Monday, March 12, 2012

Right of Way: Take My Lane, Please

Subsequent to Friday's post, which contained the schedule for The Wildcat Rock Machine "Enlightened Cyclist" World Annoyance Tour (brought to you by Brooks England, makers of the saddle you can eat in an emergency), I received a number of questions, three of which I will answer now:

Q: Why no event in New York City?

A: I will in fact be putting on a BRA (book-related appearance) at the New Amsterdam Bike Show at the end of April.  (Details to follow when I have them.)  Also, since this is my hometown and I do go outside occasionally, you're always welcome to just flag me down on the street and make me do a one-on-one BRA.  However, if New York City wasn't my hometown I admit that I definitely would have snubbed it, since while this town may be the cultural capital of the United States it's at best a "bike culture" backwater.

Q: "What the fuck snob?!?! Philly is a training ride away. No tour stop here?" (Anonymous March 9th, 2012, 3:41pm)

A: I have done my tired shtick at two (2) Philly Bike Expos (that's twice as many times as I've been to Portland, the New York City of America in terms of cycling), and hopefully I will be there again this year.  As for Philadelphia being a training ride away, I think this person may be thinking of the wrong blogger, since I have a hard time training my way once around Prospect Park.

Q: Will you be giving away Ass Savers at your BRAs?

Of course will be giving away Ass Savers.  What kind of schmuck asks people to come listen to him try to sell his book without at least giving them Ass Savers for their trouble?  Not only that, but these Ass Savers will be in a special limited AYHSMB acronymway:


By the way, if you don't know what an Ass Saver is, here's your answer:


Ass Saving Techniques from Ass Savers on Vimeo.

Ass Savers will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last and so forth.

Moving on to far more important matters, I'm pleased to announce that this blog is now entirely powered by sustainable energy.  That's right, every bit of electricity that goes into the production of this blog--from the power that feeds my Commodore PET right down to the cooling system in my writing hat--comes from a renewable energy source.  So, how do I do it?

Well, last Thursday I mentioned "vehicular cycling" advocate Serge Issakov, and I subsequently discovered that a single mention of vehicular cycling generates something like 50,000 words of commentary from Mr. Issakov himself.  Therefore, having attached a small generator to his wrists, his pro-vehicular cycling Internet commentary now powers not only my blog but my entire building and indeed the odd-number side of my Brooklyn block.  If every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings, then every time someone mentions "vehicular cycling" I get enough juice to blog the word "scranus" or microwave a bag of popcorn.

This is not to say the vehicular cycling concept is not without merit.  Indeed, if you're a cyclist in America odds are you have already been cycling "vehicularly" your entire life, since that's what you're forced to do.  I know that's more or less how I was riding here in New York before all these bike lanes started appearing, and I know it's how I still ride a good portion of the time.  But like most cycling Americans I'm a freak and an obsessive and would still ride a bike even if the government declared open season on cyclists and people shot at us from their windows like we were deer.  So I just rode the way you have to ride on streets that are designed entirely for cars.  However, try telling a normal, sane American who's interested in using a bike for transportation that all they have to do is "take the lane" and "think like a driver."  They'll just come to the conclusion that if they need to think like a driver that they might as well just be a driver and reply with the old, "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai."

So, sure, as a survival technique in a hostile world I suppose there's something to it, but as a policy in lieu of a working infrastructure it's absurd, since from what I can tell Issakov and his friends actually oppose bike lanes:

As a former president of the League of American Bicyclists and a still-prominent voice in advocacy circles, Forester has fought for decades to preserve bicyclists’ legal right to use public roads, and he thinks bike lanes send the wrong message about where bicycles belong. According to the California vehicle code, bicycles are allowed to go anywhere cars can go (except, in most cases, on the freeway), regardless of whether or not there’s a bike lane. But Forester and Issakov worry that if we build separate facilities like bike lanes, those rights could be lost.

If not having bike lanes was the recipe for cycling success then by now the United States would make the Netherlands look like, well, the United States, since that's been the policy in this country for like a century.  We've also always had the policy that bikes can go anywhere cars can go (oh, right, except the highways--bikes shouldn't have their own roads but cars should) and that cyclists have "all the same rights and responsibilities as drivers."  This sounds nice until you realize that the reason governments and insurance companies like to pretend cars and bikes are the same is so when you get run over the police and the insurance company can tell you, "Too bad, sucks for you, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a driver so you must have been doing something wrong."

