competent help from an actual English-speaking human when I called the help line at one point. Really, the only problem with it was that I had no idea where I was going, and every time I got on one of the "Boris Bikes" it basically turned into this.

I did also have one piece of actual "business" to attend to while I was in London, which was to be a guest on a BBC4 radio show called "Loose Ends," which you can listen to here. Then, after the show, we all went to the pub, which looked like this:

In all, it was a wonderful trip, and when I got back to New York the first thing I did was go for a ride, during which I witnessed a car with a "God Bless America" sticker on the rear windshield "accidentally" drive onto the 59th Street bridge bike lane:

It's great to be back.

143 comments:

Rob said...

PODIUM

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Snob.

Anonymous said...

VEGAN

Anonymous said...

Top 10

GhostOfTyrone said...

Zing...

Green Idea Factory said...

The brakes feel rather vague...

Angelina said...

Cycling in london is so exhilirating. The two cities (london & New York) couldn't be more different. Netherlands has different charcteristics - and less deadly traffic. All enjoyable!

petrus said...

TT.
but wtf, that was an early post @#%*()@#%. Where's the bs we know and love??

Beerfueled said...

What a crazy country this England must be. They drive on the left side of the roads, and the cyclists wait at intersections instead of just blasting through them like they do here, making motorists hate us more and more every day.

Beerfueled said...

And regarding the unfastened helmet, what timing. Yesterday, I was descending down Lookout Mountain (Golden, CO) and overtook a guy with helmet straps waiving like flags on either side. I actually asked myself at the time: "What would BikeSnob say?"

Belligero said...

Great to have you back!

The baggy shorts are likely being worn by Aussies, approximately a million of whom stay in London at any given time, rather than locals. They're generally referred to as "boardies", which is Australian shorthand for "board shorts".

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment.

Anonymous said...

Balls...

streepo said...

The recumbabe makes my Polnago vertically stiff.

Lauren said...

So glad you enjoyed London and our ever-popular "Boris Bikes." Despite the confusing streets, I am positive you piloted them better than the tourist I saw on Sunday, who took a left hand turn and ended up in the right hand lane. I turned to my friend on the bus and said, "Oh God. They should not let tourists ride those things." But for you, Snob, we will make an exception.

-An American in London

Croll 2, Best Worst Cyclist said...

The "Boris Bike" appears to be the exact same cycle that has popped up in Boston, the "New Balance Hubway":
http://www.thehubway.com/

wp said...

wtf, i was busy with, well you know that other thang.

17st!

SLAM said...

Boris Bike is the Montreal's Bixi from De Vinci bike, designed by Dallaire. They'll be in New York next year. (they also are in Melbourne, Toronto, etc.)
Hey Bike Snob, don't be a snob, come to Montreal!

SLAM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

oh?

we're you gone?










(Welcome Back!)

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

and "were" because "we're" makes no sense

mikeweb said...

Pip-pip cheerio!

Once Janice's NYC bike share is up and running, it'll be interesting to see 'holiday-ers' from the UK navigate our streets.

UrbanRidingTips said...

welcome back, kotter.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

wp said...

if you grab the wrong brake in fly headlong into the Thames, you probably needed cooling off anyway.

can i get them frootluips now?

Vito, look at this mess.

hi snobbie, we were good.

honest

UrbanRidingTips said...

someone threw up in your flower box while you were gone. those flowers look pretty healthy to me tho. I'd say it acted like fertiliser.

wp said...

i know nothing about this "commentariat run amok"

i think it's just innernets legend.

barf breaf said...

hey, hey!

what happens in the flowerbox stays in the flowerbox yo.

Paul Bowen said...

Glad you enjoyed London, welcome back.

Bill Smith said...

It is good to have you back, Bike Snob. I noticed the Vermeer-esque head covering in the first photo. Was she wearing a pearl earring?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Snobbie. I'll read this at lunch later today - woo-hoo!

Paul Bowen said...

Well if you'd said I would have been happy to show/guide you around London by bike. You're right about folders - I think Brompton may be the commonest single brand in London in the rush hours. I have one myself and I'm also guilty as charged on the baggy shorts (because Lycra's a bit revealing for he walk through the office).

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. Been filling my days with work and family. Free at last.

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

I like it when your post appears early in the AM. I gives me a chance to make a witty comment before the booze kicks in and the drool shorts out the keyboard.

