Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Indignity of Commuting By Bicycle: Freds




Waving.



Cyclists love to argue about waving to each other.  Some of us are quite whiny about it.  "The stuck-up roadie didn't wave to me, wah, wah, wah."  Whatever.  Get over it.  For some reason, Americans can't ride bicycles without receiving acknowledgment and encouragement at least every five minutes.  We need constant validation that we bought the right thing and look the right way and that we're saving the Earth.

Hey, if you're not actually receiving the finger from somebody then that should be good enough for you.

That's not to say I won't wave to people on bikes.  It's just that I mostly reserve it for cases when I see someone on a bike and think, "Wow, we need more of you!"  People on road bikes do not fit this criterion.  I know this because very often I am one, and when I am on my road bike I am contributing absolutely nothing of value to the world.  Rather, I am merely engaged in self-serving recreation, and at best it is the equivalent of publicly wanking.  Do you wave to the pervert masturbating on the subway?  No you do not.  So why wave to the Fred trying to set a good time on a Strava segment?  Moreover, there is no shortage of Freds in any city in America, and if anything we're just Rollerbladers with more expensive equipment.

But you can be sure I'll wave to a Hasidic kid riding a Citi Bike:


Especially because he's probably disregarding the stupid 16 year-old age limit.

Hey, if he's had his Bar Mitzvah then that should be good enough for the criminals at Citibank.

Not only that, but it makes me happy to see kids riding bicycles, especially when they're from communities that are (rightly or wrongly) sometimes associated with being "anti-bike."  A Hasid on a Citi Bike is a somewhat unexpected sight (though probably getting more and more common), and that also compels me to wave--though "unusual" is not always reason enough in itself, since this is somewhat unusual too:


Yet I didn't wave.  Instead, I gawked, and felt a mixture of amusement and suspicion.  It's moments like these when I realize people are merely animals, and we're no different from the dog barking at the person walking with a limp.  We react very strongly to things that are a little "off."  It's sort of familiar--the pedals, the clothing, the helment--yet there's only one wheel, and that makes us uncomfortable.  It gets the hackles up.  I don't know whether to bark at it or sniff at it to make sure it's okay.

Anyway, as I rolled up to sniff the unicyclist's butt, I noticed he had what looked like a number pinned to his CamelBak:


As he was the only unicyclist in sight, the number and the hydration pack led me to wonder if he was either winning or losing an "epic" transcontinental unicycle race by a huge margin.  However, I didn't ask him, because people who ride human-powered vehicles with only one wheel are scary and freakish to me.

Anyway, I spotted both of these people yesterday while on a commute that took me through four out of the five boroughs of New York City (Staten Island being the only one spared the kiss of my tires), and here are some observations in no particular order:

--Five years ago Rapha was the clothing of choice for the well-heeled and discerning roadie.  Now, you mostly see it on the sorts of people who, five years ago, would have been wearing Primal or Discovery Channel jerseys.

--Doughy bankers with copies of the Financial Times tucked under their arms continue to fling open the doors of yellow cabs with considerable abandon.

--Paradoxically, the best places in the city to ride a bicycle often have the least bicycle infrastructure.

--If you didn't know better you'd think the bike lanes of New York City were equipped with free wi-fi, because pedestrians love standing in the middle of them while staring at their smartphones.

--Roadies doing laps in Central Park in the middle of the day will yell at children on bicycles to get out of the way, so if you're looking for someone to blame for all those Central Park ticket blitzes, why not have a word with the CRCA?

--The Williamsburg waterfront has morphed into a strange hybrid of Jersey City and Miami Beach that seems completely disintegrated from the fabric of the rest of the city.

--Brooklyn has reached "peak beard" and they're about to go suddenly and violently out of style, since far too many people now look like this.

--The Harlem River needs better bike crossings and it will be great when they finish this--except that it will attract the sorts of people who ride bicycles, many of whom are annoying and look like this.

--The 59th Street Bridge is the least pretentious East River crossing.

--New York City used to be a true freakshow.  Now everybody just looks like this.

In other news of New York City, I was very pleased that Mayor Bill de Blasio finally began to implement "Vision Zero" yesterday:


De Blasio also announced more immediate steps. School-zone speed cameras, which have been issuing warnings since they were installed in September, will begin issuing tickets tomorrow, the mayor said, and the police will begin prioritizing enforcement of the most dangerous infractions: Speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians. In addition, NYPD will be increasing the size of its highway division — which investigates crashes and performs much of the department’s traffic enforcement — to 270 officers, an increase of 50 percent; already, the unit has increased its staff size by 10 percent, up from 170 officers.

