Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cyclists: Eternal Victims, Perpetual Menaces

Do you have one of those drawers in your house that's full of random extension cords, obsolete cellphone chargers, and lengths of speaker wire and coaxial cable?  If so, have you ever tried to extract one of those cables, only to find that the whole mass had become a single inextricable electronic dreadlock?  Well, I have, which is why I can relate to the difficulty this would-be cockpit thief is having:


New York City's Most Untalented Bike Thief from ANIMALnewyork.com on Vimeo.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it's less like the junk drawer and more like trying to eat a sinewy steak with a dull knife.  In any case, I know the above moron is not the same person who stole my cockpit awhile back, since my thief was obviously a professional:


All it took to emasculate my Scattante was two cuts and a flick of the wrist to loosen the stem bolts.  Of course, they say if you cut off a cockpit it just grows back bigger, and that's exactly what happened with mine:


As for whether this approach also works as a method of "natural male enhancement," I'm not sure, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Speaking of cockpits, the above image of my wide handlebars comes from my Academy Award-winning book trailer (it won in the "best self-whoring short film" category), and did you know a number of scenes in that trailer were shot from the back of my Surly Big Dummy?

(We took the kiddie seat off first since MC Spand-X couldn't fit in it.)

I'm sure you didn't know this, and I'm even more sure that you couldn't care less.  However, the most fulfilling aspect of owning a Big Dummy or indeed any cargo bike is annoying other people with constant updates on how we're using them:

"I filmed a movie off my Big Dummy."

"I carried 150lbs of organic carrots on my Kona Ute."

"I put my three kids with last names for first names in a bakfiets and took them to Montessori school for future hipster training."

And so forth.

You can tell us you don't care, and you can tell us to shut up, and you can even throw up all over us, but we'll never stop because smugness feeds on disgust like that slime fed on anger in "Ghostbusters II."  This is also the driving force behind the entire city of Portland, OR, and the more you hate them the more powerful and hairy they become.

Speaking of hate, numerous and many peoples have electronically mailed me a link to the following "Official Bicycle Safety Manual" from the Nineteen-Hundred and Forties time period of time:


If you're familiar with the Cook's Chicken scene from the movie "Ghost World" you know that prejudice never really disappears; rather, it just becomes more adept at concealing itself.  Similarly, in America we still believe that cyclists are suicidal fools who don't have the sense to get out of the way of the cars, only back in the 1940s we were a lot more straightforward about it:



I particularly like the "White Man's Burden" tone of these cartoons--as though the gracious motorists are doing all they can not to kill the poor cyclists but they just insist on dying anyway.

Of course, cyclists aren't just stupid and defenseless, and paradoxically they're also maniacal baby killers:

(That baby really should have been wearing a helment.)

This idea too has survived into our present day:


For quite some time I've been wondering why Americans consider bicycles a menace to children when the fact is they only possess a tiny fraction of the sheer baby-killing power of the automobile.  Finally though I realized what it was.  See, there's one thing Americans despise more than anything else--including dead babies--and that's weakness.  Bicycles are weak, and cars are strong.  Therefore, we can live with our children getting killed by strong stuff like cars and guns (which happens all the time), but the very thought of one dying because of some "woosie" on a bike (which happens basically never) is an affront to our sensibilities.  It's perfectly fine to die in America, just as long as you do it like a man.

Anyway, as great as all these cartoons are, this one may be my favorite:


Ha, ha--the silly cyclist totally got crushed by a metaphor for progress.

Speaking of menaces to children, the electric bicycle is rapidly overtaking the standard human-powered replacement horse as the number one threat to children and pedestrians in New York City--at least as far as some local politicians are concerned:

"They are a nightmare for pedestrians,” said Lappin, joined by state Senator Liz Krueger on the steps of City Hall. ”My office receives constant complaints about them riding on the sidewalks, traveling opposite traffic, running red lights, just being reckless and dangerous.” Said Krueger: “Who will think of the mothers pushing carriages who are at risk for their lives?”

