Thursday, February 2, 2012

Facts: Who Needs 'Em?

Further to yesterday's post, in which I mentioned Ghost Bikes and ghost bikes, a number of commenters were kind enough to inform me that Ghost Bikes have been around since 1993, while ghost bike memorials began in 2003:


I suppose I might have learned this had I spend the requisite four and a half seconds checking dates via a popular search engine, but as I always say, I didn't get into the semi-professional bike blogging racket to "work." So why did I get into it then? Well, for the strange care packages, of course. (The dissemination of misinformation is merely a bonus.) In fact, here's a particularly strange care package I received recently:


At first glance this appeared to be simply a United Airlines toiletry kit of some kind, but when I opened it I discovered that it was in fact a clown car of weirdness:

The morbid rubber mask and unicycle brochure were disconcerting enough:

But it was the juxtaposition of the dreidel, the Iron Maiden badge, and the photo of a kid with holes punched through his eyes that really made me shiver:

At this point in the unpacking process I paused briefly to change the locks on my front door and adopt a pit bull. (I call him Cuddles. He has cigarette burns on his face, testicles the size of Fuji apples, and he's really angry). Then, I returned to the package and flipped open the smutty paperback as Cuddles sat by my front door alternately growling and licking his apples:

Only to find a secret vaginal-shaped cutout containing a fragrant object:

If you're wondering how all this made me feel, "freaked the fuck out" is probably the best way to describe it. You know a package is creepy when a parcel from All Hail The Black Market seems reassuring by comparison:

I haven't been this scared of my mailbox since I was a high school senior applying to college. (You don't know rejection until you've been denied admission by a SUNY; it's like being told you don't have what it takes to own a Scattante.)

Anyway, all of this is to say that I simply don't have time for tasks as onerous as fact-checking. Also, part of the problem is simple cultural misunderstanding. See, Ghost Bikes is a German company, and at least some of the commenters who corrected me appeared to be from Germany (or at least from Europe). Given this, I suppose they could be excused for expecting accuracy. However, that's just not how we do things here in Canada's apple sack. No, what we do is formulate an opinion, declare it to be truth, and then alter the facts accordingly. Consider this video from commenter "CE:"



Having been to Amsterdam with my family recently I can confirm that what Bill O'Reilly is saying is insane. Indeed, visiting Amsterdam and traveling there by bike was easily one of our best family experiences to date. It's pretty sad that you have to leave America in order to feel safe going on a bike ride with your kid (or even by yourself for that matter). The simple fact is that you have not seen pleasure on the face of a child until you have seen one inside a "bake feets" on an Amsterdam cycle path. Really, it's second only to the look of joy they get while visiting a legal prostitute, or taking a big hit of cannabis at one of the many coffee shops.

Interestingly though, if you take the Fox News video and substitute the word "Amsterdam" with the words "Las Vegas," then it does become totally accurate.

Speaking of America, during my "high-8-us" last week I received a very important press release:

Herndon, Va., January 26, 2012― At the Washington Auto Show today, Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) and the Bikes Belong Foundation, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for biking, announced a new two-year partnership to help develop biking-friendly communities, foster healthy lifestyles and create a cleaner environment. VWoA will donate vehicles and funding to support three core Bikes Belong advocacy and urban planning initiatives: Peopleforbikes.org, Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTSNP) and Bicycling Design Best Practices.

Awww, isn't that cute? Here comes a car company to finally lend cycling some legitimacy! Doesn't this make you feel better about yourself? Doesn't the Volkswagen logo look great next to the Bikes Belong logo? Doesn't the irony make you feel all tingly inside, like you just opened a United Airlines bag full of psychotic bric--à-brac, or like seeing Jim Perdue in one of those sexy naked PETA ads? Really, this is what American-style "biking" is all about: putting your hybrid bike on the trunk rack of your $45,000 Touareg TDI (it's environmentally friendly, you know), driving to the nearest recreational path, and then riding for 20 minutes in sweatpants around the local reservoir just like LeBron James.

