Friday, September 19, 2014

Sorry, we have important things to discuss. #nostrava

So I'm flipping through my Twitter yesterday evening when I see this:

And it was only after having a brief exchange with the "tweeter" that I realized he's an NYPD detective:

So basically, someone's on death's door and this guy's first reaction is to take to Twitter and goad a wiseass bike blogger and a safe streets advocate.


This is why we're the Number One Bike City in America.

As for the article Detective Mennen was kind enough to send me, it was the first I'd heard of the incident, and predictably it was up to the New York Post's usual high levels of journalistic excellence.  For example, it goes out of its way to specify how much the bicycle costs:

A cyclist pedaling a $4,000 racing bike at high speed through Central Park slammed into a suburban mom in town shopping for her daughter’s birthday present — leaving the woman brain-dead, sources said.

You know, just like they do when a car hits somebody.

It also makes it sound like the cyclist was riding without brakes;

Fenton’s pal Tom Longman said Marshall was hunched over the brakeless, triathlon-style “aerobars” attached to the handlebars of his high-performance, yellow and black ride.

The article's been edited by the Post's keen editorial staff since I first read it, but the original version also included their usual misspelling of "brakes" as "breaks," and was generally more cringeworthy.

So if you want to read a summary of what happened, I'd recommend this instead:

As for the incident itself, naturally I'm disgusted, so learning about it first from an NYPD detective who felt like breaking my balls was particularly vexing.  Sure, motorists do this and worse pretty much every single day, but that that doesn't diminish my disgust one bit.  The very worst Freds and Tridorks--in fact the very worsts cyclists period--are the ones using the parks to launch their personal hour record attempts, and if this is the same Jason Marshall's Strava account (which I'm fairly sure it is) then it looks like he makes a habit of it:

In fact he appears to have set the above "achievements" yesterday, perhaps with visions of Jens Voigt dancing in his head, which is the same day he plowed into that poor woman.

That is seriously fucked up.

I'm loath to implicate Strava in any of this.  Yes, I have a strong dislike for Strava and all it represents (in particular this sort of riding) that goes past simple annoyance and borders on a moral objection.   But it certainly did not invent the sort of selfish, moronic, abjectly fuck-tarted weenie-ism that compels cyclists to speed through the city's most heavily-used neighborhood green spaces and tourist attractions in the middle of the day, in beautiful weather, at exactly the time people head to the park.  Instead, it simply capitalizes on it, and fairly shamelessly.

To blame Strava at all is to take responsibility from the riders.  There's no reason to be doing hot laps in the middle of the goddamn city.  There are miles of open road just over the George Washington Bridge.   There are also actual races in either Central or Prospect Parks pretty much every weekend--sanctioned ones, with marshals and everything.  Even then, people have died.  Remember "Tiger Williams," famous backer of Tailwind Sports and US Postal?

In a race in August, Williams accidentally hit a pedestrian who ignored marshals' whistles and walked onto the Central Park course. The man, who police say was homeless and hasn't been identified, died later that day in the hospital. Williams says he suffered two compression fractures in his back and doesn't expect to be riding outdoors again until next year.

I'm fairly certain that race was an ITT, too, so both of these instances share aerobars in common.

In fact, it's exceedingly rare that anybody is killed by a bicycle in New York City, but when it does happen it seems to happen in Central Park:

This is not the Central Park of 20 years ago.  It is full of people pretty much all the time.  If you need to get a workout on a bike while you'e in there, go hard up the hill where you can make a maximum effort without gathering much speed.  And if you have time to ride your bike in the middle of a weekday afternoon you have time to head out for a "real" ride in an appropriate setting.

There seems to be some disagreement as to whether this latest cyclist had the light.  However, that doesn't matter.  It's a park.  You know people are going to cross against the light, and if you choose to ignore that inevitability the blame should fall on you.  The worst kind of cycling arrogance is the notion that the world is going to conform to your sense of what it should and shouldn't do, and then to base your decisions and behavior on that assumption.  Forget pedestrians--I know someone who shattered a hip in Central Park when a raccoon ran out in front of him, and this is someone I wouldn't hesitate to call an expert cyclist.  Shit happens, especially in parks, where there are all kinds of variables.  So why would someone riding a bike with aerobars--specifically designed to ride in a straight line with your head down--expect a more favorable outcome?

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is bound to involve the police coming down hard on cyclists, in a way that is simultaneously justified and infuriating.  There's long been a movement to ban cars from Central Park, but I'm willing to bet that before that ever happens they'll ban bikes first.

So please fellow Freds of New York City and beyond, let's get our shit together and keep it that way, OK?

Lastly, I'd like to make a sincere plea.  I do not use Strava, but I know many of you do.  I also know I'll never, ever convince you to stop being the gigantic dorks you all are.  However, as a way to show the world that we're not all just a bunch of Lycra-clad weenies with our heads up our asses, I'd like you to join me in a pledge to turn off Strava for the entire weekend.  Yes, I don't know what "turn it off" means because I don't use it, but log out, shut it down, whatever, starting RIGHT NOW until this coming Monday.  You can do all your normal "epics," all your cyclocross races, all your Sunday group rides.  Just (gasp) do it without gathering data which Strava then sells to regional transportation departments.