I wonder how duncebags like these "advocates" account for the popularity of cycling in Portland, or the huge cycling growth New York City's experienced since they finally started installing bike lanes.  More than that, I wonder if these same duncebags can point me towards a "vehicular cycling" equivalent of Amsterdam--some model of vehicular cycling success where the traffic consists of an equal number of cars and bikes, and the cyclists all ride vehicularly in the middle of the lane while wearing DayGlo vests and helmet mirrors, and the drivers don't mind waiting behind vehicles that travel at 12mph, and everybody's happy.

It seems to me that if you want lots of people to be able to use their bikes then you copy the places where lots of people use bikes, and if you want to see one or two neon-hued dorks lost in a sea of automobiles then you copy most of America.

Of course, the upside is that if we embrace vehicular cycling instead of bike lanes then maybe one day all bike commuters will look like this (forwarded by a reader):


(He may not be "taking the lane," but at least he's taking the linoleum.)

Until you get sideswiped by an impatient driver and you wind up like this:


By the way, the above photos are via the eBay online auction site, which means that smart look is available for purchase.  It's also available in high-visibility white:


(Totally translucent--just add water.)

Or aero-Smurf blue:


(Fredly Smurf smurfing his way to yet another "personal best.")

In any event, all this vehicular-cycling-or-bike-lanes stuff is going to be moot anyway, since another reader tells me the future of transportation safety is airbags for your victims:


I feel safer already.

153 comments:

Gaffer Smythe said...

Podium?

So plussed in Portland said...

Yay! Podium! I think...

McFly said...

Computer FAIL!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sunny and warm in NYC -ride your bike (podium?)

waxmouth said...

Bikesnob: Offending Christians since 2012

McFly said...

Also, podium

McFly said...

Shoulda defragged in the feedzone

SJW said...

Top 10?

Marcel Da Chump said...

Flag you down for a little one-on-one BRA? I don't want to distract you, but maybe if I see you waiting for a light to change.

Anonymous said...

rodania!

me said...

Back of the peloton. Stupid time change!

pebes said...

doh

Anonymous said...

I see "vehicular cycling" in NYC, usually in two-way rec paths or bike lanes: hands-free, possibly texting or talking on a phone. When "biking" is finally accepted in America, it will by then be as aggressively retarded and unfun as driving.

Just my opinion.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment.

grog said...

15. Cars with cow-catchers. Hmm.

mikeweb said...

More than that, I wonder if these same duncebags can point me towards a "vehicular cycling" equivalent of Amsterdam--some model of vehicular cycling success where the traffic consists of an equal number of cars and bikes, and the cyclists all ride vehicularly in the middle of the lane while wearing DayGlo vests and helmet mirrors, and the drivers don't mind waiting behind vehicles that travel at 12mph, and everybody's happy.

South Asia or Pacific Rim countries. But minus the day-glo and helment mirrors - and shoes.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

crosspalms said...

I'm puzzled by that Volvo story, but one of the links at the bottom of the page is pretty cool:
Old School Heating: Watch man keep his Volvo interior warm with wood-burning stove. There are days when I could use one of those, maybe a small bar-mounted version.

theEel said...

weed1st!

streepo said...

scranus

Reggie said...

Out in rural America, we are lucky to get shoulders on the road, let alone dedicated lanes. Duncebag simply does not have the answer. Forget Amsterdam, study Bogota, Colombia, who have an incredible bike infrastructure that's only been around for a dozen years. Infrastructure is the way!

Anonymous said...

What? Still no death penguins?

The Netherlands don't have an urban sprawl problem, most commuting distances are short, and even if you choose to live tens of Communist miles outside the city the route is very flat in most places making it easy to go at a good pace if you physically can, and choose to do so.
Probably not a good idea for people elsewhere to base their cycling policy on the Neds, but hell, we all have to start from some model and build it into a coherent plan.
As for the deer hunting bit, don't give them any ideas.

Matthew said...

Really poorly executed bike lanes can, I believe, actually make things worse for cyclists.

Here in the UK the typical bike lane is the 50cm wide strip of road next to the sidewalk which is an obstacle course of potholes, broken glass and sunken drain covers. They are marked by a dashed line so there's no particular incentive for drivers to bother giving you sufficient space.

Since the lane is there, drivers will give you hell if you aren't in it, although there is no legal obligation for cyclists to make use of it.

Anonymous said...

Damn that climb was steep. Mid-pack fodder.

EnglishSnob said...

WTF? "This is not to say the vehicular cycling concept is not without merit." Does that mean it has merit? Or it ain't got no stinkin' merit? This is not to say that you have not failed to exceed what is or is not my pre-noon limit on double negatives. But okay, let's see: the two "nots" should cancel out, which leaves, "This is to say the VCC is without merit," and since "without" is in this context a sort of negative, That would mean VCC has no merit. Which doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the paragraph. Perhaps the hat needs an additional solar panel?