I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, it's true that electric delivery bicycles are probably the most irritating two-wheeled conveyance in New York City.  (It used to be brakeless fixie Nü-Freds, but they're like elderly people with walkers in comparison.)  On the other hand, cracking down on electric bikes when drivers keep parking their cars on top of people's bodies with impunity is like yelling at the cat for clawing at the sofa leg while the dog is setting fire to the house.  Anyway, we know what the single-most dangerous thing to children is in this city, and it ain't bikes (electric or otherwise):


Data show that deaths among children were more likely to occur from unintentional injuries than from intentional injuries (69% vs. 24%, respectively). Unintentional motor vehicle traffic accidents contributed the most to child injury deaths in NYC overall (25%), with more than three quarters of deaths occurring among pedestrians. 


Nevertheless, electric bicycles are nothing short of a Lobsend for the city, since this current preoccupation should buy them at least a few more years before they finally have to deal with the whole pesky homicidal motorist thing.

Meanwhile, in Prospect Park, a "road sharing task force" is proposing removing one lane of car traffic to make more room for cyclists and pedestrians:


If you're from some other country you may be wondering why cars should be "sharing" a park with people at all, but don't worry--I'm sure one day we'll reach our goal of having a 100% people-free Prospect Park.

In any case, if all this talk of dead babies is getting you down, why not watch a documentary about people riding their bikes at night, as forwarded by a reader?



If the 1960s and '70s saw the advent of the American New Wave of cinema, then the 2010s will certainly be remembered as the age of the "Reiterative Documentary," a style of filmmaking which basically involves taking a simple activity and then having people describe it over and over again in a similar fashion.  Actually, we used to have winter group rides at night in New York City too--that is until all the club Freds decided that riding inside was a more effective method of "training."  (The modern New York City road cyclist ideally only rides a bicycle outside only for racing purposes.)  Perhaps I'll make a documentary about it, after I finish my current project on the world's most expensive Haro:




Yeah, right.  That bike totally jumped the shark by 1987, this one is way nicer.

137 comments:

Billy said...

Podium!

theEel said...

weed1st!

Anonymous said...

podium for HUGGY

Kenny said...

...AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW!

Mike in Dallas said...

I am a road MENACE!!!

le Correcteur said...

top ten; had a bad day yesterday.

Anonymous Coward said...

Scranus.

JB said...

Look Snob, no hands!! *()^*%&*$^%$#@^%@&^^$%(*&^)(

Anonymous said...

Take the handlebars but leave the wisecracker?

Does not compute.

Flatbush Velo said...

Season starts this weekend!

Paul Bowen said...

Top X!

Paul Bowen said...

Gah!

Buy-cycle said...

13?

JB said...

Had the '85 day-glo green Master. The frame cracked, so Haro sent me an '86 frame. Don't know why it cracked. All I did was ride up to McDonalds and do "lawnmowers" on it. Wish I still had it, especially the redline/sugino 400 cranks.

le Correcteur said...

"I put my three kids with last names for first names in a bakfiets and took them to Montessori school for future hipster training."

HA! Very funny; also the bit about the night ride video.

Keith Earickson said...

I've owned my first video camera for over a week now, haven't made any "edits" of me on my fully racked up and pannier laden child's toy, is there something wrong with me.

Also, white people be loving those 5-toe shoes.

PatrickBateman said...

turds top 10

Billy said...

I'm still amazed by those 1940 "cartoons". If anything, they're a powerful argument for controlling and reducing car traffic and holding drivers liable for their carelessness-caused carnage.

Anonymous said...

Since all the other guys dopped, first and podium!

cycle

Anonymous said...

Since all the other guys dopped, first and podium!

cycle

The love that dare not spell its name said...

Top twenny?

eDDDie douche' said...

Tell me again how I know when I'm High?

You've told me before but I seem to have forgottten.

Anonymous said...

Snobby please...next time you post a video of some creep mangling some poor persons ride, please precede it with a warning like: "Caution this clip contains graphic scene of bicycle mutilation and may be disturbing to some viewers. Parental desecration advised". That was nasty!

mr. wookie said...

you should price a Redline RL20II in Hazard Yellow

woof

McFly said...

I know where there is an sky blue Dyno GT with the sweet white mags I can get for $50. Just needs tires. The guy bought in new in 85/86. I will see you suckers on the Craigslistings.

DerZoots said...

That Haro Freestyler is Boss!

Weed 2nd!

Panties too.

mikeweb said...

Maybe "Transformers" is actually a parable for this very non-sensible car worship with a total blind eye to safety conundrum.

Automobiles that are actually sentient beings and somehow control us into blithely accepting the death and carnage that they enable.