I'm totally serious, just this weekend, as a gesture of respect to the victim's family.

(Come on.  One fucking weekend.  You can do it!)

Thanks very much for reading.  I love you.  Ride safe this weekend.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

PS: Next week, the best 200 word essay about what you learned from switching off your Strava for the weekend wins a BSNYC hat.  Strava junkies preferred, email to "bikesnobnyc [at] yahoo [dot] com."  Use subject line #NOSTRAVA.  All other entries will be discarded.


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dancesonpedals said...


1904 Cadardi said...

2nd again?

Always the bridesmaid.

Bodhi said...


Philip said...

Ass monkeys? No?

Anonymous said...

Well said, BSNYC.

CommieCanuck said...

Speaking of classy, you stay classy, Florida.

il Pirata est Mort said...

There's a time and place for everything and Central Park is neither.

Enjoy it safely while it lasts.

Philip said...

Okay. I'll do my epic Cheese Factory Ride without the Strava. It will only be epic because I've UN trained for it, but... No Strava!

Name said...

No day for podium races

Anonymous said...

and how about turning it off once in urban areas here on?

dop said...

In the same category of annoying cyclists are the guys (universally guys) who hammer on mixed-use paths. (North County Trailway, South County Trailway). If there are joggers, roller bladers & kiddy strollers out there, you should stay around 15 mph American.

BOT9000 said...

Well said +1

Should cars/motorcycles be allowed to race against the clock on public streets or parks? If someone is racing against the clock in a motor vehicle should it make a difference if they are racing through a cross walk with the light of not?

BenDE said...

hornet nest drops in a crowd
Snob kicks it and runs
I will sit back and watch this Shitstorm play out . . .

Happy weekend you fellow miserable humans.

STG said...

Agreed. Central Park is awesome for riding later at night, especially October - May. The Raccoon thing is real, I've hit them twice.


3G said...

That is terrible, terrible news. Well said Snobby.

Roach said...

I'm surprised the detective had time to send you the link to that story, given that they're pretty busy these days stealing bikes:

Roille Figners said...

Fuck that shit. No criminality suspected.

Oh Come On said...

"You know people are going to cross against the light, and if you choose to ignore that inevitability the blame should fall on you."

So always ride slow everywhere, because a pedestrian might step out in front of you. And if they step out in front of you when youre going 8mph (slower than the average Dutch) and fall down and break their head, you still should have known better?

How does this square with posts from the Fly6 where youre swerving around peds who step out into the bike lane all the time?

Its quite sad that the NYPD is unable to enforce the rules that matter (ie follow the light when theres someone actually coming the other way) and wastes their time ticketing petty jaybiking. Everyone needs to follow the letter of the law WHEN IT AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE.

I should mention that this was a road bike, not a TT bike, we don't actually know if the guy was on the aerobars on this section just because he had them.

Anonymous said...

Well said Senior Snob.

One of the things that's pissing me off rt now is "The MEDIA" are now painting all people atop 2 wheels with the same brush. We have to ride home later and people all around in the general population with sticks up their butts are most likely going to be the same, ... only more so.
I do my best to stay out of people's way in just about every situation. It will probably do little good.

Good luck everyone.


Francis said...

Central Park is a nice place for a recovery ride. If you want to hammer with your head down, stay at home in your pain cave and stare at power numbers until you ride into a state of autoerotic asphyxia.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Oh Come On,

I meant this specifically in the park, where people are at their most predictable. You know, because they're wandering delighted in a beautiful oasis.

However, when I ride, I also KNOW I'm going to encounter people crossing against the light and I ride accordingly. If I'm reasonably attentive, even if someone steps out in front of me, odds are I'm not going to have too hard a time avoiding them--which is what you see in those images.

I have had ONE collision with a pedestrian many years ago, who ran out from between two parked cars mid-block to hail a cab. Fortunately nobody was hurt. She shouldn't have done that, but I'm a schmuck if I don't keep it in mind that this can happen.

By the way, I also keep this in mind when I drive. It's not really that hard to avoid so-called "jaywalkers" if you're driving at an APPROPRIATE speed.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

Oh Come On,

Sorry, I meant people in the park are at their most UNpredictable.

It's a park, treat it that way.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Good post. I've seen cyclists go much too fast on multi-use paths in parks. It's just too hazardous. Walkers are fairly predictable, but young kids and dogs can change direction in a flash.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I saw a dead and flattened Opossum on the side of the street on my way to work this morning.

RoadQueen said...

What a shame. Prick on the bike needs to have his ass handed to him....yet the rest of the cyclists are denied protection from the automobiles that routinely mow them down.

That is seriously fucked. :(

Anonymous said...

You have the power to influence people, BSNYC. You may never openly admit it, and you very rarely actively use it, but this call for cyclists to stop focusing on the incessant documentation of their personal pursuits for one weekend is a subtle and powerful gesture. I've been riding for as long as you have and I think I've been riding data free for as long also so this is no big deal for me, but I will think about it this weekend when I ride an enjoyable number of miles at an enjoyable pace.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I agree with everything you said. Great post!