Of course, cycling is a little more sophisticated in the larger American cities like New York, where instead of driving our bikes to the bike path we prefer to salmon into each other:


horrible biker on Tompkins - w4m - 24 (Tompkins in Brooklyn)
Date: 2012-02-01, 11:10PM EST
Reply to:

i just need to say a feeeewwww things:

As a biker you should be looking out for your fellow bikers.
Hightailing it around a corner the wrong way onto a one-way bike lane/road wearing all black without a light is not cool. Sure, in general that may not be a place you'd be concerned about getting into or CAUSING an accident...but really. Its not that hard to slow down a bit and look out for your own. Did you notice that I landed in the middle of the car lane? What would've happened had there been more traffic? We're both damn lucky you only caused me a ridiculously untrue front wheel and busted up knees. I'm pissed. You offered me a few bucks to true the wheel. Thanks, but honestly...had I been in your presence for another second I would have raged.
Obviously you didn't perform as a jackass biker on purpose, and I'm sure you feel terrible...but that was stupid.

ouch.

Or else simply engage in the timeless Cat 6 Dance of Dorkiness:


Date: 2012-01-30, 8:50PM EST
Reply to:

You beat me, you son of a bitch.

I wasn't there, but I'm reasonably sure that shame was the only winner of that race.

110 comments:

Anonymous said...

Schwing~!

Scranus.

Anonymous said...

Numbers are letters.

Anonymous said...

Top 5!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Veered off into a car park and lost contact with the leaders...oh, well...

DogShot said...

Wooo, top 10!

Bikewritercat said...

I thought we left fact-based considerations behind a decade ago, in favor of more easily portaged individual realities.

And I think that was an extra-special "take-care" package.

Ironically named lawman Griffin Lawless said...

Griffin Lawless...that's right, Griffin Lawless

Anonymous said...

speaking of ghosts,
NICK CAGE
GHOS RIDR

hillier99 said...

Unexpected top 10!

petrus said...

Top X!!!

Mike in Dallas said...

top ten?

Buffalo Bill said...

So, ritte is still sending you swag then?

Anonymous said...

Top 15? Lame.

Marcel Da Chump said...

What's on that cassette?

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty; read; 3 days running. At this rate, a second rate team's going to offer me a contract!

petrus said...

Herpes Shwag.

But that nice Mensch from Volkswagon almost makes me want to buy a nice car from him.

Anonymous said...

Scantastic douchetation today!

Anonymous said...

Whoa.
Early post.

Blog Drafter said...

Well, top twenty anyway.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

20

samh said...

5,000 G.

Anonymous said...

I think you're only entitled to your own facts if you are a "journalist" or member of the press corps. Then you can just make shit up and attribute it to an anonymous source.

But, you're just a blogger/author whatever... you can't just yank something out of your scranus and call it fact. Leave that to the professionals.

Or, something.



balls,

Anonymous said...

Baby, superstition!

mikeweb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikeweb said...

Fox is the bike lane salmoner of the news world.

Buy-cycle said...

volkswagen are utterly shameless. They spent massive amounts of money lobbying against stricter EU regulations concerning co2 emissions. Screw their paltry handouts. Also, Amsterdam is awesome.

mikeweb said...

Actually, the weirdest thing in that whole 'scare' package is the golf ball.

Just thinking about golf freaks me out.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Yea, heck with fox news. I get the straight dope on world travel right here on this blog. I can't wait to go to Amsterdam to see the "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." that's news.

McFly said...

The Cat 6's dropped Dignity as soon the race was no longer neutralized....

crosspalms said...

I thought airlines had stopped giving stuff away. Nice to see United is bucking the trend, and apparently adding smoking sections, too!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You know Bikesnob your kinda like a blogospheric version of Geraldo Rivera.

misster-PISSTA said...

Ive only been to the DAMN once ---I was riding on 20" tubulars back then about 350c? it was a 4 speed with a HUret , I was 7 years old and it changed my life..just the ride from the airport..A cycle/moped path had just opened alongside the motorway ,and my parents and I rode it all the way to the hotel where we stayed. The path was so cool, it had it's own tunnels that went over or under the car exits.