Nah, it's actually that driving your car over the speed limit or otherwise borderline recklessly and/or irresponsibly is seen as a necessity like air or water, while riding a bicycle anywhere in any manner for any reason is seen, at best as an annoying hobby, and at worst as a reason for homicidal rage.

bubba said...

OILTANKAR

Rhymes with Ravi Shankar, you wankar

Jed said...

"Tankar" is Dutch for Tanker. Talk about insult to injury. I Never liked james anyway. BTW, The dog and cat metaphor was wonderful. I will use it at the first chance I get, whether its appropriate or not.

Blog Drafter said...

Friends, What a Friend We Have With Jeebus.

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

Strida LT Fold-able Bike on Group-On

cramitsucko said...

Scranus

Anonymous said...

Also from the Child Fatality Review Team's 2011 report:

"A safety-approved crib has railings on all sides, the rails do not drop down and the rails are not too far apart from each other (a can of soda should not be able to fit through the rails)."

A crib that keeps them from getting cigarettes is even better.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

"the more you hate them the more powerful and hairy they become."

-That shit never gets old.

Isn't it about time to roll out that video again when they come crawling out of that big hairy vagina.

Anyway nice post today Snob thanks.

grog said...

Snob, Your bit is not in my new magazine. What's up with that?
Scranus.

Attorney General Mills said...

NEW KA$hi ceREAL

CipoLOOPS


They taste just like Pu$$y

iSMELL said...

done.

Marcel Da Chump said...

That 40's bike safety manual must have said cycling is for communists and anarchists.

The People of Detroit. said...

"I particularly like the "White Man's Burden" tone of these cartoons--as though the gracious motorists are doing all they can not to kill the poor cyclists but they just insist on dying anyway.

Of course, cyclists aren't just stupid and defenseless, and paradoxically they're also maniacal baby killers:"

Great post :)

Anonymous said...

HEY, ISN'T THAT YOU, the Rock Machine HIMSELF, at the 13-second mark of the "Knight Rider" video?

Anonymous said...

People can rationalize cars because that's what their lizard brains want ("arrr shiny car go fast, make think people i am important, puny cyclist get out of my way.") You can rationalize anything that your lizard brain wants no matter how wasteful, dangerous and expensive. Rationalizing what your lizard brain wants requires demonizing the opposite which in this case is cycling.

DerZoots said...

Santa Monica flashing headlights at night ride. That has to be legendarily annoying. Looked like 10,000 lumens of strobe enducing seizure fun.
At that point fuck the ride and go to a rave. I bet you get a better workout and lose some of the multimedia fred snack roll a bunch of those Bicyckillerz? were rocking.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in NY so I am unfamiliar with the local custom, but did anyone else watching the bike thief want to go down there and smash the guy in the face with a baseball bat?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

No.
If everyone in NY operated on that premise it would be a bloodbath.
You gots to get tough skin.
Woosie.

Anonymous said...

By tough skin I meant indifferent, to everything.

spokefolk said...

Snob: Your paragraph on why people think it's OK to die by cars and guns is spot on. Please tell me you will run for political office one day.

Anonymous said...

"They are a nightmare for pedestrians,” said Lappin, joined by state Senator Liz Krueger on the steps of City Hall. ”My office receives constant complaints about them riding on the sidewalks, traveling opposite traffic, running red lights, just being reckless and dangerous.”

I thought she was talking about the cops.

mikeweb said...

I don't Leroy's dog would ever burn down a house. At least not on purpose.

Anonymous said...

First I read this blog post, and then I lol'd.

The Ghost of Dennis Hopper said...

don't forget to put some food on the Hopper's table

Anonymous said...

Die like a man.




balls™

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy pissing off commuters driving home, stopping at Santa Monica's endless series of red lights, and hanging out in lycra at bars, then the Thursday night ride is definitely for you.

Ad Rock said...

I'll steal yo honey like I stole yo bike!

Ad Rock said...

Which means I will tether her to something fairly solid (4 post bed) then yank on her from several directions, then ride off.

Ad Rock said...

My father he's jealous cause I'm makin thay green and all the ladies know me from the places I've bean.

zoomer said...

Weed panties!

Oh, and scranus!

Jasper said...

@spokefolk said...

Snob: Your paragraph on why people think it's OK to die by cars and guns is spot on. Please tell me you will run for political office one day.