Comment deleted said...

Good post, Snob.

And Det. Mennen, where is your outrage over the 83rd Precinct's inability to find the time to investigate a *witnessed* car-bicycle hit and run?

Fucking hypocrite.

Unfiltered Dregs said...

Re: "There seems to be some disagreement as to whether this latest cyclist had the light. However, that doesn't matter. It's a park. You know people are going to cross against the light, and if you choose to ignore that inevitability the blame should fall on you. The worst kind of cycling arrogance..."

This is snarky and condescending bullshit. You've some sort of bias for whatever reason that comes into play all the while you ignore the fact that the cycling infrastructure in NYC, as extensive as it is, has not been effectively incorporated into the overall transportation system in a holistic fashion. It's an afterthought, a tacked on, ill-conceived layer, onto the already apparent chaos known as way too much traffic in NYC.

The problem is the rules need to be followed, and enforced, all the way around. Pedestrians flagrantly and/or ignorantly jaywalking and crossing against the lights create many unnecessary dangerous situations.

All around are culpable but cycling in NYC is sorely in need of some responsible advocacy in terms of it's integration as a mode of transport and recreation within this city, especially considering the fairly dramatic increase in cyclists over the last few years.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Unfiltered Dregs,

You make some valid points, none of which apply to gunning for Strava segments on aerobars in Central Park on a Thursday afternoon, which is pretty fucking stupid.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Coloradashiness said...

It's interesting to see the narratives that the media and commenters try to create out of incidents like this. When bicyclists are involved, each separate instance becomes a trial of the use of bicycles, in general, and of bicyclists, as a group. When a car is involved, the questions asked are about the specific actions and decisions of the driver, not the fundamental questioning of whether cars should be driven or the fundamental character of motorists. I like BSNYC's post in that it addresses the questions we ask about incidents like car accidents: where was it, how was the bicyclist riding, and what should be done differently. If this change could occur within the media and within public discussions of bike accidents, we would be a great deal closer to a healthy, realistic view of things.

FTA said...


I'm painting Strava black this weekend.

I'm not really embarrassed to use it. I'm old and I like some of the stuff it does, for free!

But exactly 0 fucks are given about KOM's, distance leaders, etc.

You can dope so easily by altering the load file and get any result you want, or just drive around in a car.

And can someone draw a dick on Mennen? This guy is delusional if he thinks he is defending our freedoms. He and is ilk are the ones out beating, shooting, tasering, and pepper spraying the citizens here at home and those halfway around the world, and contributing to the waste of about half of our tax resources in the form of aggro government taxfeeders

FTA/FTP You who are old enough will remember.

Regular guy said...

I snagged my cycle computer on a tree branch 14 years ago and never looked back.

I have been blissfully unaware of any riding metrics ever since, except to know I can ride home in 20 minutes, and we can ride to my son's school in 25.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to Mr. Williams appearance in the next Rapha film.

Freddy Murcks said...

If they outlaw Strava, only outlaws will Strava.

I use Strava and I kind of like it, but I like it because it allows me to keep track of where I have been, how many miles I have ridden, elevation gain, etc. I couldn't "bag" a KOM if my life depended on it, so that part is pretty irrelevant to me. And I think that people who chase KOMs are generally pretty stupid anyway - not unlike Cat6ers everywhere. Chasing Strava segments in a busy park in a heavily poopulated city on a Thursday afternoon is really fucking stupid, but it's only stupier by degrees.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure he wasn't "braking your balls"?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...what this city needs is a hero... kinda like that guy in london (?) with lights and sirens and dozens of cameras attached to his bike and who issues red and yellow cards to road users.

...s/he'll be too busy though as central park alone is work enough for our hero

Inukshuk said...

You attached a photo of the rider's strava account and made note of his achievements the day of the incident, which implies that he was crass enough to still upload his ride file to strava in spite of the day's events.

What you omitted is that the ride loaded yesterday was from 5:26AM and was a group ride. As a regular user of the park at 5ish AM, it's rather empty at that hour so I'm not passing any judgment for any hard effort at that time of day.

What is clear is that Jason went back out for a second helping in the afternoon when the park was undoubtedly crowded. Inevitably, this incident/accident/tragedy/ect happened.

Keeping the woman's family and Jason in my thoughts. I can't fathom that he woke up yesterday with the intention of drastically altering another's life.

Sad for all involved.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i once nearly killed a septuagenarian little lady in chinatown because she stepped right into traffic and in front of me... threw me into the middle of the street with cars coming and going... had she died i would have had blood on my hands and my conscience... had i died i would not be writing about it right now.

...think about that.

Bryan said...

I like strava as a good backup of miles recorded. Though it is out of synch already with my cycle computer it doesn't really matter.
Anyways, I'm sure that cyclist feels pretty shitty himself for what happened. He has to live with that.
I also absolutely agree with Comment Deleted when he said "...Det. Mennen, where is your outrage over the 83rd Precinct's inability to find the time to investigate a *witnessed* car-bicycle hit and run?"
People have accidents for doing stupid shit, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. But for the police to not even bother questioning a suspect in a serious hit and run because "they are too busy" is that?
Whatever. I'm just gonna go drink some whiskey and wait for the world to kill itself.