What a difference it was from riding to the airport when we had left san francisco ...as I remember to fly all we did to the bikes was take of the pedals ..and they rolled them right on the plane (no it didnt have propellers)..so it goes to shows some things get better and some get worse..which leads me to volkswagon..didnt they have a desil gulf in the 80's that got 80 miles a gallon or something? (to lazy to google that,plus I want to fininsh in the peleton--and go for a ride in the "meat world")..

progress or devolution?

OBA said...

Volkswagen has been cozying up to bikes for long time -remember the VW-Trek Jettas that came w/ a rack and a actual Trek? VW also sponsored the VW Trek team for a bunch of seasons, so you have to give them credit for consistency.

JB said...

Snob,

We're going to need more information on the provider of that care package. Received from whom? in the mail? WTF?

Looks like the belongings of a minimalist homeless person.

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

What was on the cassette?

Anonymous said...

I could feel his billy club getting hard as he pressed his body against my thigh.

Anonymous said...

@ misster-PISSTA
It took me about thirty seconds of dog piling to find out that Rabbit/Golf diesels got a claimed 57 mpg. I had a friend who had one and a reasonably strong Cat 6'er could take one of those POS' in a drag race to 30 mph.

Anonymous said...

On purpose would be going the wrong way on a one way street. It was done on purpose.

Anonymous said...

"Turn around and spread them wide...wider...wider, there we go." Officer Johnson has frisked may women but this will be his first time frisking this mysterious lady in tight Jordatch jeans.

db said...

How did Ev Bogue get your mailing address?

Anonymous said...

AMST RDAM
FAUX NEWS
CARE PAKG

Anonymous said...

Is that a white bandana on the left? The white thing, I mean, that has a hole in it. And what does it have scrawled on it? What is that white thing? The rectangular one, in the picture.

Anonymous said...

And I don't mean bandana. Man. I mean that white thing. On the left. What is it? I mean balaclava.

JB said...

That's the old dick-in-a-hankie gag that was big in the whorin' '20s.

Accuracy expecting eurodude said...

Being really interested in US culture, i have this question:
is anything Bill O'Reilly says NOT insane? Do people seriously consider he´s a journalist?

ringcycles said...

WCRM: Did you forget that yesterday was Wednesday? Looks like someone wanted you to be able to remain in the American 44% (or the Dutch 22%) The rest was just filler to confuse "the man". Though, if you were already a few tokes into the day, I can understand how those random items would freak you out.

Anonymous said...

Quarante-six

Anonymous said...

Ah, Fox news...

Seen this?
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/left-rejoices-as-poll-of-612-new-jerseyans-declares-fox-news-makes-people-stupid/

ringcycles said...

Faux News:
we distort, you imbibe

Etherhuffer said...

Wow. Unbelievable. They said that "When a good American dies, he goes to Paris." If I am only a little good, can I go t Amsterdam? O'Reilly is a POS.

Anonymous said...

With a mask like that you could hang out with the Park Slope Juggulas.

McFly said...

That motorcycle cop looks eerily like Pedro Delgado

mikeweb said...

Fox News:

"Really rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people."

And yes, O'Reilly is a total douche nozzle.

Anonymous said...

i wouldn't take a puff if i were you, snob. play it safe, give it to vito.

Anonymous said...

We don't get Fox news over here (thankfully) - however, there're plenty of other Murdoch mouthpieces spewing his propaganda/agenda into the world....

Rant over; might go and have a look at it now......

hey nonny mouse

deleted comment said...

this author was deleted by the comment

Anonymous said...

Team Shame

leroy said...

I called my dog a son of a bitch.

He just looked at me and said "Well, duh."

(But ixnay on the ention-may of Cuddles' uji-Fay apples. My dog is asking fixed gear questions again.)

grog said...

Top 60!
Happy Groundhog Day.
Apparently Recumbabe rides in Virginia. Who knew.

RANTWICK said...

I want to know if the fragrant object was discarded or put to use (or will be soon). I mean, it's kind of a "candy from strangers" scenario... how's your trust level, Snob?

RANTWICK said...

