First of all, remember this?
Well, I've received a press release form the inventor informing me that they've finished the first production model--or, more specifically, they've finished making a picture of the first production model with a computer:
July 10, 2014, Fair Oaks, CA. Flying Rider announced today that the Computer Aided Design of its first production model is complete. (Rendering shown below.) Two potential fabricators have bid to produce the frame and others are expected. David Schwartz, designer of the novel vehicle said, “The first proposal we received was for a carbon fiber reinforced plastic frame. The second was for T6061 aluminum tubing construction. The all steel proof-of-concept bike, which weighs 28 pounds is too heavy to be acceptable. We’re aiming for a 17 pound machine tough enough to commute on.”
I'm pretty confident that this is the first bicycle in the world to employ both Computer Aided Design and "suicide" brake levers:
Also, he says the reaction to the concept has been "mostly positive:"
Public reaction to the no-seat concept has been mostly positive. Many have expressed eagerness to try it out for themselves. However, some see no need to tinker with the basic diamond frame design – now 130 years old and well-proven. “No doubt, this new design isn’t for everyone,” noted Schwartz, “but lots of people have told me they look forward to the extra efficiency and are anticipating the thrill of a hang glider-like ‘flying’ experience.”
Secondly, by way of executing a thematic "fast half turn" like our ami up there on the H-Zontal, a Washington Post columnist says cyclists are bullies:
I have to hand it to the bicyclists in the D.C. area. They’ve got more nerve than an L.A. biker gang. And some can be just as nasty.
They fight to have bike lanes routed throughout the city, some in front of churches where elderly parishioners used to park their cars. They slow-pedal those three-wheel rickshaws through downtown during rush hour, laughing at motorists who want them to get out of the way.
So cyclists can't ride past churches now? Are you kidding me? Presumably though it's still okay for the churchgoers to double-park and block traffic all day Sunday while they play make-believe, because if "God" wanted people to walk to church He wouldn't have created SUVs.
Not only that, but the cyclists also want...an escalator!
Now, some of them are pushing to have a “bicycle escalator” installed on 15th Street NW, going uphill from V Street to what used to be known as Malcolm X Park (until influential newcomers to the city pressed to get it changed back to Meridian Hill).
Moving stairs are the devil's work, everybody knows that.
And worst of all, these cyclists have the audacity to stop at red lights!
Bikers routinely worm their way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a red light. When the light turns green, they’ll poke along at a snail’s pace, holding up traffic while motorists wait for a chance to pass. Then they do the same thing at the next stop light.
This is a cunning twist, because most anti-cycling editorials hinge on cyclists not stopping at red lights.
But all of this is just a flimsy pretext for what's really bothering him, which is gentrification:
I recall in the not-so-distant past when the city’s bikers weren’t newly arrived, mostly white millennials but black juveniles whom D.C. police frequently stopped — at least in neighborhoods that were being gentrified. Stopped for riding on sidewalks. Stopped for riding in parking lots.
Now that kids like them are being moved to the outskirts of the city, if not out altogether, the District government is bending over backward to make Washington a more “biker-friendly” city.
It's too bad he was either unwilling or unable to write an insightful article on the subject and instead buried underneath all this "bully" nonsense, because the matter is a complex one, fraught with matters of race, economics, politics, and so forth, as anybody who lives in New York City, or Washington, D.C., or any large city knows:
("We have come for your real estate."--The Whiteys)
This could have been the jumping-off point for something legitimately interesting--after all, it's tough not to notice that by the time the bike lanes come into a neighborhood you can't afford to live there anymore--but instead he devotes precisely 42 words to the subject:
So far, more than 72 miles of bike lanes have been carved out of city streets. There are virtually none in Ward 8, by the way, which has the lowest income and highest number of children of any ward in the city.
This is a very important point, and one well worth exploring, but he does absolutely nothing with it. Also, what is he saying exactly? Does he want bike lanes in the low-income neighborhoods as well, or does he not want any bike lanes anywhere? I have no idea, because he then concludes with some bullshit about the Muppets:
On Wednesday, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Bike Ambassadors will ride to the NoMa Summer Screen viewing of “The Muppets” “to hand out surprise goodies to people who biked.” There’ll be kids and bikes and Muppets, as if Kermit is supposed to make us forget about the biker terrorists out to rule the road.
The WABA Web site features a photograph of a cyclist holding a sign that reads:
“Dear D.C. drivers, thank you for sharing! Love, Cyclists.”
If only they meant it.
Terrorists? Kermit the Frog?!? This article is a total brain shart--a small amount of actual matter, but mostly just a bunch of wind and noise.
By the way, if you're a cyclist it probably surprises you to learn you're a bully, given all the epithets and excessive airline baggage fees and "coal-rollings" to which we're regularly subjected, but here's one cyclist who was harassed by a pickup truck driver and fought back by filming his assailant:
Larsen told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler that traffic was bad and every time they passed the truck, the driver blew exhaust at him.
“We just kind of passed it off as the guy is frustrated with traffic and he’s taking it out on us,” Larsen said.
Miles down the road in Dana Point, Larsen said the driver did it for the fourth time.
“I pulled my phone from my back pocket and I turned it to video,” he said.
Minutes later, Larsen said the truck pulled up next to him and a female passenger threw bottles of water and Gatorade at him and shouted profanities.
Wouldn't it be ironic if, after all that, they somehow figured out a way to charge the cyclist?
Well, don't worry, because it looks like they have:
The passenger may face assault and battery charges, while Larsen could be looking at being charged with "words in public likely to illicit a violent reaction," Hallock said.
Wow. They might as well just change the charge to "operating a vehicle likely to illicit a violent reaction, e.g. a bicycle." After all, this is America, where the victim is always wrong--especially when that victim's on a bike.
Yeah, we're such bullies:
Me: Blue Bike, You: Black Car Hitting Me On My Blue Bike - w4m - 25 (Bedstuy - Bedford Ave)
age : 25
You sideswiped me while turning into the bike lane, after coasting in an out of it at about ten mph for two blocks with no blinker on. As I tried to get around you, you turned suddenly into the lane and hit me. And then proceeded to yell at me and push me around.
"You hit my car with your bike," you shouted.
Granted, I was yelling some pretty rude stuff at you but you know what, YOU HIT MY BODY WITH YOUR CAR. I would have called the cops but I didn't feel safe sticking around a moment longer and f*ck the police and I was late for work so I called you something rude and rode away. Not my classiest move but then, I'd just been hit by a car.
So I just wanted to say,
GET OUT OF THE BIKE LANE, YOU DILLWEED.
We are riding there. Minding our own business. Avoiding pot holes and opening car doors. We do not have thousands of pounds of steel protecting us. We are trapped between traffic and parked cars with nowhere to go. You could have killed me. We were both lucky that you didn't.
Think about it.
She'd better be careful, she's liable to go to jail for using the word "dillweed."