Old Man McGillicutty said...

Strava Free Weekend is patient, Strava Free Weekend is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of KOM's. Strava Free Weekend does not delight in segments but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Serial Retrogrouch said...


this has been a public service announcement paid for by cyclist who just want to get around on our favorite mode of transport... just for the fucking hell of it.

Serial Retrogrouch said...


Anonymous said...

As for mixed use paths, I'll behave when the idiot two abreast joggers stop wearing headphones while having a conversation. The paths around here are plenty wide as long as pedestrians stay to the right (as they are slower). By the way the (multi use) path that I ride is labelled Southwest Bike Path for what it's worth.

When I am riding I am trying to get from point A to point B. I am not using Strava, I am trying to get home to see my family. I am not out just for exercise (though it's good that I'm getting some) nor am I walking my dog or roller blading. I am commuting on a path labelled a bike path. I will ride at the fastest speed that I can safely maintain. I am not wearing headphones either.

BamaPhred said...

Paint it black.

This has cast a deep funk on me.

Usually I'm up for the Snob playground, but there's just so much wrong with all of this, I can't, today.

Going riding to gain perspective.

Need to hear Leroy's "Ride safe, everyone!"

Anonymous said...

"if you have time to ride your bike in the middle of a weekday afternoon you have time to head out for a "real" ride in an appropriate setting."
Sorry Snob, but this is total bullshit and you know it. CP, PP and the Westside path are pretty much the only places anybody regularly rides their road bike quickly in NYC. There really isn't anywhere else, is there?
I'd dearly love to hear about your "appropriate setting", unless it's that single appropriate setting on the other side of the GWB (which is a good 15 miles away for anyone who lives in Queens or Brooklyn).

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i'm trying really hard not to go on a rant here because no one should lose their life over such crass and stupid behavior... especially ESPECIALLY when you let your guard down because you think there are no cars around in one of the very few bastions in this motor jungle to enjoy a little bit of nature and fresh air.

...can you imagine that? you are (or your mom is) just walking and suddenly this torpedo with two spears knocks you on your face and you're done.

...i have taken to shouting at fucktards in prospect park who do not stop or slow down even when they have the red light, EVEN where there are pedestrians crossing, EVEN when they see another cyclist has stopped.

...two days ago i chased a fucktard down the manhattan bridge because he almost knocked three of us over because he wanted to pass for his KOM at the peak of the bridge.

...inma fucking go to jail one these days for beating someone up with my bike.

dop said...

before there was strava, there were cyclometers with max speed & avg speed functions. While only the purest fred will watch the max readout while descending at woohoo speed, I had an accident while trying to keep the avg > 20. To keep the pace up, I took a shortcut on a sidewalk to make a right turn without stopping at a light. I t-boned a cab that turned into a driveway. Next stop: Strapped to a body board.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Anonymous @12.53

...then go to a gym and ride a stationary bike and go as fast as you want... or wake up at the crack of dawn and do your laps in prospect and central parks.

...but don't fucking ride fast for excercise in the middle of day in a giant city with a park filled with kids and elderly and other people.

...join a fucking racing club and do the sanctioned races that snob mentions.

...and go fuck yourself.

taking the bus said...

riding a bicycle is more dangerous than taking a jet flight

trama said...

@Bryan et al.

"I like strava as a good backup of miles recorded. "

when are you going to publish your data?

-Can't Wait

Anonymous said...

Uh, no one has mentioned that this is being investigated (and 99.999% likely to be charged) because the husband in question is a Manhattan big shot? Not that his loss is any less qualifying for investigation, but if this had been my wife and I was pushing for justice, "No Criminality Suspected".

Rocky Racoon said...


Anonymous said...

Snob +1 @ 11:42

I hope that freak lost some teeth when he went down, dorkass.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:53,

I've ridden about a gazillion circles around Prospect Park and Central Park. It's fairly easy work out considerately in both. Firstly, avoid the park at peak times (weekend days, weekend afternoons) unless it's the most leisurely of spins.

Also, as I said in the post, if you need to make an effort, do it on the hill when at least you're not going to be going that fast. If you use the little cutoff at the top of Central Park you can even do hill repeats without "salmoning" back down the hill.

Lots of competitive cyclists manage to use the parks for "training" without bothering anybody. At the same time, the city does not _owe_ amateur bike racers convenient training venues. So if you're at all "serious" you augment your park rides with racing, other types of riding, and rides out of the city.

You can race in either Central Park or Prospect Park almost every weekend in-season. There's a velodrome in Queens with a full program including weekdays. And before I more or less checked out of local racing a couple years ago, you could race TWO weekday evenings out at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

Beyond that, road riding is easily accessible from Manhattan and surrounding areas. If you're further out in Brooklyn you can head out to Rockaway--flat as a pancake but miles to hammer and plenty of headwind to fight. Group rides leave every weekend from Eastern Queens. There's also an amazing mountain bike park in Queens (Cunningham), so if you live in Queens and are at all "serious" about racing your bike open your mind and add offroad to your program.