Alternatively, would be comfortable giving it away to somebody else, perhaps with a disclaimer?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Not that I really know anything about this sort of thing, but that could be a "Sherm;" a joint dipped in PCP (or, apparently, enbalming fluid is also quite popular). I question the wisdom of accepting spliffs sent through the mail by strangers.

Anonymous said...

speaking of the williamsburg bridge, i biked it for the first time this week. a couple things stood out: (1) they have dedicated two way lanes for both peds and cyclists and (ii) the bridge is a surprisingly steep climb both ways. not bad, although i still feel sorry for the outer borough dwellers.

Udder said...

The idea that some people think that they can post a rant or a pick up line on Craigslist and believe that the person they are trying to reach will read it is astonishing.

Hand Panther Home Recordings said...

For god's sake what's on the bloody tape?

crosspalms said...

Maybe Bill O'Reilly was right when he said "it's coming here." Was the joint mailed from Amsterdam? The good news is, if the free drugs are showing up in the mail, the free love should be here soon too. What a fathead that man is.

Phfft... said...

Mikeweb at 1:37

Also, Oscars:

Entertainers giving other entertainers awards for being entertainers.

Anonymous said...

Apologies; there should have been an * after "Murdoch" and, in a BBC style -

*Other suckers of Satan's cock are available.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

looking at that parcel i would seriously consider placing your wife and child in some sort of witness protection program.

an uncool joke...hopefully.

crosspalms said...

wiwm,
As long as it's not dipped in Slurm.

bikesgonewild said...

...re: the united airlines toiletry bag...

...i think 'ritte' made a mistake & crossed up your address with scraggy guy's & sent you his worldly possessions after that photo shoot...

...what to you is "...a clown car of weirdness..." are the sentimental belongings of a man who perhaps had his mind set on joining the circus but lacked the talent to ride a unicycle...

...i mean, i don't know but i'm just sayin'...

Kenny Banya said...

WRM, if you have something to play that cassette on, then you Sir are a hilpster's hilpster. Do you still have that knockoff Walkman?

gold

Dooth said...

Notify the authorities, ASAP.

g-roc said...

BuffaloBill 11:13 - We tried so hard to get them to him a new wheelset and he gets this?

RCT 12:11 - it's all true. If my reflexes were a touch slower, you'd call me Lefty. On another note, I get all my history facts from Snob too:

Today, we celebrate "a holiday that commemorates the day almost 20 years ago now on which the groundhogs of the world rose up against their human oppressors and emerged from the resulting bloodbath as the supreme beings on the planet Earth."

Anonymous said...

I wondered what happened to the time-capsule-o-crap from my childhood. The Maxwell cassette, from with the montage of '80s party songs, when Iron Maiden opened for Judas Priest in'81, the dradel that got stuck in my nose at that Jewish sorority house, how I used to read stories to mom in the nursing home...Wow...memories
ciao Pinarello

g-roc said...

Snob, that used tissue may be your ticket to another bout of the runs, so don't be too quick to cook up a big batch of spaghetti with your newfound Portland Oregano.

Anonymous said...

What's with the hardwood floor? Objects on WCRM's blog get photographed on a sisal rug.

Imposter!

One Who Does Not Know said...

Do I see a smehshulized logo subliminally embedded in the pink swash on the front cover of the romance novel?

Anonymous said...

He exhaled softly pushing his Greenleaf in the vicinity of a quivering.
Back at the station @BGW slowly unzipped his pants and threatened to handcuff a prehistoric crustasion while waving pistols in the air at Leroy for getting crunchy peanut butter.

Ty Webb said...

Anyone find a Titliest?

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 4:10pm...i thoroughly encourage the mentally challenged to utilize their creative powers with the hope that someday they might find fulfillment...

...you may have reached your limit however...

...just sayin'...

television_writer said...

Anywhere in Khazakstan is better than Amsterdam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=krudM4kHZt4

Nice new velodrome there too. Astana sends their best regards.

ce said...

I don't know why you are shocked, the package just looks like the physical manifestation of your comments section. There's nothing unnerving about that.