We'll see what actually happens, but the fact that a mayor is even saying some of this stuff is unprecedented, so that's promising.  Hopefully he'll deal with the scourge of reckless bicyclists, too.



Sorry, did I say "bicyclists?"  That's just a reflex, since we've been led to believe over the past few years that bicycles are the biggest menace to public safety in New York.  Incidentally, this took place right down the street from the police station, and if you're wondering why they're not doing anything, it's because these riders probably are the police.

Also, the police are supposed to avoid high-speed chases:

Department policy requires that a vehicle pursuit be terminated whenever the risks to uniformed members of the service and the public outweigh the danger to the community if [the] suspect is not immediately apprehended.

That's why it's much easier to harass cyclists, since a cyclist fleeing at top speed is still far less dangerous than the opening door of a parked car.

Lastly, in entertainment news, Dustin Hoffman is going to be in the Lance Armstrong movie?

Hoffman will join when the production moves to the U.S. for the final stages of the shoot, sources said on Friday. It wasn't immediately clear what role he would play.

My guess is either Eddy Merckx, Michele Ferrari, or else he'll simply reprise his role as "Ratso" Rizzo corrupting the young Joe Buck.

90 comments:

flyover bc said...

Podium

Solo Finish said...

1st

6815 622335

Serial Retrogrouch said...

butt and pussy.

Solo finish said...

Ahhh Flyover, you just sneaked past

Schisthead said...

Unicyclists and robots are not to be trusted.

Flyover BC said...

Where's the soundtrack for the first photo. It should be some sort of re-mix of Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle race.

A fascinating photo all in all

Anonymous said...

top 10!

Anonymous said...

top 10. Joli. Je vais fumer un joint pour feter ca.

mikeweb said...

Rain Man in Da House!!!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Cool for cats

Anonymous said...

tooopp ten! I did it!

Bicycle Cycling Eckspurt said...

Where's Emily? I want more talk of BJs.

Velocodger said...

"a mixture of amusement and suspicion"
Words to live by.

Anonymous said...

shit I got snubbed on the sprint again... stupid fucking robot text I cant read. Does that make me a robot???

Yeah Cleveland! said...

Uh oh. The female rider on the left is sans pants and HELMET.

panda pants said...

woah.
All those posterior cheeks.
My great grandmother would likely exclaim:
"All that meat and no potatoes!"

McFly said...

........recieving the finger?

I thought it was fellatio week...

the Jimboner said...

lob help me.

DB said...

I believe all those motorcycles in the Washington Hts neighborhood were headed for the Morris-Jumel mansion to take in some NYC history.

JB said...

THIK RUMP

Anonymous said...

I passed that Hasid kid yesterday and he was in my lane, moments from full on collision. Baby steps.

babble on said...

wankinginpublicisbadwankinginpublicisbadwankinginpuclicisbadwankinginpublicisbadwankinginpublicisbadwankingi

Hmm. Guess I should wave more, in the interests of keepin' the ol' fingers busy, n'all.

streepo said...

scranus.

I believe Dustin Hoffman has Johan Bruyneel written all over him.

He should probably wash it off.

crosspalms said...

Ratso should do PSAs for pedestrian safety.

I'M WALKING HERE!!

DB said...

You are my early favorite today, Streepo.

Leroy: is your dog getting ready for the mixed-breed agility skill test at the dog show?

JB said...

"In addition, NYPD will be increasing the size of its highway division [snip] to 270 officers, an increase of 50 percent; already, the unit has increased its staff size by 10 percent, up from 170 officers."

Moving up to 270 officers, after a 50% increase, means they have 180 officers now. If they used to have 170 officers, then currently the staff size has increased by 6 percent (not 10 percent).

WRDP RBLM

mikeweb said...

Staten Island being the only one spared the kiss of my tires

My tires usually skip the foreplay.

mikeweb said...

@JB,

"The NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 34,450. There are also approximately 4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers, 5,000 School Safety Agents, 2,300 Traffic Enforcement Agents (parking ticket writers), and 370 Traffic Enforcement Supervisors currently employed by the department."

So, even after the increase the division tasked with enforcing traffic laws and investigating crashes will comprise less than 1% of the 'uniformed' department, and 10% the size of the parking enforcement division(!) This in a city where there are more people killed by drivers than by people weilding guns.

Does anyone else see this as completely fucking idiotic?

Dave said...

Hey, I'm bikin' here!

3G said...

"people who, five years ago, would have been wearing Primal or Discovery Channel jerseys.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNAiled it!

CommieCanuck said...

On top of the Hoffman news, Rob Ford has been approached to play Jan Ullrich.