Do you really thing there will be a day when Americans, even the red-stated wussies, would vote in a communist, anarchist, bike-riding liberal like the Snob?
Really?

Yoda Leahy said...

I'm going to the North American blah-blah-blah on Sunday. If your'e going please wear your chicken suit so I know it's you.

Who?

Anonymous said...

"I put my three kids with last names for first names in a bakfiets and took them to Montessori school for future hipster training."

Oops. Air ball.

"This is also the driving force behind the entire city of Portland, OR, and the more you hate them the more powerful and hairy they become."

Woosh. Nothing but Net!

Drink said...

"accidents".. fuck that. they're "collisions" there's nothing accidental about wielding 6000lbs of steel irresponsibly.

Anonymous said...

That Night Ride video was like a Portlandia parody parody.

Really, the only way I could watch it without smashing my monitor was to constantly be thinking , "This is metacomedy. It's totally cutting edge."

Shit, that one guy even sorta looks like Fred Armisen.

Really, if it's not post post modern comedy then, WTF?

Anonymous said...

MIDNIGHT RIDAZZ!

bikesgonewild said...

...i have nothing to say...

...i'm freeing my mind of all thought...

...i'm approaching a zen state of bliss so i can appreciate the work but not the hype at the north american blah, blah, blah...

...ommmmmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Illegal electric bikes a major problem in NYC?

Is NYC the Cacotopic Stain of the Eastern Seaboard these days?

Do you guys have issues with hover cars too?

I simply had no idea!

DerZoots said...

@ BGW

You'll have a great time as long as you follow all of KingDon's rules and regulations as to where fun can be had and in what quantity.

Fortunately for the builders this year the big man is on a failed ankle so he won't be pestering them and hovering in booths like a slacj jawed doofus.

Sometimes you just want to jam a cheeseburger in a mouth breathers face, ya know? or is that just me?

bikesgonewild said...

...der zoots...texans, right ???...so many annoying texans in this world...

...whoops, i mean 'ommmmmmmmm'...

bikesgonewild said...

...'cept for a few including this one who sadly passed away...- 'Edna Milton Chadwell, the last madam of the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel, died last week at the age of 84. The Chicken Ranch of La Grange, Texas, was the house of ill repute that inspired the Broadway musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." It later became a hit movie.'...

...just sayin' ommmmmmmmm...

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

how many times does it have to be said like a broken record. Cars and guns don't kill people. Idiots with cars and guns kill people. It's profoundly ironic to me now that I ride my bike to the range to practice shooting my gun.

Yea I'm with the anon guy not from NYC who couldn't resist grabing a 2x4 to correct the cockpit thief. Now i might have looked the other way if the fucker would have rode off after he couldn't get it loose but once he yanked it and scratched up the paint thats it -over the line. Asshole, stupid looking bike too. Thick skin my ass.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I'm sorry bgw good evening sir didn't mean to interrupt your meditation.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

The crime should also be filming the crime in progress and doing nothing to stop it.

Anonymous said...

"The crime should also be filming the crime in progress and doing nothing to stop it."

I seen that on an episode of Seinfeld.

It took place in NYC too?

Coincidence??

Anonymous said...

Jesus, I had an UPSJ (Ultra Post Shark Jump) yellow and chrome Master. Last year I was all "I miss that bike, let me pick up a used one (I'll be 40 this year). I went online and the one on eBay was $3000! That's $1K more than the ugly-ass blue one!

I spent $200 instead, got a new DK Opsis, and herniated two disks the first day out. Sold it to some kid two days later and still have numbness in my leg 13 months on.

Ah, the arrogance of almost-reclaimed youth.

-tuffwheel IIz!

Earl said...

@Jasper-FUCK you, you blue state(and probably blue balled)pussy! Is New York a red state? Now go back to your mommies basement.

McFly said...

Question: If hipster's hate you does it mean everyone else loves you?
Answer: No, they just hated you waaaaaaaaaay before it was cool to hate you.

Vegas said...

I like how "pump" is olde timey for "palp".

Oh, and now I see why yalls are complainin bout Sans Serif n shit. It's only on the "Comments Only" page (looks fine reading the "Blog+Comments Page"

Jasper said...

Sorry Earl, did I say something to upset you? Could you be more specific?
And, if you want to know, I'm European, and we do vote for people like Snob. Doesn't get us anywhere, mind.

Jasper said...