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

I like it when your posts appear early in the AM. I gives me a chance to make a witty comment before the booze kicks in and the drool shorts out the keyboard.

yogisurf said...

Welcome back WRM. Looks like you and the family had a great trip. There was a lot of shoaling going on in front of the Double Decker bus. I’m soon going to visit the countries of Europe too. One has bones in a catacomb under the largest city. The other has an area referred to as a ‘Black Forest’ where many of the towns have the word ‘Bad’ in them. I will be venturing out on some cycling adventures while there and I’ll wear my latex gloves.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

snobbie is on after 24 minutes of very witty (read: boring) british commentary

crosspalms said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis/St.Paul has started a similar bike share/rental/dock service similar to the boris bikes: www.niceridemn.org

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

... shorts out the keyboard.

Ints L. said...

Phat (read normal) width tires should keep Messrs. Armisten and Co. out of those unruly trolley tracks.

Welcome back to Canada's mudflap.

bikesgonewild said...

...2025th...hey - isn't bsnyc/rtms/wcrm supposed to be back today ???...

ken e. said...

better get on board. welcome back!

Hohn Jurt said...

Wait...That's ACTUALLY actor John Hurt! Not just someone who looks like John Hurt.

Snob, what's it like to be famous? Hobnobbing with the Jet Set?

bikesgonewild said...

...2027th...ohhh, really ???..well, okay...i'll have to slow down & go back & look at the above post & see for myself...

bikesgonewild said...

...& arrrhhh, it's into the barrel with ya, me boyo, it's time to lick the salty dog...this here be 'talk like a pirate day'...

Nogocyclist said...

Welcome back WRM.

Anonymous said...

As a Yankee using Boris Bikes, you have to be careful to not swipe your credit card too quickly. Here in the States, when you swipe your credit card, you sometimes have to do it faster for it to read. Do that in a Bo-bike reader, and it will mis-read. And you'll try faster, and it will mis-read, and.....

Buffalo Bill said...

Welcome back Mr. Rock Machine, we missed you.

Blog Drafter said...

I do better when things are structured and not run all amok like last week.

Welcome back Snob.

Blog Drafter said...

51

Oops, sorry

Anonymous said...

MIME SHRT

PUNT BTCH

mikeweb said...

@Paul Bowen,

I concur on the baggy shorts for commuting for the walk through the lobby part.

Especially if you ride a Polnago to work.

Green Idea Factory said...

The Bixi-based bikeshare in Washington D.C. and now Boston requires helmets, though the law does not! Creepy corporate compulsion! Will the same apply to NYC? See here.

le Correcteur said...

mime shirt: that's pronounced meem, I think . . .

Anonymous said...

My eyeballs were seared by that guy with the yellow Mavic's and the boardies made out of hot air balloon.

The guy with the "mime shirt", and purple socks has mad style, I gotta admit.

Anonymous said...

Paul Bowen. You;re a jerk.

Hungry Panda. said...

Bromptons (clown bike), baggy shorts, Polish bikes, helments with no straps, Safety vests blowing in the wind. No wonder Us Ammmmericans, wanted our independence.

Too bad that did not work out so well.

No bambooo, probably too wet out there?

Anonymous said...

Man, NY is such a shit hole.

Paul Bunyon said...

No lycra in the lumberjack camp, either...

PK said...

The Boris is Nice Ride in MPLS. They are the gender neutral version of Beautiful Godzillas- no idea where they're going, weaving in and out of traffic, up and down the sidewalk and salmoning up your streets. They terrify me more than an 18 wheeler driven by Vito.

Tex said...

Here in Canada's Anus, it's Vito's cousins driving those things, mostly. And motorhomes too. Those cursed things are heading back down here for the winter, and it's scary as hell.

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

Urp ** cough cough

board shorts

Anonymous said...

It's cool how they sell tube socks and T-shirts in the Kerk there in Amsterdam.

Fritz said...

bake feets....hot footze

Anonymous said...

He's back. Now I know what was missing...


balls.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said that travel makes us wiser and less content...oh wait, Snob said that.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 2:07:

It was Ben Franklin who famously said:

"Don't believe everything that you read on the internet."

Astoriasontop said...

i love arbouys

Anonymous said...

wishiwasmerckx 2:34:

Oh, thanks. I knew it was something like that.

bikesgonewild said...