JLRB said...

riding in stretchy clothes is as close to riding nude or pantless that I will ever get, or anyone would ever want me to attempt

rural 14 said...

Rural 1st!
I wave, and I wave to car drivers too.

Esp during a snowy day ride like today when they don't expect to see me...eye contact crucial for not getting run off the fucking road here in rural Canada's base layer near the Lake.

Why why why they has to pass me on a downhill narrow blind curve when I taking the lane, only to swerve into me as oncoming traffic comes up the hill. That's why I take the lane, so I have somewhere to move when they swerve my way to avoid a head on collision.

I having full blazing rear lights head lights and helmet lights...WTF...I can't be seen?

should I change my route? the speed limit is 35 but hilly on a 5 mile section - or it's flatter but on dirt roads and 8 miles for the same start and end points. I'm faster on the 5 even though there's 8% grades.

I'm a numerical robot now

Anonymous said...

Hoffman will likely play Greg LeMond. They both are fat and have gray hair.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Fellow commenters, let me wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous Tu B'shevat.

g. said...

Snob,
This is a slight change from the last time you posted about waving several years ago. I seem to recall you saying that one should never wave to a rider of a different style, regardless. I have taken that to heart and have been living my life thusly since then. I really don't want to change now.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna complain about the preponderance of NY-centric blogs hereabouts recently, but then I remembered the "NYC" component of Snobby's name.

So, instead I will complain about Snobby's name; I think it's high time Snobby changed his name to something less parochial.

Roille Figners said...

I'll wave if it's like, such shitty weather that we're the only two cyclists out there and we're both nuts to be out there. So there are some of the same overtones of unusual/need-more-of-you but mostly it's just like "Hey there, holy shit, right?"

Peak Homeless-Beard is kind of like Peak Oil in that it's been 3-5 years since I realized it was happening, yet people still stubbornly persist in denying it.

McFly said...

The jiggly girl in the fire engine panties has that complexion I like. It's....how shall I put this......Red hand-print compatable.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this is related to Vision Zero™, but last night on my commute home I was slowly passed by a cop cruiser on the Chrystie St. approach to the Manhattan Bridge. The bike lane was filled with cars unloading passengers for China Town buses. I had to take the lane behind the cop, but was shocked (shocked, I tells ya!) to witness the cruiser slow down next to the unloading vehicles and demand over loud speaker that they move out of the bike lane. I've been unjustly ticketed in that same area for going out of the bike lane to avoid those cars... Has the world gone all topsy turvy?

Ratzo said...

Hey, I'm walking here!

Flyover BC said...

I wave to anybody that gives me the right-of-way.

Otherwise, it's good mornin' or evenin' to other cyclists along the way. Unless we get into a cat 6 race, than all bets are off.

Anonymous said...

" . . . the helment . . . "

huh?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:44 - i think hoffman is much taller.

cycle

I Dream of Babble with the light green eys said...

Would have been first but three hours ago I was so weeded out I couldn't read the catchup if my life depended on it. WEED.

current one: preloaded (well, one letter off), I wonder if Cipo made that one up?

Car 54 Where Are You said...

"Mikeweb@100: "4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers". All 4,500 spend their entire shift in doughnut shops.

And, yes it is completely fucking idiotic. Kind of like the train crash where the alarm sounded everyplace except where the driver/engineer is seated.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

I am not going to see that fucking movie

Niagara Falls, Slowly I Turned... said...

Yesterday someone proposed Canada trade CommieCanuck for Justin Beaver. The USA would be taking O'Canada to the cleaners on that trade. Do it Uncle Sam, do it.

Clenbuterol, a great tenderizer said...

Dustin Hoffman is going to play Lance's dentist. It's going to be kind of a remake of The Boys from Brazil. An extra, in the background of a resturant scene, is going to be Alberto Contador, seen eating a steak.

Tool Time said...

Babs, Sounds like a plan. But I'm 3,000 miles away from your smile. Maybe you could put instructional videos on the DIY network?

I Need 10,000 Camels on the set by morning said...

This just in. Woody Allen will play Floyd Landis. And, while away from Toronto for filming, Jabba the Hut will be interim mayor.

Comment deleted said...

Niagara, there *was* a "player to be named later" involved, but yes, it was a bit of a self-serving deal.

McFly said...

In '99 LA and Bill Stapleton almost did a MADE FOR TV LIFETIME DEALS on his 1st but passed on it cause they thought there was alot more to his story. Oh and sidebar he boned Lisa Shiels exactly ONE WEEK post nueter. Wheelmen is very interesting.

babble on said...

Video! What a great idea! I was thinking of more of a hands-on format, but video... hmmmm... :)

Comment deleted said...