I'm not even going to start on the great riding just north of the Bronx.

It's not really that complicated.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

serial retrogrouch @ 12:54 +1

Fists and feet will hurt more.
Frame pumps work too.

Professor Smith said...

Raccoon are noted for their poor spelling.

STG said...

Snob you're 100% correct.

dop said...

cops stop for donuts

Test Tickle said...

Not looking good for Rapha right now...

JB said...

But how do you measure yourself against other cyclists?

By height.

Rain/Shine said...

Snobby - a quick Strava lesson:
Those "achievements" that you point out are personal achievements. They show that the performed his 2nd and 3rd fastest personal times on those segments, NOT that he was the 2nd fastest ever.

Those achievements alone tells us nothing about how fast he was actually going or how fast he was going relative to other Central Park freds.

WeAllRideBikes said...

You know that Strava is not selling the raw GPS data to planning groups..... and that the groups using the data are using the data to help make cycling safer for EVERYONE? There is a HUGE lack of cycling data out there. You can cry about Strava or perhaps load it up and help make your streets safer... At least some company is trying to make a difference across the globe.

Dave -everywhere said...

Great post BSNY. I'm a typical suburban Fred (and all that implies) but I also think cyclists need to set an example by obeying the laws and using common sense when on the bike. Red lights and stop signs mean STOP. Places with lots of pedestrian traffic, even when they are crossing against the light or walking in the bike lane with their headphones on, require an extra level of caution.

Undead Racoon said...

All of the bikes in Hell have aerobars.

BikeSnobNYC said...


If a racing cyclist is hitting his second-fastest time I'd venture that it's safe to assume he was probably going pretty fast...though as another commenter pointed out, the times are from an AM group ride, not the afternoon, so yes, that's an important distinction.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

@Unfiltered Dregs,

You're right, but that doesn't mean you hit the jay-walking pedestrian out of principle.

I ride with the idea that everyone around me (pedestrian, driver or other rider) is a complete moron

Rapha Sucks said...

Should I stop using hammers too? I was going to build a bunk bed for my kids this weekend, but I've heard that hammers, and nails, and cordless power tools can be used to kill people.

Really, this is a tired argument against Strava. It's a tool. Use it how you see fit. Hopefully not behaving like an utter douchebag. I use strava because its good to catalog my own rides and mileage and I like to see cool rides my friends are doing.

If you're acting like a douche using strava, you're probably acting like a douche in several other facets of your life as well. The idea that turning off Strava is somehow going to significantly improve someone's level of civility and make them less douchey is not congruent with reality. Assholes murder people with power tools, 99.9% of us, give or take, build houses or bunk beds or some shit. Most people use strava to just catalog their rides, or yes, to train in a responsible manner. a small group are douchebags. Welcome to life? This is not a solution.

David said...

I participated in the NYC Century sponsored by Transportation Alternatives as a fundraiser for Vision Zero. What a great way to support Vision Zero: hundreds of bicyclists with what I assume to be ironic TA stickers and jerseys running lights and cutting off pedestrians throughout the city. The marshals were almost as bad. The worst was seeing wide-eyed pedestrians pressing their backs into the girders of a (walk your bikes) bridge as 20 tourers in team kit fly by. You can't judge bicyclists as a group, but you can easily pick out the self-centered assholes.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, unfiltered dreggs, others,

I think what snob is saying here, is that when youre in an area with high pedestrian traffic, its a good idea to slow the fuck down and keep an eye out for people doing dumb shit. What happens when a person ceases to be a driver and becomes a pedestrian, is that they stop THINKING like a driver and start thinking like a pedestrian. Closest distance between 2 points is a straight line, and when theres no lanes to walk in, people walk in straight lines that criss cross all over the place.

So, just like its a good idea to slow down your station wagon at the local Lemming-Mart © parking lot, its also a good idea to slow down your bikecycle, in the park. We all (even when were pedestrians) need to grow the hell up, think before we do, and act responsibly.

Youre all welcome.

ken e. said...

humans. can't say how it will all end, but hopefully your contribution will be a positive one. like the dog says "ride safe y'all".

Anonymous said...

@rapha sucks - that's right. no more hammers in the park when it's busy....

BikeSnobNYC said...

Rapha Sucks,

If you're trying to set your Personal Hammering Best, swinging it wildly and leaving your lumber and nails scattered about in the middle of a crowded city park, then yes.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Sofa king stupid.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jason Marshall is a Cat 5 member of CRCA. Perhaps some of the fingers should be pointed at a club like this which has very high minded mission statement,
Make safety a higher priority for your members and everyone else.

Twob Rake said...

Maybe Strava could prevent segments being recorded in urban/busy areas ?

[fenceho away]

leroy said...

Oh dear.

It appears my dog tweeted the classy NYPD detective last evening, advising him to hump his own leg.

Of course, my dog doesn't seem concerned.

He says he's going to make a fortune with a legal defense fund on Kickstarter.