Anonymous said...

Too much sense in this blog post. I respectfully request a refund.

Also, the skin suit guy is in my kitchen. WTF?

Can/could the comments redeem said sane blog post?

Anonymous said...

There are some really useful bike lanes in NYC, but I have to agree with the UK commenter, do them right or don't do them at all. I don't think poor planning is an argument against bike lanes. Also, even though I made the comment about no-hands riders in rec lanes, I don't think newbish or inconsiderate riders are an argument against the lanes, either.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell would I buy something that requires me to wear a time trial helmet in the kitchen?

Hairy-legged roadie said...

We've got an anti-infrastructure group in SoCal: the California Association of Bicycle Organizations. As you can see from the link, these douchebags (like Issakov) aren't content just to carry water for municipalities that want to justify not having bike plans -- they also have to wear out keyboards convincing no one.

Anonymous said...

So far the comments have been as sane and dialectical as the post. WTF?

I guess this shows that Snob is the gardener of our plot, planting the seeds from which our comments sprout.

Where for art thou, recumbabe, our muse and light.

Meh.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember laughter?

Billy said...

1st! Well, 31st, anyway.

Billy said...

Damnit Anon@12:57!

Maximus Douche' said...

An anatomically correct 'Cipo' penile casting rendered from life and cast in propritary flesh like latex/romano-cheese polymers is now available to satiate the carnal desires of all anally fixated humanoids.

For manly donnas too!

$499.99 at better Sexual Appliance Retail Shops everywhere.

g-roc said...

As René Descartes once famously said "I bike, therefore I'm smug". Or was it "I'm smug, therefore I'll bike". I can never get that one straight.

The real reason vehicular cyclists are so dead set against cycling infrastructure, is they don't want more cyclists sharing their infrastructure, or lack of it. It's harder to be smug about something when everyone else is doing it too. Of course, I'm the exception to the above, being nauseatingly smug, yet avoiding vehicular cycling when I can.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Those vehicular cyclist types (or like I call the "cycle non-advocates) really get up my scranus.




balls™

Anonymous said...

The VC blokes have about as much (or little)sense as the Critical Mass boneheads, but it's also true that if you want to make useful bike lanes, you'd better get cyclists involved in the planning. Bowling Green, Kentucky has one of those beastly roads where even the cops will run over you if go down it in your car at anything less that ten miles over the speed limit, and yet some moron on the city council decided to have the public works department paint the words "bike lane" on the existing shoulder of said road. No barriers, and no actual extra space. It should say Suicide Bike Lane. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&ix=seb&ion=1&biw=1024&bih=485&q=bowling+green+ky+nashville+road&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8865e9ef80880129:0xac14423ded16e7b9,Nashville+Rd,+Bowling+Green,+KY&gl=us&ei=ASteT_HGFpKctwe_7ZWFDA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CCAQ8gEwAA

petrus said...

First. at the one hour mark. Double first?

Il Douchee' said...

Seriously. Sniff this top tube and tell me what you think.

http://psych-deli.tumblr.com/post/19145053095




Hint: Bearded Clam juice is the correct answer.

Begonia said...

As far as I can tell, the "vehicular cyclists" have never:
--Biked home with two panniers full of groceries
--Attached a child trailer to their bicycle and gone on a bike ride
--Gone for a bike ride with anyone under the age of 16

P Air True Doh! said...

Bike lanes send the wrong message? Crazy! If those VC people want to send a message they should rent a billboard. It's talk radio and tabloid newspapers that send wrong messages. If they have a message then what message does a sidewalk send for example?
Separated bike lanes are the greatest thing to happen in years. Anyone who's tried them love them. Most folks are not opposed to them if they have a chance to think things through. A huge amount of people want to cycle and are waiting for better conditions.

The people who gripe about someone cycling in the street and not using a bike lane aren't the ones that are making policy.
The likelihood of cycling being not allowed on the street in the presence of a bike lane is low. And even if it happened, who cares? Just use the bike lane or break the law.

We should thank the VC people for all their past work in developing survival strategies for those harsh times in the past but now that things are getting better we gotta move on. The depression is over, we don't need that garage full of jars.

Anonymous said...

without bike lanes, where would all of the delivery trucks park?

McFly said...