LK said...

Lots of free parking!

http://bit.ly/zdJkbC

g-roc said...

One Who Does Not Know - Lawsuit pending.

Acquainted with fame said...

Your famous...must guard your privacy...sucks, but there's the rub...good luck.

McFly said...

ce, Speaking of physical manifestations I need a warm, moist washcloth.

Ned Ryerson said...

@4:13
Ty? Ty Webb? Ty Webb I thought that was you! Now, don't you tell me you don't remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you! You've got the wrong movie today.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

bgw @2:38 That's a funny comment. You give me a reason to log onto this band of rapscallions later in the evening. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Amsterdam's a fabulous place, highly recommended.

And the h is after the second k.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Snob,
What happened to the carpet?

Ty Webb said...

Ned, you must like getting punched in the face...look closely at the creepy care package!...excuse me, Spackler's calling for another cannon ball...cannon ball! Oh, that northern California sensimillia rules!

Anonymous said...

The internet now caters to sellers,
Or to beat off to porn is even better

Facts and the internet the jury's out
V-dub's intent is as milk and trout

Edgy package with a romance novel
For missed connections sex, a towel

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately salmoning comes from the same genetics that give us right hand only turns. It used to be a latent gene profile that is now being considered a virus by the Department of Retard Assessment.

Dr. Obgyn said...

Not to be overly technical, but that would be a vulva-shaped cutout, not a vaginal-shaped cutout.

Dr. Obgyn said...

And I should know. After all, I am literally up to my elbows in that kind of stuff all day long...

Sal Putrid said...

i just heard Jello Biafra in a college radio promo!
Tune in to WNYU right now! Crucial Chaos is the name of the show...Noonan!

ce said...

McFly, see that's exactly what I'm talking about.

Snob, a couple months ago you accused my compatriot Russell Crowe of bike thievery. I stood in his defense at the time, but new evidence has come to light. A Hollywood criminal syndicate has been uncovered. The Serious Bike Crime Unit has publically released surveillance photography of the Godfather .

Ty Webb said...

How's that grab ya, Ned?
Much obliged to ce.

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

Hunnert!

Doug said...

GREAT video. To paraphrase Kenny about Fox News; "this is how a lie becomes the truth".

Ned's Dead Baby, Ned's Dead said...

On my deathbed, I'll recieve total consciousness. So I got that goin for me.

Pantyless is pantyless said...

Tomorrow(today) it's going to be 60 here in Paris(not Francais) and my wife and I are going for a ride. Is it still hoodwinking if I request that she goes pantyless or does that somehow dillute the experience.

Josh said...

Respect.

Anonymous said...

When did Bill O'Reilly ever say anything NOT insane? Since most of his viewers are insane, or the wuldn't be watching him, what do we expect?

Spence said...

'I been ridin' on a ghost train,
where the cars they scream and slam'
-Dire Straits

milesfromneihu said...

Dear Bikesnobnyc,

Thanks for honoring me with a mention in your blog. I totally agree that nothing makes up for awareness and caution on the part of the person opening the car door. I am sure that slamming into a brightly painted door would hurt as much as into a dull-colored one. Many people here in Taiwan do check first, open the car door an inch or two as a signal to oncoming traffic, then ease the door open just enough to exit. This is what works in an environment of high density traffic that streams more or less continuously.

All that said however, I would like to defend the idea of visual enhancements to vehicle door edges. Doors enhanced with bright paint, reflective tape, or LEDs give approaching traffic a clearer warning, and more time to respond. Given millions of door openings, and millions of oncoming cyclists, those microseconds do help, and reduce mishaps.

Lastly I'd like to mention that while we do own a car (technically my wife's), my usual and preferred means of transport is a bicycle. I am a bicycle commuter. I have offered an approach to the problem of bicycle theft in a YouTube video. Search YouTube for DIY Uglification if you are interested. You got a lot of mileage from my "Car Door Warning Color" and you might be able to get some good from the YouTube thing too. I should point out that it is also a surface-oriented approach. I like surface fixes.

Keep up the good work,

milesfromneihu

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