Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday is Speed Hump Day

As an ostensibly humorous bike blogger, it's recumbent upon me to adopt a jovial persona.  However, this is merely a mask I use to obscure my inner turmoil, for the truth is that I'm no stranger to profound disappointment.  For example, I recently received a box-shaped box from the Chris King Precision Bicycle Component Bicycle Component Company:


What bicycle cycling enthusiast wouldn't be thrilled to receive a box from Chris King?  Beaming, I wondered what manner of precision-engineered bike booty it might contain.  A headset?  A pair of hubs?  Maybe even a headset?  Excitedly, I ordered my trained box-opening hamster to go to work, and when Nestor was done working his incisors I lifted the lid, only to reveal...coffee:


I do appreciate the gift, but it's difficult to describe the sort of deep disappointment you feel when you open a box from Chris King and find a bag of coffee.  I imagine it's the same way you'd feel if Peta Todd came to your house, asked you demurely if she could "show you something," and then slipped off her shoes and made you examine her bunions.  Then again, I suppose there are people out there who would actually prefer that scenario:


I would ask that you please not hold me personally liable for concepts, words, and scenarios that already exist elsewhere on the Internet such as the one above.

At this point you're probably disgusted by the fact I'm complaining about having received a lovely bag of coffee (not to mention the whole "bunionfucker" thing).  I suppose this disgust is warranted, but I maintain I complain ("maintain I complain" is almost mellifluous enough to make up for "bunionfucker") far less than the average American bicycle cycling enthusiast.  For example, it is still very much in vogue to complain about the Tour de France coverage provided by what is now NBC Sports and commentated upon by Phil Sherwen and Paul Liggett, but you won't hear me doing it:


(Paul Phigglett and Peter Sherwood checking out each other's bunions, via Cycling Inquisition)

Basically, among the chief complaints regarding this coverage seem to be:

--The coverage doesn't show the whole stage;
--The one with the gray hair can't keep the riders' names straight, and the one with the dark hair alternates between constant explanations of the concept of "drafting" and mind-numbing facts about castles and cathedrals;
--Both of them fixate on American riders like Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, and Tom Danielson, who together are about as interesting as an earthenware tea set.

Sure, these things may be true, but I don't mind.  Firstly, I suppose there are people who may want to watch an entire Tour de France stage from start to finish, but there are also railfans who like to stand around all day watching trains, and I'd argue that both groups are straining the fragile membrane that exists between boring behavior and psychotic behavior.  Secondly, as someone who is completely unable to remember names or facts of any kind, I'm amazed that either of these guys do as well as they do, especially considering the length of the event and their combined age of 217.  Thirdly, somehow Leipheimer and Danielson have managed to dupe the cycling world into thinking they still have potential, and Zabriskie has managed to dupe it into thinking that speaking really slowly constitutes a personality, so you can't blame Pigglett and Sherman for playing along.  Most of all though, I don't like any other sports, but I've watched them, and almost all of them are vastly more intellectually offensive.  What's dumber, having to listen to an English guy screw up a name occasionally, or having to watch this?


By the way, in all his years of commentating, to my knowledge Phil Liggett has only made one racist flub, which I'm sure is a record unparalleled in all of American sports broadcasting.  Also, I have a policy of not including "spoilers" in my blog, so all I'll say about today's stage is that Thomas Voeckler won:


And here's the rest of the top ten:


1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 4:46:26  
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:03  
3 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:07  
4 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:23  
5 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:30  
6 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:02:44  
7 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
10 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team


I'd hate to say I told you so, but at 48th overall and over a half an hour behind Bradley Wiggins, Dmitriy Fofonov is ideally positioned to win this Tour.

Speaking of complaining, plenty of New Yorkers have been complaining about our imminent bike share system, but that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of the smugerati, and I recently received this email from Transporation Alternatives:



How will I use Citi Bike?  With difficulty, because sadly I don't live anywhere near Gentrification Zone One:


Citi Bike will roll out with stations in Manhattan south of Central Park, Long Island City and in Brooklyn north of Atlantic Avenue, all the way up to Williamsburg and Greenpoint. 