Gone for a ride with anyone under the age of 16? You sir, just crossed the line. I will not stand for it.

misster-PISSTA said...

riding a bike being against the law make me think of an old usnet preblog story called SPIKE BIKE...when cars could shoot at bikes or just run them over Spike took matters into his own hands.... I think the guy wrote it to vent the anger from commuting daily..

it all comes down to the fact the seperate is not equal ..

reminds me of an incedent a couple of months after when the Valencia Sreet bike lane opened , I was riding down mission st (one block away) and a dreadlocked man in a datsun B210 yelled out his window at me that I should ride on Valencia where there is a bike lane... as I passed him I said" I know there is but the head shop is on mission" he yelled "Cool runnings" back at me...

McFly said...

This arguement is not valid. I like riding my bicycle because it's fun, it's that simple. I zip in and out inappropiately sometimes yes, there may be a stop sign but if no cars are coming I run it. If there are cars I don't run it. If I am on a country road and there is no traffic I take the liberty of moving to the left a little, if cars come, I get out of the way. They are way bigger, they will kill me. It's really a matter of self-preservation.

Anonymous said...

McFly, lowering the bar. Nice work!

Anonymous said...

Gah, that was in response to the under 16 comment, not the eminently sane comment above.
More lower please, McFly.

misster-PISSTA said...

found the spike bike link

http://linux.stevens-tech.edu/kmh/spike.bike.all.txt

heres a quote
"I'm Spike Bike. I hate cars. Taking out a tractor-trailer rig isn't easy. You might be able to get a grenade into the cab, but if it bounces back at you, you're finished."

Paul Bowen said...

When I get thin enough I'm going to buy a Dulwich Paragon skinsuit and wear it to ride the Brompton to work. Hell yeah. But don't worry - those first five words will save the world from aesthetic distress.

Jimbo said...

ISSAKOV is VOKASSI spelled backwards.

Anonymous said...

What do Vehicular Cyclists do in traffic jams? Do they sit in traffic with all the other vehicles, or nip down the right using the bike lane?

DerZoots said...

Pedestrian airbags.
FUck!

Why can't people just be responsible for their own scranus!

Panties.

Paul Bowen said...

"What do Vehicular Cyclists do in traffic jams? Do they sit in traffic with all the other vehicles"

I have a self-hating cyclist friend who (claims he) does exactly that.

DerZoots said...

FUck sitting in traffic.

I am a dumbfounded engine said...

Thanks for that ass saver video, otherwise I would have used it differently, and that would have been wrong in so many ways.

Martin Erzinger said...

Volvo is just trying to take the fun out of life. You wont find me in one of those, not even the really expensive one.

Billy said...

30th would have been a personal best! Time to get back on the trainer in the kitchen with my TT gear...

Billy said...

Re: traffic jams: I do occasionally wait in line behind cars because I don't like playing leapfrog. But only if we're *all* going to make it through the light in one cycle. Otherwise, I'll filter forwards, because I hate waiting around just as much as the cagers.

I just don't have any cyclists to threaten with my 3000lb vehicle handy to take out all that frustration.

RANTWICK said...

Snob,

For the love of God don't follow the VC vs. Bike Lane line of thought any further.

I have been in and out of that conversation for the past few years and it is a hellish labrynth filled with passionate, well-intentioned and wordy freaks on both sides who will NEVER stop talking about it. Ever.

If your blog becomes another place that this stuff is "debated", I will weep.

WPVelo said...

60st!

RANTWICK said...

Oh further, to what I said above, notice how I didn't opine at all about the actual subject? It took me years to stop. Don't let it get you, I mean it.

leogodoy said...

What I like about mr. Issakov's article is that the URL has the original title: "battling-bikers-need-better-headline". The "better" headline they settled is "Cyclists Battle Over Bike Lanes". Sigh.

ploeg said...

What do Vehicular Cyclists do in traffic jams? Do they sit in traffic with all the other vehicles, or nip down the right using the bike lane?

Go slow and make sure that you don't get doored by a stopped car, but yeah, nip down the right using the bike lane. I'm sure that you can get some VC to say "sit in traffic", but there are plenty of laws that apply only to operators of motor vehicles (the requirement to get a license, for example), and there's no good reason why such laws should be applied to road users other than operators of motor vehicles. The key is to be safe and predictable when using the road, and generally the way to be safe and predictable is to follow the law at least as closely as the other road users follow the law. And if you can't follow the law at least that closely, then fuck it, take the bus.

At least to me, it seems that the official VC position is that they are opposed to "bike lanes", but wide streets and roads are OK. The problem is that bike lanes give you wide streets and roads, but they also give you only one designated spot to be in the road. So the bike lane isn't maintained as well as the rest of the road, people who wouldn't double-park in the street would park in the bike lane, etc. And if you must get out of the bike lane for any reason (to make a turn or to avoid a hazard), any resulting accident is automatically your fault.