...do i gotta say it again ???...

...arrrhhh !!!...it's 'international talk like a pirate day', you scurvy dogs...

...shiver me fuckin' timbers...

LK said...

Hallo Meneer FietsSnobvanNYC!

Dank je wel.

mikeweb said...

I'll make 'ya walk the filth prophylactic then bottom bracket haul 'ya!!

...just, arrhhh, sayin'...

leroy said...

In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I will recyce the following:

A pirate wheels his Pista into a bike shop, its bull horns stuffed down the front of his pantaloons and exclaims to the mechanic: "Yar, her drive train be straight and true, but the handlebar be drivin' me nuts."

Welcome back!

Al in Berlin said...

We have a lot of very expensive German cars here, but they don't seem to be much of a threat. In Moscow, where I used to live, they were a constant menace. On the other hand, the Cat. 6 grid in front of a bus would be nearly suicidal.

Hannibal Berkowitz Dahmer said...

-ATTN RECUMBABE-

I'd really really like to eat you ...

along with some fava beans and a nice dry moistly piquant chianti

Marcel Da Chump said...

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y

Safety, vest!




Bike share in NYC next summer!

Marcel Da Chump said...

arrrhhh! Ya ken bike if yer want ta

arrrhhh! Ya ken leave yer friends behind

arrrhhh! Cuz yer friends don't bike

arrrhhh! And if they don't bike

arrrhhh! Well, they're no friends of mine

aaaarrrrhhhhh!!!

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

Praise Lob you are back! Interbike was lame and all the locals seemed kind of down....

g-roc said...

Welcome back Snobby. You got bit by a cat in Amsterdam too? Little buggers have lightning fast reflexes. Damn those Dutch cats.

crosspalms said...

In honor of the 18th letter of the Pirate Alphabet, I'll be riding home tonight with an eyepatch, a parrot and a wooden leg. Arrrr.

The Bike Douche' said...

Personally with significant divine foresight I had my bike helmet pop rivited directly to me skull. Now I never forget to wear it.

bikesgonewild said...

...ya know, when ya think about it, pirate talk lends itself better to english, than most other languages...

...i know, i know...as long as there's been booty to be pillaged on the sea, there've been pirates from around the globe willin' to steal it...

...but french pirates ???...no offense to pirates in general or french folks in particular but french pirate talk sounds swishy...it's just a fact & i'd be horrified to give" an example...

...& swedish pirate talk ???...now that's downright comical..."yumpin' yimminy...we're gonna make youuu yump da plank...byorgin, byorgin..."...i mean, really ???...

...german pirates ???..."ach der lieb...ve VILL be makink you to be jumping der plankt, ya ???"...okay, okay, i think i'd be glad to jump...

...& i know chinese pirates have a reputation as tough guys but "you rikky to be jump a prank ???"...hey, not so much but can i get egg roles with that ???...

...& italian pirates ???..."ehhh, you gotta jumpa de plank, ehhh ???...at's a nice a stylish a hat a you got there...where a you steal a that, ehhh ???"...

...anyway, i just thought in the spirit of the day, a little serious anthropological study wouldn't hurt & i think you can see what i'm sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Hi Snob,

welcome back!
Just my 2 cents to todays post:

- The UK highway code officially recommends cyclists wearing reflective vests.
- Brompton Bicycles are made in West London - hence you may see them quite often locally although the majority is now being exported (mostly to Asia for that matter)

wishiwasmerckx said...

Do you mean to tell me that Brompton Bicycles are not built in Brompton, North Yorkshire? What kind of bollocks is that?

The King of Park Slope said...

I can't help but notice that the only child crying is the one encumbered with a bike helmet.

Will Handsfield said...

What a huge disrespect! You cover London's bike share system before you come to DC to inspect ours? We're just an Acela ride away. You snooty New Yorkers and your European fetishizing disgusts me.

That said, you are welcome anytime in the nation's capital, and I will even provide you with a free one day (1-day) Capital Bikeshare pass to experience our monumental city.

You know where to find me to take advantage of this offer.

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

If it rains tomorrow, should I take the bus. Oh right; there isn't one.

domotion2011 said...

vacation time is over, now down to the real work of writing about winter biking, once the weather starts to get cooler the riff raff will be clear of the city streets and the bike shares will all be tucked away

Sade said...