Nevertheless, I too am excited about it, and I'm also excited that the city is lowering the speed limit to 20mph in certain parts of town:



Mayor Bloomberg and NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced an expansion of the city’s Slow Zone program, which lowers speed limits in selected areas from 30 to 20 mph and implements low-cost traffic-calming measures like speed humps.

I'm not sure how much difference changing the numbers on the signs is going to make, since it's pretty much impossible here to get a speeding ticket as it is.  Then again, the low-cost speed humps should help, because nothing is more relaxing than a cheap, quick hump, and once you're finished you're usually content to just roll down the windows and cruise.  Perhaps in addition to speed humps the city will experiment with other traffic-calming techniques, such as the ones contained in this article that was forwarded to me by a reader:


For example, consider this approach in Vancouver:


In West Vancouver, Canada, traffic safety groups painted holograms on the ground so that as cars approached, a child appeared to rise from the ground. (Never mind that detractors have said the holograms could cause cars to swerve and hit something real.)

I'm guessing it was highly effective, since pretty much everyone in Vancouver is completely stoned almost all of the time and are thus highly susceptible to holograms.

On the other hand, New Yorkers tend to be pretty jaded regardless of their intoxication level, which is why the holograms should be more arresting.  Sure, typical New York drivers have no problem running down a child, but they're sure to stop for a spectral naked recumbent rider:


Also, I understand that in the more gentrified parts of Brooklyn, reckless drivers are going to be reproached by an animatronic Martin Amis:


Yes, speeding is bad spondee.  Or is it good spondee?  To be honest, I still have no idea what spondee is.  At this point I've just decided that it's the same as "karma," which is another word people like to use despite not really understanding its true meaning.

Meanwhile, in other bike share news, another reader tells me the Bank of England was going to establish a sort of emergency bike share of six bicycles to use "in the event of a full-scale financial meltdown:"


I understand economics even less than I understand spondee, so I have no idea what any of this means.

In the meantime, here in New York cycling is more popular than ever, which is why we're now experiencing a bike parking shortage, as I've learned from yet another reader:

Rock Center Bike Jam - w4m - 38 (Midtown West)
Date: 2012-07-10, 11:39PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]


Rockefeller Center - When I saw how full the bike rack at 48th and 6th was Tuesday morning I knew getting my bike in there would be a challenge. What I didn't know is that it'd be a problem for you too. When I retrieved my bike after work I found your note written on the back of a Sovereign Bank ATM receipt. "You jammed me in. Took 20 min to get out." All in capital letters. In pencil. And perhaps what struck me most is how you corrected your spelling from "jambed" to "jammed". And when I read it I thought, "Huh, which is it? Like a door jamb or like strawberry jam?" And I feel really bad for blocking you in. It was so hard to find a spot and I honestly didn't mean to inconvenience anyone else. I'm not sure how I'm going to get my bike parked in the morning (Hello, Rock Center? More bike rikes? Please?) but I will certainly be more careful about others' bikes in the future. So thank you for the note. And also, I think we might be meant for each other. ;)

I can't help thinking that the crisis might be alleviated somewhat by people being willing to walk more than half a block to find additional bike parking.  But I guess people would rather pile their bikes on top of other bikes and then leave notes, as I observed recently:


Yes, a note makes it all OK:


Full?  Lot?  Now that's good spondee.

119 comments:

Anonymous said...

PODIUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

CYCE

Anonymous said...

PODIUM II

CYCLE

Anonymous said...

Viva Voeckler!

Anonymous said...

TOP3 for HUGGY
CLIMB

dcee604 said...

Top 10!!!

McFly said...

Rest day. Refreshed.

theEel said...

WEdnEsDay!!!!

Anonymous said...

Liggett panties!

Anonymous said...

Bugger

Anonymous said...

Top Ten ?

Anonymous said...

Yabbies

McFly said...

Peta Todd:[Slips off sexy heels after walking into my camper]
"Would you just look at these bunions, McFly? What should i do?"

Me:"Oh Honey, those are awful. Here...let me rub them down with this hand towel that has been dipped in chloroform."

Anonymous said...

What kept you? We've had a full working day here.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Phil & Paul are not Derek & Clive (youtube "this bloke..").

Anonymous said...