Speaking for myself, I'll take the wide street. They can paint a bike lane on the wide street if they want, but bike lanes aren't sustainable in the long run because they're not practical like a wide street is practical.

Mind Body and Bike said...

I was a curious as to the AYHSMB acronym having not seen it before and nearly spit out coffee in laughter upon learning the meaning...Thanks for a great laugh.

RobertETwee said...

Spike bike! Gotta love the anarchy of olde timey txt files.

WPVelo said...

and now that i've read the post and comments thus only have two things rattling agin' each other to get out of my head and they are:

bedsheet cabinets kitchen skinsuit becomes stu-stu-studio and oh so pro.

lastly:

panties!

beans & cornbread

J-Bird said...

AYBLHSMB.

JB said...

@RobertETwee @ 2:44pm:
When you said old-timey txt files, I thought I was going to see a rendering of nude woman made out of backslashes, periods, and ampersands. :'(

bikesgonewild said...

...if one more idiot thinks he can get away with riding through my kitchen without asking permission first, there's gonna be 'hell to pay' !!!...

...& i don't mean a quick 'knock, knock' on the front door & 'hey, do you mind ???'...yes, i do mind 'cuz it happens all to frequently...

...i don't even want a phone call about it - 'hey, we're outside...could we ride through ???'...no...

...i expect an e-mail several days in advance with details as to the number of people in your party, the time frame you'd like to ride through & it had better be polite or it ain't gonna happen...

...blame the tri-dorks...they're the ones who fucked it up for the regular cyclists with that rude, inconsiderate tri-geek behavior & their lousy bike handling skills...

...i've had enough of that...& if i DO allow you to ride through my kitchen, i may ask you to pick up a few things at the market, okay ???...thanks...

Buy-cycle said...

Balls. Airbags for your scranus. 69?

mikeweb said...

Whenever they'd like, Team Vanderkitten can ride through my b...



Oh, nevermind.

Anonymous said...

The problem i have with bike lanes is that they quickly become lanes for walking tiny dogs on nearly invisible leashes while the dog walker wears headphones.

g-roc said...

Good call Rantwick, but good luck with that. The difference here is that most seem to be taking one side of the argument. Obviously, not as divisive as a discussion of what kind of hat to wear and whether or not to wear it.

leroy said...

I don't get what all the snark is about.

It makes perfect sense to wear a skin suit and a time trial helment in the kitchen.

If you're going to make instant coffee in the microwave, you should do it right.

On the other hand, I wouldn't use it for a training run cooking minute steak.

For that, I use a simpler helment in the camouflage colorway: http://goo.gl/IjFlJ

I always assumed that was the WRM's writing hat.

SteveL said...

I have a question for the Vehicular Cyclists. Please look at this video of me and my son taking the lane.

Now tell what I could have done better in positioning or thinking "more vehicularly" that would have reduced the risk of nearly being run over by a car that chose to ignore all right of way signage?

This video shows all that is wrong with Vehicular Cycling. It only works to a subset of today's cyclists -the fit and the fast- not to children, beginners, anyone who isn't fit enough to get up to speed. It may have been a strategy that worked in the 1970s, but to advocate it instead of dutch-style cycle paths (i.e. good ones) means that cycling will never be anything other than niche.

Twenty years of Vehicular Cycling advocacy has not made cycling a mass activity.

bikesgonewild said...

...the vanderkitties of years past with liz hatch at the helm...

...team pulchritude...

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be "AYHSMAS"? I want that ass-saver WAY more.

Anonymous said...

"What do Vehicular Cyclists do in traffic jams?"

Overtake on the left. VC is fine for a fit experienced cyclist, but who doesn't love a bike path? I'm totally looking forward to having to cross three lanes of traffic and a freeway onramp before I get to the LA river path when I head downtown now.

BSNYC. Bring some Ass-savers to Los Angeles, it never rains here, but they'll make great Fred bait.

RayG said...

You probably only need a generator on one of Serge Issakov's wrists.

Unless he changes hands at 50.

Jasper said...

@ Paul Bowen, Is the Dulwich Paragon colourway as garish as the Dulwich Hamlet FC strip?

Anonymous said...

I really hope there is some sort of hipster/tri-dork collabo where TT track bikes become the new rage. While it would be a horrendous development for humanity, it would be rather humorous. I can just see it now: a TT track bike with platforms & hold fasts ridden by a a bohemian lad in cut offs, a strippep shirt, and TT helmet hurdling down the Willy-B.

bikesgonewild said...

