This clogged stream of cyclists is just one of many in a city as renowned for bikes as Los Angeles is for automobiles or Venice for gondolas. Cyclists young and old pedal through narrow lanes and along canals. Mothers and fathers balance toddlers in spacious wooden boxes affixed to their bikes, ferrying them to school or day care. Carpenters carry tools and supplies in similar contraptions and electricians their cables. Few wear helmets. Increasingly, some are saying what was simply unthinkable just a few years ago: There are too many bikes.
Wow, sounds horrible. The problem? Some people have more than one bike!
Part of the problem is that many Amsterdamers are not satisfied with just one bike, and often do not care where they leave those they have. “I have three,” said Timo Klein, 23, an economics student, picking one of his out from a scattering of dozens of bikes on the central Dam Square, some still usable, others clearly wrecks. “If one breaks down, I don’t have to use public transportation,” like buses or trams, which in the city’s narrow, clogged roadways are slower than bikes.
Three bikes?!? How selfish! Think of all the resources he's squandering--not to mention all those cubic centimeters of space he's taking up!
Worst of all, in Amsterdam they actually do have the sort of all-powerful bike lobby that keeps Dorothy Rabinowitz tossing and turning all night (well, that and her chronic bladder infection):
With so many bikes around, one of the more powerful lobbies in town is the Fietsersbond, or Cyclists’ Union, with its 4,000 local members. Musing over why Amsterdamers are so keen on bikes, Michèl Post, a union official, attributed it to the country’s density.
Ah, "Dutch people problems." Sure, I guess there is a genuine bike-parking crunch in Amsterdam, but I'm sure they'll figure it out--you know, because they're Dutch and not Americans. Yes, they'll be totally fine just as long as they don't listen to anybody from the United States, and the comments on this article reveal the profound depths of American retardation. Consider, for example, this idiot:
Albert Z. K. Sanders East Hampton NY
Mayor Bloomberg here in NYC is putting more bikes out. What can he be thinking of? The present bikes are a menace. There have never been any bike regulations enforced here. I have almost been injured repeatedly by bikes surprising me by going the wrong way on one-way streets, by riding on the sidewalk at high speed. Have you ever seen a policeman even reprimand a bicyclist doing something dangerous? I never have.
Wow. The guy in East Fucking Hampton is seriously complaining about bikes in the city? Maybe he's never seen a policeman reprimanding a bicyclist while he's "in town" at his Park Avenue place because he's got his head buried in Dorothy Rabinowitz's Brillo pad muff the whole time.
Here's another American with a brilliant fucking idea that could only come from our nation's capital:
Lynn in DC Um, DC
There may be 900,000 bikes but that in no way translates into 900,000 cars if say, bikes were outlawed. Bikes are relatively cheap so anyone who wants one can obtain one and pretty much everyone can ride a bike. Cars are not cheap, one must learn to drive, there are limits to who can drive plus there are items such as registration, tags, etc so there are significant roadblocks to car ownership. I point this out to explain why there would be far fewer cars if Amsterdam developed a car culture. Not to mention that cars cannot be parked in a random fashion as bikes are; garages (surface and underground) and street parking are required.
Yep, you got it--Amsterdam needs to outlaw bikes and develop a "car culture" and that will solve all their problems. Clearly Americans are too stupid to live--which I guess explains why we're running each other over and shooting each other all the time, or simply dying because we're too fucking fat. Just imagine how exquisitely we could fuck up Amsterdam if only they'd let us. I'd give it two years before we'd institute mandatory bicycle licensing and registration and pave over the canals to create a series of expressways. And obviously it goes without saying that we'd crack down on all the prostitution and marijuana, forcing the drugging and whoring inside of giant SUVs with tinted windows where it belongs.
Also, naturally it should be difficult to own bikes:
That's a poor argument; the proliferation of bikes exists in part because they're bikes. People can have three, as the man in this article does, because they're relatively cheap and disposable. The city should just better tax bike registration, with exploding fees for multiple bikes kept downtown in public spaces.
Actually, Trixie, that's a poor argument; the proliferation of cars in America exists in part because they're cars. People can have three, as most people in America do, because they're relatively cheap and disposable and we have some of the cheapest gas in the world. The city should just better tax car registration, with exploding fees for any cars kept parked for free in public spaces.
This is how stupid Americans are: we actually have "self-hating pedestrians." Have you ever encountered one? I recently did. There I was on my bike, waiting for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, when a turning SUV started bearing down on him and honking. So what does the pedestrian do? He turns to me--the guy who's actually yielding to him--and starts telling me off. I guess it's just a victim mentality: sublimate your helplessness by directing your outrage at anyone but your oppressor.
This is why, as lovely as bike share and all the rest of it is, I'm not all that optimistic for the future of cycling in this city or this country. Basically, the entire culture needs to think differently, and before that happens there needs to be a total generational turnover--in other words, all these stupid idiots have to grow old and die. Though by then they've taught the next generation of idiots to be equally stupid, so really what's the point?
Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai.
Lastly, speaking of Amsterdam, remember this trailer?
Well, the people who made it are working on a documentary, and they've launched a Kickstarter to get it done:
If the coal companies really want to maximize profits, they should forget schlepping the stuff through Montana and Wyoming and all the rest of it. Instead, they should just harness the awesome power of Dorothy Rabinowitz's sphincter to turn it all into diamonds. Just stick a lump of coal up there, show her a picture of a Citi Bike, and she'll be shitting out "bling" in a matter of minutes.
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right get excited, and if you're wrong you'll see still more evidence that abandoned bicycles are the biggest problem facing humanity today.
Thanks for reading, ride safe, and pray that the unfortunate people of Amsterdam find a solution to their horrible bike problem.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Wow, we sure do look like a bunch of idiots.
(Hushovd about to reveal his inner pussy.)
2) Thor Hushovd is a pussy.
3) This bicycle has:
4) In the time it takes to watch his Citi Bike video, Casey Neistat could just walk his ass to work.
5) Watch out, "Bicycling!" It's 2013, and Lennard Zinn has just discovered the exciting new world of:
6) Finally! Now you can:
7) Finally! A:
***Special "Cycling In America: Why Even Bother?"-Themed Bonus Video***