Somali pirates.

Manny Sanguillen said...

Pittsburgh Pirates.

J pole said...

Pirate Radio

P.J Carlesimo said...

Seton Hall Pirates.

JDH said...

Welcome back Snob.

leroy said...

I don't mean to brag, but yesterday I got to wear a safety vest from 4:30 AM to 4:30 PM as a TA Century volunteer.

Pretty sweet gig. London inspired fashion and all the Cliff bars, PB&J sandwiches, orange slices, GU gels, hummus, bananas, and chips you can eat.

Good thing those vests are cut large.

Poppa Wheelie said...

9/19 !!!!!!!

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

zzzzzzzzz "Wha? Who? I dinna, hol' on...wha? cough cough

bored? lemme get my shorts on...get that flashlight out a my eyes, will ya?"

2wheeler said...

does the BBC broadcasts come with a translation?

wp said...

99 luft ballons

wp said...

okay, who's next?

Chandra said...

Cool report! I liked hearing the bicycling related stories from Amsterdam and London, from an American's POV!

Peace :)

wp said...

second step?!3

oh yeah, arrrgh.

wp said...

103st!

yes, it's a bit anticlimaxual after seeing 1003 and more.

maties. think i'll spin down now.

wednesday is soon enough.

Men Without Helments said...

it's safety vest

it's safety vest

it's safety vest

it's safety vest

Anonymous said...

Nice MTB single speed, WCRM!

Ritte, little trip to Europe, then Engine Cycles single speed...

happy to see the blog is doing well!

Welcome back !

Mellow Yellow said...

#OccupyWallStreet #CriticalMass #BikeBloc: doing for hipsters what Bike Snob did for complainers.

Come down to Broadway and Liberty Plaza any time, day or night. Bring bedding for overnight.

Drinkinbike said...

I left a perfectly good Portland to live in Antarctica and I deeply miss my local Whole Foods on Burnside. Please tell them hello from Mcmurdo.

James Barker said...

Should have gone to Berlin while you were over the pond. Very bike friendly.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I normally don't say much, I read, larf, and say "thank gawd for bsnyc". But here's the deal: you said you'd be back on the 19th, you posted on the 18th, but not the 19th. You owe us one.

Awaiting a double post.

bikesgonewild said...

...drinkinbike...while mcmurdo station may never have a 'whole foods', if you're posted there long enough, just think about the mtb riding available to you in a couple a' years, what with the polar icecaps melting at the rate they are...

...("global warming ??? - well, that's just a myth")...ya, right...ya mean ya can't feel it, even with your head buried in the sand...i digress...

...anyway - you'll get to ride singletrack that hasn't been exposed in, what, 100,000 years ???...prob'ly pretty clean stuff...

Paul Bowen said...

Anon @12:34: "Paul Bowen. You;re a jerk."

Cuh. It's your a jerk, you ignoranus!

Paul Bowen said...

wishiwasmerckx: the story goes that the inventor (name escapes me, can't be arsed to look it up) named the bike after the Brompton Oratory which he could see from his window as he worked on the prototype. It's also an echo of Bickerton, the market leader in folders at the time Brompton launched, and the name of a VERY posh part of London, both of which I suspect informed his thinking. I drove through Brompton, North Yorks at the weekend funnily enough, en route to Hutton-le-Hole.

bikesgonewild said...

...paul bowen...you just proved the old saw, that - "two wrongs don't make a right"...

...in fact anon 12:34 was closer to being correct, in that it looks that he simply hit the semi-colon key next to the proper apostrophe key, which would then define the proper terminology for his given statement wherein 'your' word has a completely different meaning & doesn't fit the circumstance...

...i ain't callin' you names over this but i am just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

http://www.portlandmercury.com/IAnonymousBlog/archives/2011/07/?page=3

Don’t Cross that Thin Line
Posted by Anonymous on Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 2:24 AM

I was visiting from out of state,& needed a bike S.T.A.T.! I found a flyer 4 bike rentals in the downtown area. I rode the MAX from NE with the plan of riding the bike back north. I have no sense of direction to begin with, so when I finally got there I was awe stuck by the guy working there. I cummed my legging. The only thought in my head was mine on his head. To make things more awkward I needed to find out where DZ nuts chamois cream was sold. My real thoughts were seeing what he had on person. I left in a state unable to ride,& trouble struck soon after I crossed the Burnside Bridge. as my legging became wetter so did the weather. I fell on the MAX rail tracks I was not capable of blinking without a thought of me riding him rather than the single speed. I took the MAX back to the hotel, with more than enough to think about. Blushing at my own foolishness while I kicked myself the ride back.