...lost in our humor (???), let's not lose track of the fact that the ass-saver is a cool little product...

...never seen one before & although it's a 'stop gap measure', i'm assuming it's effective for it's purpose...

...props to the designer...

Anonymous said...

WCRM,

I had 20 minutes to kill this afternoon and as the strip club was closed I ended up at the bookstore next door.

Well, look what was there for sale:

The Enlightened Cyclist by a certain Bike Snob NYC.

Apparently, your book been available for sale since March 7th.

Of course, I bought one copy.

So far, I'm a little disappointed: no stickers this time!

I have photos but can't link them (don't know how)

bikesgonewild said...

...speaking of kitchens, leroy's dog accused leroy of using his old melmac dishes from the late '50's...

...that's either totally hip or excessively thrifty...

Anonymous said...

Whaaaat? No stickers ??

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Vulva drivers weren't the biggest self-entitled douchebag asshole drivers on the road they wouldn't need the exterior airbags.
On second thought, given my experience with Vulva drivers - they should probably double up on the exterior airbags

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 5:44pm..."...the biggest self-entitled douchebag asshole drivers on the road..."...

...while that was almost exclusively true years ago, these days you'd be remiss not to include 'prius' drivers in that category...

...just noting...

misster-PISSTA said...

prius is the new volvo- remember the trends happen on the coasts first.. but its been that way for a while here on the left coast..penis and vulva are interchangable when typeing car drivers habits..the only difference I can see is that vulva have a cloud of smoke coming out of the pipe and penis's are followed by a cloud of smug

streepo said...

For the other Firesign theater fan out there, click here

bikesgonewild said...

...missta-pissta...absofuckinglutely...

...astute observation..."...cloud of smoke...cloud of smug..."...

...you are right in just sayin'...

In Boston said...

I just saw the lucas brunelskid lambo parked inside the CVS.
That is all.

West Van Forest Hump said...

BGW

Melmac! Wow you do remember the arcania of times gone by. As I recall it had staining issues. ew

bikesgonewild said...

...@steve-l...glad you & your son are a-okay & unfortunately, that kinda thing is all to prevalent, your side of the pond or ours...

...i've had situations wherein i was not only moving quickly but had the (obvious) right-of-way & had the driver look directly into my eyes whilst pulling straight into my path...
...not that there were other cyclist's or even other cars following me to slow that driver down but they hadda make a decision & it's inconceivable what their thought process actually was...

...only by virtue of the fact that i've learned never to trust anyone, at any time whilst bike riding, have i survived in one piece thus far...

...i'm pretty much relaxed on the bike itself but where motor vehicles play into the picture, i'm always ready to hit the binders & even swerve if necessary...

...survival of the fittest in a slow witted society...

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

I grew up eating off of Melmac 'till about the age of 15 I think. That was many years ago, but not as many years as BGW's.

Only other thing to say is that it's so nice out here today that I got my fixed gear bike out to go to the dentist's office today for a cleaning, and I think I'll commute with it tomorrow. It's just that nice. Not only is the weather great and the bike riding great, the new Hygienist didn't try to shame me into flossing 3 times a day loike the old ones always did. Just winning all around.

Anonymous said...

Enough with VC invasion, hate mongering, and the like.

I hereby propose that on this blog, VC shall not stand for Vehicular Cycling.

VC shall now stand for Venture Capitalist, as it does in any so many other circles.

DerZoots said...

@Nebraska Bike Commuter(Non DWI Edition)
Why would you have the dentist clean your track bike.
That seems backwards.
And expensive.
You must be flossin.

SteveL said...

@bikesgonewild thanks -police did use that video as evidence, £400 fine and 5 penalty points on his licences (=raised insurance, if he gets 11 in a three year period he will probably get banned for a while).

Even so, I'd rather not have to be sending videos of my school run to the police.

bikesgonewild said...

...@ west van forest hump...

...i attribute my memory skills to having consumed food, as a child, off dinnerware produced by chemical companies rather than ceramic companies...

...melmac = "Melamine resin or melamine formaldehyde (also shortened to melamine) is a hard, thermosetting plastic material made from melamine and formaldehyde by polymerization. In its butylated form, it is dissolved in n-butanol and xylene. It is then used to cross-link with alkyd, epoxy, acrylic, and polyester resins, used in surface coatings. There are many types, varying from very slow to very fast curing."...

...sounds appetizing, no ???...but it may have given me certain powers beyond the norm...

...i might still be blogging on this site in 2082ad, which would make me 132 years old...all thanks to chemicals...