I think a combined class/Vancouver tour package might be optimal, Babs, a "Ride and Gargle", if you will.

Jack B. said...

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5fvv11ELY1rqqerp.jpg

Emily said...

Am I to assume all of the girls in the first image are riding to Babble On's Deep Throat Seminar? I have been told I suck amazing cock but I do not know how to DT. I swallow. Pay close attention to the balls and will pretty much give a BJ anywhere there is time and even mildly acceptable privacy. Please Babble tell me the trick. Do you keep doing it when he is cumming? IS ALL OF THIS IN THE SEMINAR?

Roille Figners said...

... or SEMENAR

dancesonpedals said...

the semenar would be funnier in French...maybe some quebecois instructors..

l'art de fellatiation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zv_lBEcaqA

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i'm going to go ahead and assume the Emily is McFly's alter, feminine ego.

...Babs... no vids please... as i suggested yesterday, HANDS ON only... well, actually, if DT is done properly, there's no rooms for hands... but that's a detail... also, could you start by teaching sword swallowing techniques?

[robo-cop: 86892695: there's a 69 in there!]

Blog Drafter said...

We survived as a species because of our ability to notice and pay attention to details…it's the details that will get you killed, you can gloss over the similarities and survive. Unfortunately, now that we survived we can't turn it off. Hence, we murder and otherwise kill each other over tiny little differences.

On a lighter note, is it ironic (perhaps) that the Linkway for the Knog Blinder Road 3 bicycle cycling light shows a guy who wants to visible in the duskways DRESSED IN ALL BLACK!!! ON A BLACK BIKE!!! AT DUSK!!!

Also, Emily @ 5:02 is CJ, sure as shit.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Blog drafter - I doubt it, otherwise he would be critiquing the angle and dimensions of the member in question.

Need Commie Canuck to come up with a Gran Fondo joke for Babs...

Anonymous said...

It's really an Emily and Babble's Comments site with a blog subsection thrown in.

vsk

Anonymous said...

"This in a city where there are more people killed by drivers than by people weilding guns.

Does anyone else see this as completely fucking idiotic?"

That's ALWAYS been the case. It's just become a streetshugger talking point nowadays. Diggin' that kool aid, aintcha?

You'd fucking HOPE that in a city of 8 million people going back and forth and left and right all day, more would die in traffic accidents than get shot to death.

You wanna live somewhere where you're more likely to get a cap in your skull than hit by a errant motorist, then move to Compton, clown.

Roille Figners said...

Well I mean, either one would suck, but it seems like cars, which aren't explicitly intended to be deadly, should at least manage to be less deadly than guns, which are fully intended to be deadly. And yet it seems like I recall traffic & gun fatalities tend to run in the same ballpark year after year. Which is another reason it makes such a good comparison. But it also means, either cars ARE intended to be deadly (and there's an argument to be made for that) or, a bunch of muh-fuggaz are some seriously, lethally inept mug-fuggaz.

jdlvtrn said...

The bicycle riders and pedestrians who notice, turn and stare or wave to me are almost entirely elderly, foreign born (I'm guessing at those who say nothing) people who perhaps have some faint recognition of the style of my omafiets from their personal history. when I was a motorcycle rider/commuter, almost every motorcyclist raised their right fist as they passed each other on the road, "back in the day"

CJ's Mom said...

Blog Drafter @ 5:58 -

I am pretty familiar with CJ's writing style, and I am pretty certain that Emily is not one of CJ's pen names. For one thing, he hates women so much and he is mortally terrified of them that I don't believe that he could successfully adopt a woman's perspective (what do you expect after the terrible things that I did to him and his little micropenis?). I am not saying that Emily is a woman or that "she" is a fan of giving BJs or that "she" is even any good at it, but I am pretty certain "she" is not CJ.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:30pm,

It's a perfectly valid point. Murder victims tend to know their killers. (That doesn't make it OK, and I'm not trying to blame the victims, but they're seldom totally random.) As far as just getting killed for no reason in NYC, if anything's going to do it, it's going to be a reckless driver.

That people simply going from A to B is the biggest threat to your well-being in this town is pretty fucked up.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Freddy Murcks said...

WCRM -

I can see that it took great restraint on your part to not call Anonymous @ 6:30pm a fucking idiot. Well, I am going to do it for you.

Anonymous @ 6:30pm, you are a fucking idiot. I am surprised that people like you even have the brain capacity to type and breathe at the same time. Or, I don't know, maybe you did lose consciousness due to lack of oxygen while you were typing your moronic screed.