Reggie said...

Wrong. Portland blog would be called "Stroller Mama."

Paul Bowen said...

@bikesgonewild: you think?

PawnShop said...

bgw:
I think you meant, "two rongs dont maek a rite".

Anonymous said...

you may have missed it while traveling but the boris bike will make an appearance here in NYC. i have also witnessed a car in the bike lane on the ed i koch bridge... is it that poorly marked? to be fair the pilot was more than appropriately chagrined and was very grateful for my assistance in guiding her back down to first av. (she maintained that she couldn't make the turn around and actually wanted me to drive her car for her!??)

wishiwasmerckx said...

Paul Bowen, I know Hutton. He is a stand-up guy. He doesn't even speak French, and would nor appreciate you calling him "le hole."

talentless agent said...

Sir Tim Rice and Eben Weiss
on the same radio talk show
raises the likelihood of a
BSNYC musical.

Anonymous said...

Every time you venture to some foreign land your writing improves. Or the fact that you see so much on your journey that you put more interesting stuff in your blog makes for a more interesting read. Anyway, here's to more amazing trips in your future! I enjoyed today's blog tremendously! Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Cracking post - the preferred term of reference for the bright yellow vest you see cyclists wearing in London is: 'visibility jerkin'

Anonymous said...

Snob-
One may ride without fanfare in the Netherlands because someone gave a sH$& decades ago and radically changed the streets to include bikes.
Now that you are back will you practice your cool riding style and not care either or work to change the streets of New York. Ahhh, forget it.. we'll all go to Copenhagen on vacation so our kids can ride. No one reads this blog anyway.

Anonymous said...

I've been studying the incredibly smug photos of Americans riding bake feets, and the ones of Dutch people who are being totally cool and not making a big deal about about the whole endeavor. Really hard to tell the difference.

drinkinbike said...

bikesgonewild,

It's been 200 million years give or take that this continent has been frozen solid. Having said that, our rec department did buy us Specialized 29ers last year. It's a hardy bunch that cycle commute to work down here even in the summer. We don't have dirt exactly, but volcanic ash is a good second option.

grog said...

welcome back Babe

Ayasha Kieth said...

Great experience...and cycling is a very interesting activities


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PPT said...

The "sober, gentlemanly number" you saw in Amsterdam sports a German-made Hebie Chainglider, which costs about EUR 30 and is arguably the best chainguard available -- if you have hub gears, that is.

Green Idea Factory said...

@PPT: A Chainglider is great as a retrofit if your gearworkings are unsheathed, but I like the smell of a full chain case in the morning -- It feels like victory. Chaingliders are part of the German bike sporty style cult which rejects Dutch classic style.

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Anonymous said...

ant1st blows goats

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say that as a UK resident that the brakes on that boris bike were the correct way round, it's the rest of world that reverses them (incorrectly).

Tad Salyards said...

London is truly my own personal hell in terms of cycling culture.

What is it that makes Anglo-Saxon types so damn square and paranoid compared to the Germanic tribes?

Green Idea Factory said...

@Ted: There is no common Germanic paranoia and square-itude: Lots of adults here in Berlin wear helmets and vests and still ride illegally on the sidewalk, often because they are scared. Pretty much the only kids who don't wear helmets - not required by law for anyone - are ones not of European origin.

Tad Salyards said...

@ Green Idea Factory

I'm painting in broad strokes here.

I've been to Berlin recently, and it's a second rate cycling city at best. The number of helmets is probably more a function of the fact that there are so many English speaking students in Berlin. It's insane how many Americans one runs into there these days.

There are great cycling cities in Germany (Bremen, M√ľnster, Oldenburg, etc) but Berlin is not one of them.

Believe me. I've lived in Germany and the United States and we Anglo types are far more paranoid than the Germans. There's something wrong with us.

Green Idea Factory said...

I agree about Berlin being second rate...

mark polo said...

international movers

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

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Fixie Bikes said...

" Do not attempt international travel." lol

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