Big Charlie said...

Der Zoots, you beat me to it! I have an appointment with my dentist tomorrow morning so maybe I should bring in the bike too.

Also, I thought Melmac is where Alf is from. I miss that guy, especially his love for cat. Not the Cipo kind.

bikesgonewild said...

...steve-l...wow...i'm impressed they actually did something & it involved a prosecution...

...hopefully the driver will recognize it for what it is - a 'wake up call' that influences him in a manner befitting all of us, including himself, rather than a sore spot that simply gets enraged when he encounters other cyclists...

...some learn, some don't...

...could be the lack of melmac in the diet...

DerZoots said...

@BGW
Melmac & mac & cheese sounds good though. Even better when shortened to Melmac&cheese.

Mmmmmmm.

Break up some Original Flavor Doritos in there for crunch factor and orange accent and we're almost to the snack heaven.
Yes, we wash it down with Mountain Dew preferably Throwback with the kiss of real sugar.
It would be ultimate petro chemical snack motif.

I'm headed to the store now...
after this last bong hits.

Where was I goning?

VC said...

Well, wherever it is, take the lane...

mander said...

stokeage! see you in Vancouver WCRM!

bikesgonewild said...

...der zoots - "would you care for formaldehyde fries with that, sir ???"...

...a million years from now, the chemical residue deposits from what were once our livers so many eons before will undoubtedly evolve, as did carbon sources into oil or diamonds, into a new source of energy...

..."...to facilitate clean, efficient use of your geoplanatary teleporter whilst you visit distant galaxies, power it up with new livo-chunks from chevvvron..."...

...nice to think we can serve a purpose off in the future, ya ???...

Throwaway_Bicycling said...

BikesnobNYC blogged:

 If every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings, then every time someone mentions "vehicular cycling" I get enough juice to blog the word "scranus" or microwave a bag of popcorn.

Okay, so when I calculated this, I could not figure out how it could possibly take as many joules of energy to blog "scranus" as it took to make popcorn, but then I realized that there was way more energy being used in blogging than just your typing stuff. There's all the energy it takes for us to read "scranus", for first time readers to google "scranus", and for Google itself to lovingly index your "scranus".

Why, correctly viewed, we really do live in a "scranus" economy. And some of us do make microwave popcorn as well.

Werner Herzog said...

Snobby,

London, although it has bikelanes, is very much a city of vehicular cycling. This is documented very well on CycleGaz's youtube channel -- http://www.youtube.com/user/CycleGaz --. He is one of those helment cyclists and films his daily commute.

Check it out. Gaz545 is a vehicular cyclist. His frequent altercations with bad or disrespectful drivers is often a highlight of his videos. London has a high percentage of its commuters on bikes. "VC" is easier there because of slower traffic speeds but it is still an example comparable to Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

bikesgonewild said...

...when someone "...lovingly index(s) your "scranus" just keep im mind that if it's not consensual, it's time to get a lawyer, no matter how shamed you feel...

...there's no way that kinda action can be justified...

McFly said...

This blog has been charged with controversy of late and I have figured out what it's missing. MILF. If I have to MILF one more comment about how some guy "took the MILF" whilst he was VEHICULAR MILFING I just might go out of my MILF. AssSavers? WTF is that all about? Either mount a nice MILF to your bike or come to terms with the fact that if you don't your MILF will get wet, and possibly dirty. Enough of this MILF about taking the MILF through the conduit of assertive MILFing. I have to admit though....VEHICULAR MILFING does sound like good times.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh yes. 65 degrees in NYC means one thing...

The epicenter of fixie hatching was bursting out today. Hipster highroad was jammed with wildly pedaling, uncoordinated "Racing", and doughy fixters walking their bikes up the bridge.

The one thing you always heard about fixies was the "zen" feeling. I detected none of that. Instead, I saw the hyper-concentrated facial expressions of hipsters out of control in their attempt to ride track bikes for the first time since last summer. Panicked, worried, stressed out minds trying to be cool at the expense practicality and common sense. Weird.

Best part: dude swerves into the "fence" they've constructed at the base of the manhattan side and almost does and endo when he pulls his front brake too hard. Uh, that's been there a while dude!

Ah, hipster Fred time in NYC. More dangerous than taxis.

Anonymous said...

My highschool girlfriend had a blue Vulva.

DerZoots said...

pictures or the blue vulva didn't happen

Anonymous said...

Fuck all this VC talk. I thought I left that all that behind in 'Nam.

zoomer said...

Il Douchee' @1:10. Thanks for the throwback bushy top tube cleaning vid. Haven't seen one of those furry mussels in ages.