Good thing I have a recipe for a cake with a file in it.

Ride safe all!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:56pm,

CRCA stamped out the so-called "Night Ride"/"Pack Ride" years back, as it annoyed certain people and thus threatened their privileged status to hold club-only races in Central Park. I have mixed feelings about that club and what they did to that ride, but they do have a lot on the line as far as cyclists' behavior in the park.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1904 Cadardi said...

That really is a tragedy, and while an accident (I seriously doubt Mr. Marshall set out for his ride thinking "Hmm, let me set a Stava record AND kill someone") it was an easily prevented accident.

This should be investigated and Marshall should probably be charged. As should all homicides! Hopefully when he is done with this Detective Mennen can work his way through the backlog of (motor)vehicular homicide cases.

My condolences to the victims family.

Dave - everywhere said...

My Long Island cycling club has banned the posting of Strava segment information on our club web site. The club's position, which was accepted by most of the membership, was that the postings encouraged reckless riding in what is essentially a heavily congested automobile-centric environment. We didnt want to be responsible for an injury or death resulting from someone busting a red light or a stop sign to set a Strava record.

Anonymous said...

What a dick. Just like that dick in San Francisco awhile back.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I gave up on the personal hammering best when all those assholes started using pneumatic nail guns. Damn cheaters.

Ethan Mennen said...

Well, I guess I look like a jack ass now.

Oh, and Lacrosse.

ce said...

As a fellow incident responding public servant and Army reservist, albeit working for a different State and Nation to the NYPD detective, I have to say I fucking hate it when people drape themselves in National Flags. Who the fuck do these people think they are to besmirch the Flag with their fucking ego, Captain America, or the Aussie equivalent, fuck'n, SuperBaz?

As a humble servant of the people, you may raise the Flag, you may salute the Flag, you may lower the Flag, and you may carefully fold the Flag the way you were taught.

There is only one time you get to be draped in the Flag.

nscadu 9 said...

This post and some of the moronic comments illustrate how people misunderstand the idea of cycling and transportation. This isn't about cars vs. bikes vs pedestrians. We all - well most of us - dislike bad habits and reckless behaviour no matter how we get around a city. We don't want cars driving for a personal best through our parks and neighbourhoods just as we don't want a cyclist barrelling down the multi use path at 30+ kph Canadian. Every time I hear someone complain about a cyclist running a red or blowing a stop sign or pedestrian jaywalkers, I am reminded of how many times on a daily basis I see motor vehicles do this. I don't live in a big city, but cars don't just run yellows anymore I can hear them accelerate through reds. All the stop signs in my neighbourhood now have reflective tape on the signposts. I'm pretty sure it's not to because of the cyclists. Yet, most of us know that not all car drivers are bad drivers. Unpredictability is what gets everyone involved in trouble. Death or serious injury is serious, yet somehow more acceptable if you made a an "honest mistake" while driving. In the last few years my town has had at least 3 pedestrians and a dog killed in intersections. I know in 2 of them there was no criminality suspected because it was night and raining and the vehicle didn't see the pedestrian in the crosswalk as they turned left. We're not even expected to pay more attention or adjust to conditions anymore. Another person lost his leg outside a supermarket because the driver confused the gas for the brake. There has been 1 cyclist (wearing a helmet) killed because he flatted on the highway and swerved into a semi truck. 1 cyclist (wearing a helmet) severely brain damaged turning left into a minibus. It appeared none of these can be faulted to the drivers. No one killed by cyclist or pedestrian faulted accident. Yes, there are a few collisions on the multi-use path (we don't have bike only paths), but none serious enough to warrant a hospital visit. After all this I still see editorials of drivers complaining about neon lycra-clad cyclists going all Lance Armstrong and hogging the road. I don't care how you get around, be predictable and use some sense and pay appropriate consequences if you don't.

Fred Nifacent said...

When I ride (or drive the car that David Byrne does not own) I always assume the other person is going to do something stupid. When my kids starting riding and later driving I told them ....remember 50% of the population is below average, that means you have a 50/50 chance the person you will encounter is a moron.

Roille Figners said...

This Marshall fellow is a distracted and unskillful dork who killed a person. But now multiply that by 35,000 every year, and you have the automotive crowd. Jerking off to Strava is just distracted driving, with a vehicle 1/4 as fast and 1/200 as heavy. Duder at the NYPD can bust your balls the minute he interviews Dulcie Canton's attacker. And the Post has a right to be outraged as soon as they get outraged at those 35,000. Snob can be outraged because at least he's outraged at the others too.

Even still there's no fucking way I'm taking any smidgeon of blame for this, "as a cyclist." Especially since even if we all were to start riding absolutely IMPECCABLY, the Majority would still find some way to blame cyclists for shit -- the freaking weather if necessary. When you're the one upon whom the Majority projects all their own mistakes and unpleasant qualities (for example materialism, selfishness, arrogance, all the baroquely embellished shit you see in the Post's characterization of Marshall just now), there is nothing you can do right, even when you do everything right. Just for what that's worth. Not saying he did anything right.