10' down!

Anonymous said...

TOP 10!!!!!

Phil wears LAY-OH-PARD print undies, ya know

Anonymous said...

bastard!
didn't expect a tour spoilerfrom you!

Anonymous said...

SPOILER? FCKU SNOB

Spoiler Alert said...

How dare you spoil the Tour today for those of us who do have a real jobs and look forward to watching a recorded version in the evening?!? In the words of Jeff Spicoli, you DICK!

db said...

¡ESTEBAN!

Anonymous said...

Oh great. Another site I have to avoid until I've watched the stage. Thanks for that.

streepo said...

Do you fofonov?

ringcycles said...

oh come on with the spoiler hysteria! Like you all didn't check the results on your smartphone at lunch. Please

Anonymous said...

Poor show Snob, Phil is not a racist, the word he used is old fashioned one which people of his age still use in Europe.

Anonymous said...

"this bloke walks up to me and says..."

hey nonny mouse

JB said...

Awesome spoiler.

Buffalo Bill said...

Recumbabe might have a use for an earthenware tea set, in my imagination, she prefers a nice herbal tisane...

cadel evans said...

i still hate sideburns. and i hate voeckler too. showoff.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I brake for recumbabe

Marcel Da Chump said...

Weed hemp day.

Steven said...

No one can spoil a Voeckler victory!

ringcycles said...

I'm still waiting for you to post a picture of Dmitri's sister;
Ivana Fofonov.

mikeweb said...

Late. I slowed to admire the street mural.

Ben Nolan said...

Similar to the rationale behind the bank of Englsnd's big, 6 bicycle plan --- "He warned people who came into his orbit on Queen St West that global economic collapse was on the way. He maintained that people living in North American had grown weak from consumerism and credit card debt. ... Igor pointed to a fossil fuel apocalypse on the horizon that would make cars obsolete and bicycles essential. In a post-apocalyptic world Igor would emerge as an urban bike lord. His patch of land on Queen St West became known as Planet Igor" (http://bit.ly/NuhMFd). Igor Kenk = that guy who was trained an army of drug addicts to steal and bring bikes to him for drugs, and accumulated thousands and thousands of them in warehouses around Toronto.

JB said...

Dafuq did I just read?

JB said...

I bet your coffee was ground with a prototype Chris King Precision Coffee Grinder. It will weigh 274g and is louder than a sumbitch.

Anonymous said...

Pigglett.

Tee hee hee

Anonymous said...

Voekler must cleaned the competition today. . .

as symbolized by his wagging tongue...

as if he were licking the competition much. . .

as he would a cunt.

Anonymous said...

"Both of them fixate on American riders like Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, and Tom Danielson, who together are about as interesting as an earthenware tea set."

This is an insult to earthenware, they should be compared to earthenware that has not been fired. Wet oozing formless clay.

Anonymous said...

actually Zabriskie is funny. maybe not Jens funny, but funny still.

but you are right, being funny is quite a niche in cycling. lance is extremely not funny. at all. same with anybody who is british.

Phil Liggett & Myers said...

Another 'Let the French Douche; Win Day!'

There's no budisez like Show Bidinezzzzzz zzzzz

J. Dahmer II said...

I have human leather bike portaging straps available in WASP, Roman Catholic, Vietnamese, Afro Amerikan, Native Amerikan and French leathers.

Order directly and save.

McFly said...

I am glad you spoiled the HC stage. Now I may go out to eat with my family. Or something. TRUE STORY [Actually Today]: Guy walks into the office at work and says, "You can't even say Sand N----r without all the regular N----rs getting tore up about it in the breakroom." I just sat there in astonishment.

JDH said...

"All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states."---The Buddha. This is why I suck at bicycle-cycling.

JB said...

McFly: Do you work at a Confederate flag factory?

Dooth said...

So there I was at the local sports pub, a plate of sizzling fajitas, a pint of Carlsberg, and the TdF on the big hd screen...BSNYC on the tablet...life is good...and then WHAPP!...SPOILER!

JDH said...

@Ben Nolan---Double up on the meds, or break them in half, whichever one works.

Anonymous said...