Lucky 113th- Scranus!!- too much clam juice for lunch
Oh, and Weed Panties!

Anonymous said...

Assail Forrester for being a curmudgeon and cranky and out of touch. Guilty on all counts, but EC does teach HOW to ride on the roadway, something a lot of us are fearful of at first.
I have had several exchanges with JF over the years. His experience is what you should base your riding on, apparently. He is not fearful of beating you on the head with his pronouncements, as unrealistic as they are.
But I still respect what I did learn from him: how to hold my own, safely and legally on a public road.
Before you join the chorus, take out a copy of EC from the library and spend an evening with it. Your riding safety skills will improve.

WPVelo said...

okay i rethunkabout it. that's not a kitchen at all. that's a well-equipped _feed zone_.

and FTR AFIC IIRC i've only ever VC'd.

except for the whole ATB thingmo.

Anonymous said...

"Just for good measure, I grabbed
a thermite grenade and dropped it into the remaining jersey
pocket."

Yeah sure but where did you put your powerbar huh??

Tim said...

I have only recently come across BSNYC, which is often witty and also surprisingly well informed. Sadly the comments are largely 'try hard' and inane. If you need to be noticed - particularly it seems in LA - then put some effort into your response or don't bother. Bike Snob redeems North American humour, to some extent, only to then be taken down by moronic commentary.

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Anonymous said...

to anon 12:54am

"Just for good measure, I grabbed
a thermite grenade and dropped it into the remaining jersey
pocket."

Yeah sure but where did you put your powerbar huh??




Powerbars were not on the market when spike bike was written.. intresting to note that Powerbars,camelbacks and timbucktwo bags are three products that came up as bicycle produts but got bigger than the bicycle industry. anyone think of anyothers?

McFly said...

Tim,
It's spelled insane.

thomas said...

@ Matthew, MARCH 12, 2012 12:41 PM: Same thing here in Germany, but you *ARE* legally obliged to use those shitty bike lanes. I agree, bad bike lanes make things worse for cyclists. Even the government knows, so the new school bike lanes here are painted "protected" lanes on the street right with the cars.

leroy said...

Tim @ 10:34--

Could you repeat that for my dog?

He didn't hear you. He was busy licking himself.

(Oh okay, he was really doing macrame. He just doesn't want anyone to know. Don't let on that I told you.)

McFly said...

KNIT MUTT

Benjamin Marcus Raucher said...

Interesting points made here

Benjamin Raucher

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

@tim 1:34am

SOCBT
(suck our collective balls Tim)

CommieCanuck said...

WHAT THE FUCK SNOB. Toronto is only 500 junk miles from NYC.

Anonymous said...

Well CommieCanuck,
If it's only 500 junk miles I'll see you in NYC at the New Amsterdam Bicycling SHowing.
You could always cry rain and take the bus.

Lloyd Flaandis said...

"anyone think of anyothers?"

March 13, 2012 3:51 AM

Yes. Recumbabe.

OisinFeeley said...

Sounds like Bikesnob got his eyes covered up by the dark, hairy folds of his scranus before he could find out whether "bike facilities" (sounds like a place where you take a dump, doesn't it?) or VC have been in operation in the US.

Official policy in the USA for roughly 30 years has been to treat bicycles as childrens' toys that need special lanes for their special-needs "drivers". VC has not had a look-in at all.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot ... fuck Portland. That's the place where they lure out novice cyclists into the path of dumptrucks with special bike infrastructure.

Nationwide Auto Loan said...

There are some really useful motorcycle roads in NYC, but I have to recognize with the UK commenter, do them right or don't do them at all.

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Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

The ass saver is like a ass pad. I like it. Very nice.

Invisible Man said...

I thought, NYC, that you were taking a chance having a go at the vehicular cycling advocates. I'm not surprised you had a lot of responses.

I've just put up a blogpost of my own about this whole controversy. My basic conclusion is the problem with the debate is we're talking about what bikes do, not what cars do. And cars are the problem. I'd like to see cars made to adhere to the law. You'd find far fewer people asking for separate lanes if that happened.

So I find myself, rather tentatively, putting myself in the vehicular cycling camp because I worry about the safety of many bike lanes (there are lots of accidents at side streets). I'm not as ideological as Isaakov, however. But it sounds like hardly anyone is.

The anti-vehicular crowd can come over to my blog and heap abuse on me here: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/in-which-our-hero-picks-up-cycling.html

Good luck with the book tour.

Invisible Visible Man
http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.co.uk/

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Do not approve of smurf blue lycra D:

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