Also on the whole crossing-against-the light thing, I believe the "notion that the world is going to conform to your sense of what it should and shouldn't do," in this case is better known as "expecting people to obey the law." Which might be naive and admittedly is just a mental notion (the law being a sort of abstract fiction), but it's all we've got.

Serial Retrogrouch said...


...well said, sir.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...RF and others...

...i don't think the poor lady is dead yet. an article posted 2 hours ago still has her under critical condition.

...c'mon now... she may (i hope) yet survive.

Rapha Sucks said...

that was my whole point, Snob. I'm going to be responsible with my tools, like I am with my Strava and cycling in general. It's ridiculous to hold Strava use (not Strava themselves, that would be patently absurd)in some broad perspective as the major use here. Strava is a tool. Use tools responsibly. I don't think it makes people any more or less idiotic than they already are.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Rapha Sucks,

It's pretty simple. Think of it like a moment of silence. Taking a moment of silence doesn't mean you think everyone who talks is bad, it's just a way to keep from saying dumb shit and to reflect on something important for a bit.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

My 2 (two) cents (not those useless CN cents) said...

To borrow a quote from someone who has been in the insurance industry for decades: "An accident is a meteor falling out of the sky and hitting your car. Most everything else is driver error."
To call an event/incident an 'accident' is to remove blame. This shit don't happen unless dumb/unthinking/careless people are involved.

Khal said...

I left a sarcastic comment on Streetsblog, wondering if Strava would be implicated in this sad story. My own thoughts on Strava are here:

alpaca lips said...

ce @ 2:35 --

Well said, Sir. Well said.

Rapha Sucks said...

I can get that analogy. Every time I ride I think of those that are struck by drivers. I've got a family and it kills me to think about children that lose their parents (and vice versa) due to these completely preventable episodes. I almost fall apart when I see ghosts. I am personally gonna ride hard Sunday, ride responsibly, Strava the shit out of it, and keep that poor woman in my thoughts, and hopefully this Marshall fellow will be a bit wiser in his use of this tool, and it sounds like, riding in a place like the Park, which doesn't seem very conducive to tool-use. Or what-have-you. PS if there ends up being any sort of support/fund or some other mechanism that crops up as a result of this, I think it'd be a good idea for some of us cyclists to support it to say that we bear responsibility on the streets as well and we wish the best to this woman and hopefully she can recover.

Travis Bickle said...

I don't beleive someone should devote themself to mobid sef attention. They should become a person, like other people. That's why I don't Strava.

Herschel Raney said...

Strava has the option for any rider to proclaim a segment as dangerous. And then it is no longer visible as a competitive list of leaders and losers and every one in between. Who in the fuck would let any Stava segments even exist in Central Park? Or Long Island? Strava segments should not cross lights or stop signs. Strava segments are for short or isolated pieces of road that look like good competitive rides.

Honestly, out here in the hinterlands, there are not many riders. Mostly you are alone. Strava is a tool for measuring yourself mostly. And private Strava segments are very useful.

But, fuck it, I am out of town this weekend, bikeless with my wife and some books. I can do it.

Anonymous said...

Another thumbs up to ce.
And well said RF 2:40 especially middle paragraph.

My Grandfather who was a motorman for trolleys and subway trains would say "Accidents don't happen, they're caused".


grog said...

Okay Snob. Strava-free.

Blog Drafter said...

We live in a privileged yet unbelievably competitive society in which no one ever relaxes, and it's possible that the high end cyclist feels just as entitled as the mega-SUV driver, in that having spent the money to qualify, others best get out of the way. This accident apparently happened in a place where no cars were present? As such, is not the cyclist the top predator? Perhaps carrying a cyclist vs car mentality to a place where there are no cars? In the same way that a sports car driver accelerates like a crazy person at the sight of 500 feet of unclogged road (to get his/her money's worth) do cyclists, upon being unburdened from car traffic, get a little crazy? Umm, I kinda think they might.

I'm sorry this accident happened and feel terrible for all parties involved. There's a funny thing about respect though, it can't be portioned out: respect for me = respect of drivers for me = respect of pedestrians by me = 100%. (I think, I kinda suck at the maths.)

Ride safe.

leroy said...

ce -- my dog and I salute you. Seriously.

balls™ said...

So, now that Snob has admitted the admittedly obvious, that Jens Voigt wanna-be and his aerobars were at fault, is Detective Mennen going to try to help Dulcie Canton and knock on Richard Rivera Jr's door and find out why he ran into her and kept going?

I mean, we can admit that all cyclists aren't perfect. Perhaps Detective Mennen can show us that all cops didn't shoot Michael Brown in Ferguson, right?

(man, being anonymous makes it easy to be a dick, doesn't it?)

JB said...

Ride like you're invisible and fragile.

babble on said...

Really!? What about the moment of silence for all of the cyclists AND pedestrians killed by cars? WTF??

We'll need a year of car-free transportation to commemorate all of the people who die at the hands of speeding, inattentive, and distracted drivers ALL OF THE TIME. Gimme a fucking break already.

ce said...