I assure you that trainspotting involves more than "standing around all day watching trains" Or so I've read on the trainspotting blogs.

But speaking of the English, I had to freak out on the local news outlet today for continuing to broadcast today's stage winner in headlines above the fold on the home-page. (something that would get your office petrol bombed should you do something so offensive re the football scores) re-broadcast doesn't mean anything when you scoop the rest of the local anti-bike media on a bike story.

So, I guess it was my own fault that I saw it again after reading 10 paragraphs of today's post.

Anonymous said...

@ McFly.

That's your cue to say "when towel head or camel jockey works just as well..."

bikesgonewild said...

...yep...i would a' been REAL content to not have had a 'tour spoiler' on the first stage back after the rest day, especially when tommy voeckler/robin williams was headed for the win...

bikesgonewild said...

...'trainspotting' involves a lotta bad heroin & calling everybody "...fuckin' cunts..."...

Samuel F. B. Moron said...

-.-. ..- -. -

Quilled and Lugged said...

Trainspotting is definitely a different proposition in the UK, where trains do actually exist (except in the defunct Edinburgh station the ne'er-do-well were hanging out in, bgw, that was just a junkie joke on their part).
Fantastic news about the Bank of England being so ready for the apocalypse - but are they intending to go riding around on Boris Bikes, sponsored by a lesser bank?

Ben Nolan said...

@JDH --- why is it crazy to point out that the Bank of England is following the same logic as a crazy Toronto bike-theft kingpin? I wasn't making up any of the details --- search his name. His trial was huge news.

Dooth said...

The Polka Dot Podium Girls are beyond gorgeous.

One London Rat said...

In my opinion, during these times of financial and societal uncertainty, any kind of spondee - good or bad - should be welcomed.

McFly said...

No but it is Tennessee. Sadly this guy is actually one of my best hands. This TDF spoiler is ranking up there with Stevil Kinevil and his McMansion Burning debocle.

bikesgonewild said...

...quilled n' lugged...more than just a junkie's 'tracks' joke, i saw it as the writers philosophical "...life's passing you by...you missed the train...blah, blah, blah..." statement, ya ???...

...am i trying to get too deep ???...

...but either way, i doubt you've ever read a novel that used the word "...cunt..." more often than 'trainspotting'...

JB said...

Hey JB: Why would you think non-whites would work at a Confederate flag factory? Idiot.

Anonymous said...

< ...'trainspotting' involves a lotta bad heroin & calling everybody "...fuckin' cunts..."... >

Aye, it disnae hauf.....

Have you read the book? It's written phonetically in jakey Scots dialect. And "cunt" quite often means "bloke". You have to have sat on the top deck of an Edinburgh bus late on a Saturday night to understand it fully....

hey nonny mouse

bikesgonewild said...

...btw...the first town i lived in as a kid in northern ontario had no road into it (at the time)...you came & left by train (or bush plane)...

...250 people & the station masters were family friends & so even though we lived near the tracks (as did everyone), on occasion we'd get to stay in the station which was a BIG deal to a little kid...

...even got to climb up in an engine but to this day, i remember being too little to see out the windows...

...kinda still love trains though...

ashcroftchops said...

I'm English and from the UK so I'm gonna use the word cunt...... "Citicuntbike!"

ashcroftchops said...

And........ "Speedcunthump!"

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Spoiler - here? Awwww.....

CUNT

We're annoyed. It's hilarious that we are annoyed, but we are.

bikesgonewild said...

...of course, nonny mouse...

...they even played the ol' telephone the pub & "...ask for mike hunt..." joke...

...but ya, i recognize it was nothing like any life i ever lived...(& i've been around)...

Quilled and Lugged said...

My favourite line was always the 'colonised by WANKERS' one, when they did actually get on a train.
But yeah, bunch of cunts in that book.

Brookstar said...

They need to start removing abandoned bikes from these racks. If the tires are flat and all parts of the drive train have a thick furry coat of rust then get it out of there. Until then these bikes are the best source for seats that are guaranteed not to get stolen. If you try a few you may find one that's not too uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 20 means the drivers can now theoretically only kill 66,6% as much pedestrians and cyclists as they could before.

Vegas said...

Looking forward to low-cost speed humps coming to my town.