Sincerely,
Freddy "the can-o-bull" Murcks

March fapopea

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob NYC Comments Section=Strava for blog readers. Frustrated bloggers who haven't been able to hit the big time but still want a piece of the action. Snagging the 'podium' is no different regaining a strava record.

How is the irony Flyover bc, Solo Finish, Serial Retrogrouch, et al?

As for those who like to be underneath Babble... How old are you?

One Less Wheel said...

A few years ago I saw a unicyclist in Vancouver's Whistler Gran Fondo. It was about 20 km into the ride and as I passed him I noticed that he had a small shaft with a brake lever attached. How the hell does one apply it without pitching forward onto one's face. Oh yes, and I think he was wearing a unitard.










Anonymous said...

One Less Wheel; If he had a lever attached to his shaft (the size would not matter) then they were probably dick brakes.

GoPro said...

Anonymous @ 8:04 pm, About Babble? You just have to be old enough to appreciate beauty, talent and smarts. For some of us that can take a lot longer than others. I'm glad you have found an outlet for your anger. Just reflect on it's cause and try to make the world a happier place. Bless and in time bliss for you.

JB said...

Anon @ 8:04 pm:

And you're bothered enough by a comments podium and double entendre in the comments to complain about it in the comments. Go ride your bike.

Dooth said...

Am I to assume all of the girls in the first image are riding to Babble On's Deep Throat Seminar?

Actually, they're pantsless, so that means they're riding AWAY from Babble On's Deep Throat Seminar.

Mr Plow said...

Well, at least I now understand why I bark at people who limp.

McFly said...

Reckless driving sounds great at face value verbatim.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, that's a geared unicycle. It's a Kris Holm/Schlumpf geared hub. Only capable of 2 gears, and the gears are switches by buttons on the cranks.

amna ali said...

Bike Snob NYC In his new book, BikeSnobNYC reaches the final frontier of cycling: riding with the familyhttp://topusachannels.blogspot.com/2013/03/discovery-channel-kids-live-free.html As his choice to take to the road with his toddler son in tow is met with

Paul Bowen said...

Red knickers lady has me empathising with Irishman man.

Anonymous said...

Damn you WCRM. 15 or 20 years ago I would not have given that Carefree Cellulite Cyclist another glance but that backyard has a white-knuckle ninja grip on my libido. I bet it gets a ticket for a bullett train to Poundtown on a weekly basis.

Bryan said...

Another hour+ at work spent in happiness and laughter.

Stupid motorcyclists there. Of course, I hope they enjoyed taking half the life off of their tires in 20 minutes of obnoxiousness. I was kind of rooting for the guy on the 4 wheeler to tip over during his wheelie.

I really don't see the appeal of riding in undies or nekkid. it looks very uncomfortable. whatout for seat penetrations!

Anonymous said...

Some of you are messed up. One of the reasons I group ride is to ogle the in shape female riders. If I wanted chubby I would hang out at Walmart.

JB said...

You can all be mesmerized by the phat ass all you want. The helmentless female on the red Free Spirit 10-speed is the non-bike-obsessed gem.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Dear Anonymous @ 8:04 pm,

re. the daily race to podio on BSNYC vs. strava. that's funny, not ironic. if they made a strava for this comments section, then we can keep track of our wins. you know, some of us have nothing else in our lives to look forward to daily besides a virtual placement on a virtual podio, getting virtual kisses from a few lady-commenters. don't look down on us from all the way up there. [if you are just jealous that you can't podio, just try harder ;) ]

re. your question about the [proper] age to be under our esteemed Babble, i think you have to be legal in the US's foreskin... which, last time i checked, was 15 years of age.

babble on said...

The Bob and Doug Crack Security Team at the Edmonton International Airport confiscated a pipe bomb off an 18 yr old last September, but offered it back to him and LET HIM ON THE PLANE when it didn't test positive for pot because it never occurred to them that the stuff inside might be gunpowder.

Holy McFuckingDuh, batman.

babble on said...

FIFTEEN?? Fifteen is legal? Yikes.

Bama Phred said...

Maybe I can snag the Lantern Rouge, or be Mr. Ir-relevant in the commenting comments section?
Wouldn't you like to have heard Irishman Man and his doctor?
"That's quite a booner you got there, Seamus, and I see you've developed quite the callous on it."

Toody and Muldoon said...

Anon630: It's because the police do almost nothing about most of the deaths. If the mafia gave you a contract to rub out Vito, you'd be crazy to kill him with a gun, knife, etc. Just run him over while walking down the sidewalk, then say the vehicle went out of control, I don't know what happened. Police on the scene will say "move on, move on, nothing to see here".

Anonymous said...

NAH, ANON@8:04 is right on.