..oh, and my mom lives in a trailer, so I can't do that last part for you.

Full Mental Jacket said...

Anon @ March 1, 2012 2:36 PM

You are most obviously a Pinarello riding Dentite aka DDS looking to drum up customers with Louisville slugger damaged toothezez ...

Sir Bikes said...

A large percentage of people in US ride bikes for recreation. They will complain about some motorist honking at them, or whatever. But in places like China, they ride bikes because they have no choice. They get honked at constantly, and it doesn't faze them. Who are they going to complain to anyway? If they get run over, oh well. There are too many of them. And they all would rather drive cars.
China report:
http://sirbikesalot.com/entry.php?fid=385

ce said...

The night ride video is a Blackburn advertisement. No more Knogs for Snob.

Earl said...

@Jasper Back-pedalling pussy?

leroy said...

Well of course Mary from the bike safety manual will never walk again.

She has a bike. She can ride.

I mean like "well, duh."

JDH said...

Go Ron Paul!

leroy said...

Mikeweb --

My dog claims he wrote:

"Watch out, you might get what you're after
Cool babies, strange, but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy...

"Hold tight, wait till the party's over
Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way....

But then again he also claims he discovered the bicycle.

And we all know David Byrne did that.

bikesgonewild said...

...jerry harrison, ex jonathon richmond & the modern lovers & ex talking heads lives out here...he owns an original ibis silk ti...

...betcha didn't know that, huh ???...well, now you do...

...boom shakalaka...

...@ recumbent conspiracy theorist...in a perfect world, no one disturbs my meditation...unfortunately, in this world, no one disturbs my meditation like me...

...but thanks for the concern...

Invisible Man said...

Bike Snob,

It's fascinating that the attitudes don't really change - and I'm impressed both that you own a Surly (I have a Long Haul Trucker and my wife a Cross Check) and with the idea that it's weakness that people despise about bikes.

I've kept trying to unpack people's neuralgia about bikes in my own blog, the Invisible Visible Man. My latest theory is that people somehow resent handing over any road space to bikes because they're used to having it to themselves: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/02/bikes-can-be-hard-to-overtake.html .

There's also just a lot of simple hatred of cyclists motivated by people's innate distaste for people who are different - http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-some-people-get-angry-with-cyclists.html .

We could probably theorise endlessly on this point, however,

Invisible.

don the cyclist said...

anti podium

Anonymous said...

Not so fast, Don. Or should that be "slow"?

Anonymous said...

Don of the...

Anonymous said...

NEW UPRIGHT SPIN SPINNING EXERCISE BIKE BICYCLE - $400 (FREE DELIVERY)

Actual ad in craigslist today,

I don't know if the person reads wildcats blog or not, it is even funnier if they don't.

PatrickBateman said...

flat tire

Piskian said...

'Urry up!Time for Friday quiz,mate!
Blogs getting later.Get your bleddy arse in gear.

McFly said...

My lead out train is growing weary.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Oil tankAr? Is that how they spelled it in 1940? Or is the cartoonist an idiot when it comes to spelling too?

Anonymous said...

nice idea..thanks for sharing....

jachmilli said...

These bikes feature a well built frame, with the most high end seats on the market.

bicycle fender

BIKE WEAK said...

You're right on with the weakness angle. Gotta punish the weak to eliminate weakness in the tribe, either by forcing them by domination into using fewer resources, by getting them to leave the tribe and try their luck solo or preferably, to join and weaken a competing tribe, or by getting them to sicken and die through abuse and neglect.

Smith of Male Enhancement said...

Very informative share. I agree with you in this matter.

Bikewritercat said...

I'm going to wait to comment until I've heard from Dick and Jane on the topic.

Anonymous said...

Ayhsmnb
(all you haters suck my new book)

Doug said...

I've gotta have Enlightened Cyclist! Anything that mocks christians (small c) is OK in my book. And it's a bit cheaper than the 8K water bottle cage.

wholesale mens clothing said...

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Michelle

Nationwide Auto Loan said...

If anything, they're a highly effective disagreement for managing and decreasing car visitors and positioning individuals responsible for their carelessness-caused carnage.

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helena said...

Toyota dealerships have statistics that they never had to rebuild the engine in a Previa with less than 400,000 miles (unless someone did something foolish, like run it with no water or oil).


Previa Dealers

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Robert said...

Oh my god....is that your face?!

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