Anonymous said...

What's with the spoiler?? I was really looking forward to getting home from work and watching the stage. Seriously, very poor form.

Yes, you can mock me and the other disappointed readers tomorrow but please don't do this without some kind of warning in future.

the2002saga said...

SPLR ALRT

Reggie said...

thanks for sticking up for paul and phil. it is true, compared to other american sportscasters they are amazing. i rather like them as they are.

Anonymous said...

Just another fuck you

Traffic and grammar police said...

Anonymous @ 7:04

"Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 20 means the drivers can now theoretically only kill 66,6% as much pedestrians and cyclists as they could before"

Pedestrians and cyclists are countable objects, even if they don't necessarily 'count' in the car-centric scheme of things, so you mean 66,6% as many , but as I understand it, the physics turns out to be rather different, and lethality drops rather more than you might expect with the lower speed. I'm sure you could look up the figures if you want, I'm too lazy.

McFly said...

JB,
I am a big fan, HUGE fan, of people referring to themselves in the 3rd person. ie: Jimmy like Elaine.

Paul Sherwin said "Jens Voigt" in German vernacular and it sounded like he was upchucking his spleen.

Recumbabe stalker guy said...

On this fine day none of the commentatti mentioned recumbabe ...


Yah Fook'in Cunts!

Forrest Krak'ah said...

Ya have yer sand cunts

Then you have your house cunts

And then you have your field cunts ...

Forrest Krak'ah said...

Ya have yer sand cunts

Then you have your house cunts

And then you have your field cunts ...

Anonymous said...

Holy shit! What's with all you fucking wankers complaining about spoilers? You sound like a bunch of over-priveleged mummy's boys. Cunts.

Rock Douche' DEA Agent said...

WEdnEsDay is SPEED hump day ...

another coded Snob dope message ...

WEED unt SPEED

where will it all end?

Anonymous said...

Yep, you're an ass.

Anonymous said...

That spoiler was gratuitous and inconsiderate. I expected better of you.

Skip Toot said...

When I opened the box(cat?) all I had was a can of tuna fish with a hole in the top.

Anonymous said...

The wiki on trainspotting/railfans has a photo of said railfans taking a photo of Caltrain.

Surely their topic of discussion include the storied history of the Caltrain bike car.

It all comes full circle, baby.

J i m s t e r said...

Whoa...

THEY *PAINTED* A HOLOGRAM?

Skilllllzz.

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

***SPOILER ALERT***

Today's mountain stage of the Tour 'day' France was won by Dmitri Fofonov. A long solo break with an explosively satisfying finish put him 8:42 ahead of the peloton at the end of the stage, launching him into contention for the overall lead.

Anonymous said...

Why would you read a cycling blog prior to watching the TDF stage? Stop setting yourselves up for failure fucktards. I fully enjoyed the recap.

Anonymous said...

And they say Bankers are wankers, seems like they know a good idea when it spits in their eye.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

as for not showing the "whole stage"--come on, let's admit that guys pedaling along on bikes is just guys pedaling along on bikes. Why does anybody think Phil and Paul resort to talking about their bunions? Because it's more interesting than saying, "The peloton is riding their bikes. . . Now the peloton continues to ride their bikes, as they have for the last hour and will for the next hour." It's also more interesting than showing last year's crashes for the billion and first time. . . . Face it, if you don't really, really like bike racing, most of a bike race is about as interesting as watching golf when Tiger Woods is not scanning the crowd for a Peta Todd look-alike. I like it when they edit the whole thing down to the good bits, which I can record and skip the Lance-free Michelob Light commercials and thus watch in an hour and fifteen minutes--leaving me more time to ride my own bike.

mikeweb said...

Phil just pronounced Vincenzo Nbali's name as 'Nibble-y'.

That's gold, Phil, GOLD!

Kenny Banya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Watching bike racing is boring. I'm so glad I can just read the results here without having to go searching all over the interwebs to find out who won.

grog said...

Recumbabe has no bunions. She does, however, appear to have nonplussed mammories.

Anonymous said...

a metrical foot consisting of two long or stressed syllables

That is yer spondee.

shove it up yre c__t. (crit)

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