Every crappy periodical in New York City has to run through its backlog of stupid bike articles before the big freeze.
To that end, New York, which is a magazine about New York City written entirely for people who live in Westchester, has run this hard-hitting exposé on how many cyclists don't stop at red lights:
Poor intern Nikita Richardson. Three pedestrians killed in New York City by drivers on the sidewalk on Monday alone, and this putz Dan Amira has her standing outside the Apple store counting bikes. So what did she find?
In the time she observed the intersection, only 13 out of 89 bicyclists on Prince Street stopped for the red light, a total of 14 percent.
Big deal. Back when I had a real job I used to ride through that intersection daily on my commute and I always saw drivers going through the red light after it had changed, just like they do at every intersection in the city--but of course Dan Amira didn't have Nikita the Intern count any of that. Instead, he made up some bullshit about how motorists don't run red lights until he was forced to append this correction because evidently they run over a million red lights a day, which surprised even me:
*The sentence "Few motorists would dare blow through a red light, even if it appeared safe to do so" has been removed from the second paragraph. A 2000 report indicates that drivers in New York City run 1.23 million red lights each day, which is more than a few.
If Dan Amira had been investigating the Watergate break-in with Woodward and Bernstein he would have been the one sending an intern to find out if anybody stole any towels.
Speaking of hard-hitting journalism, a number of readers have written to let me know that Competitive Cyclist has interviewed the "Assos Man:"
Conspicuously absent was a question about how many carrots you have to eat in order to turn bright orange, though they did ask him this:
Over the course of your modeling career with Assos, we’ve seen some amazing poses, with my favorite being the invisible cycling position pose. Could you walk me through a typical photo session? What level of collaboration is there for creating the aesthetic of a shoot?
Let us just say that the poses came about in a far more natural way than one would think. The reality is that my job is more mannequin than model. My role is more technical than aesthetic. It is of fundamental importance to Assos that their clothes are shaped for the cycling position and not for standing up straight. So, we have always tried to create photos that respect this. Erwin, of course, needs to not think about me, but about the product, and how the photos can be used in catalogs and on the website without having to retake them all.
Anyway, cute idea and all, but wake me up when they interview this guy:
Over the course of your modeling career with Wikipedia, we’ve seen some amazing poses, with my favorite being the one where you're standing there dolefully, your arms just hanging by your side like a couple of dead wiener dogs. Could you walk me through a typical photo session? What level of collaboration is there for creating the aesthetic of a shoot?
In other apparel news, clothing company Outlier sent me a promotional email with the subject line "Doublebag It," which I only opened because I thought it said "Douchebag It:"
It's the traveling time of year, when the seasons get deep, the deep get packing.
We made the Doublebag as a simple way to separate your clothes while traveling. A lightweight supplex bag with openings at both ends and a movable partition in the middle to keep your dirty laundry from spoiling your clean. Dirty laundry in one side, clean in the other. Once you start using it you may well find it an essential travel tool.
A $50 bag to separate your clean and dirty clothes while you're traveling? What do they think those plastic bags from the deli are for? I'm perennially amazed by the anal retentiveness exhibited by urban males of the gentrifying class. Outlier should follow this up with a $100 sanitary "ass gasket" made from high-performance technical fabric for use on airport toilet seats. Actually, it could be part of a whole kit, and it won't be long before travelers in the Jet Blue terminal are entering the men's room with so much hygienic equipment you won't know if they're going to "drop a deuce" or deliver a baby.
Of course, if keeping your clean and dirty clothes separated qualifies as a major problem in your life, you'd probably be at home in Portland, where a reader informs me the cycling community has hit a metaphorical bump in the road in the form of a handful of literal bumps in the road:
There are five bumps placed about two feet apart and they're made up of thermoplastic strips about an eighth-of-an-inch think. That might not seem very high, but on a bicycle the bumps can definitely be felt — especially for riders with narrow tires. We've heard a lot of feedback so far that not only are the bumps jarring but many people swerve into the adjacent vehicle lane to avoid them.
Here's one critique cited in the article, in which someone who clearly reads too much "Bicycling" magazine thinks his aluminum frame isn't laterally stiff yet vertically compliant enough for this new piece of road furniture:
I commute on my trusty aluminum frame road bike and feel every last bump on the new rumble strip, so count me in as someone who swerves to avoid them; I think if they weren't quite as bad I might slow down instead. I asked a friend and she tells me she hates them (and she added an unusual expletive to quantify the extent of her hatred).
As intrigued as I am by that "unusual expletive" (Was it "frumunda sauce?" Because that would be pretty unusual), I'd think Portlanders would be excited about this since it would give them all excuses to run out and get new custom Breadwinner steel artisanal commuting bikes specially designed for smoothing out speed bumps.
Then again, this being Portland, it seems to me they could have come up with a much better solution for slowing down cyclists as they approach a shared sidewalk--namely, a cyclocross barrier that would force riders to dismount.
Anyway, I'm sure they'll figure it out, because they always do.
Then they'll have a theme ride about it.
Meanwhile, here in New York City we don't need speed bumps because they're built into our shitty infrastructure:
Girl with glasses and awesome bike who fell infront of my house - m4w (BedStuy)
You fell on that gnarly section of Lafayette by Nostrand. I didn't see you fall, I just saw you sitting there with your bike lights still on looking pretty dazed, and I got you a rag for your face blood. Anyways, is your shoulder still messed up? You should sue the city so they finally fix that section (it's been messed up since I moved here), that would be rad. Email me and let me know if you're okay and not missing any teeth or anything, for someone who just fell off their bike you seemed pretty cool.
Good thing she crashed in front of a doctor.