Leroy, I've never been deployed overseas and I've never lost any close mates to combat. For all I know, the detective has earnestly given more for his country than I have for mine (just a bit of sweat). It's all just theory for me, so it's probably wrong of me to have been so pointed, but on face value that profile picture seriously irks me.

Roille Figners said...

Retral Seriogrouch - Aha, I misunderestimated my strategery.

I had another thought (I know I should stop that) - In a declining civilization you would expect to find increasingly arbitrary/ridiculous laws, increasingly repressive laws, widespread disregard of laws, selective enforcement of laws, whole classes of people exempt from or above the law... until the old laws fade out and are replaced by new ones laid down by a thug government or local warlord etc. Canada's jock-strap is good at establishing that sort of chaos in other places... Iraq, Libya etc., but in NYC it looks like it has come home to roost.

Fred of the Sea said...

I don't do Strava and there isn't much to add, but that I am holding this poor woman, her family, and, yes, the guy who hit her, in the Light.

DB said...

Well said Sir.

Roille Figners said...

CE - no it's fucking irksome, you've got it right.

McFly said...

I drew a cock-n-balls in the park and the Strava machine would not upload it. Which means they could obviously regulate segments and make them unmakeable in areas that are densely populated.

Fred of the Sea said...

Oh, and this active duty uniform wearer agrees with ce emphatically.

BamaPhred said...

CE, right on.

ce said...

Babs, I know you are an avid Strava user, so I was curious to see what your reaction would be!

I guess it is more powerful when the group of people least likely to make a stand against an injustice do just that.

I do agree that demonising Strava as a whole is beside the point. They do say: "First we shape our tools, then our tools shape us.", but I think that is a gross simplification. Perhaps the old saying should continue: "...then we shape the way we use our tools and the rules that govern their use". Not nearly as catchy though.

Perhaps, rather than a "Moment of No Strava" a better response would be to have a "Flag an Inappropriate Strava Segment Day".

PBateman said...

@babble the babe

i'm kind of with you. tragic and sucktastic and gives the cycling community a bad rap, but i mean, accidents happen all the time. not excusing this particular dummy for riding too fast for the conditions, but i think you could easily bump someone riding along at a leisurly 15mph and they could still wind up with the same fate.

i dont know, i'm just gonna tune in next week. enjoy the weekend folks.

Anonymous said...

But I have races this weekend. Can't I Strava those?

ce said...

...not nearly as catchy though.

Comment deleted said...

Am I remembering wrong, or didn't Strava figure into the San Francisco bike-killing-pedestrian incident?

Yes, it's telling that we are talking about individual incidents, instead of a depressingly regular litany of vehicular homicides, but we should not excuse deadly behavior or trends (Strava'ing in urban contexts) merely because they occur among our own clan.

BamaPhred said...

It's easy to get distracted by the Mennen hate, the real issue is the lady, and about being responsible. There is no bike ride so important, or segment so urgent, that we cannot take time to ride safely.

BenLoganBenLoganBenLogan said...

Here is his ride from Thursday:
You have to "be a member" to view it. Where is the collision? He doesn't even slow down for the 1:43 minute ride, which implies either he got lucky with all the lights or ignored them.

Vernal Magina said...

I had a decidedly different experience involving someone else's aerobars in the park this weekend --

Some dingbat passed around me approaching the straightaway on the east side of the park in some super-thin Lycra and, hunched over as he was (as he zipped past) it stretched the fabric so thin it was practically translucent, and I got a lovely view of some tridork's man-ass. Oddly, I'd never been so unfortunate as to witness something as hideous as that... Anyone else, ever?

But yes, let's ban aerobars.

... Does that win me the free hat?


commentatorbot_o2u34 said...

No criminality intended. It was an accident. End of story.

It's like suddenly you've forgotten every other time the city gave cyclists the middle finger. NYPD won't even complete a hit and run and you get all emotional about this? A stra-vacation not a healthy response to the situation.

Not sure why you so many bother with strava. It doesn't work right at all.

Take two different GPS units on a ride, post to strava. Different distances, missing segments, different times and so on.

You can point and click on pretty graphs and stuff, but their output is all wrong. Why? Because your tracks aren't fit to roadways.

Anonymous said...

Well said BSNYC.

Chuck L. said...

Another Central Park regular rider here.

@benlogan: I saw Jason Marshall doing his normal 5 laps in Central Park on Thursday Morning. He and I often ride at the same time, 5:45 AM. Likely the Strava link was from that ride.

He has a good reputation among his peers for being a careful and competent rider, by the way.

Peter G said..., personal responsibility, I find it reprehensible how many post, professing their right to ride as freely (recklessly) as they choose, and will continue to do so until other users conform to their standards of proper behavior. Some are almost condoning running over children and old ladies because they infringe on our precious right of way. They are behaving as irresponsibly and narcissistically as the motorists we all combat on a daily basis.

Link from NYT, illustrating how quickly it can all come crashing down.
Curiously the author admits to "daydreaming" about being Lance Armstrong in the Pyrennes. Daydreaming while riding 20 mph in traffic!

Walkin, riding, driving, we can be shut down by any anonymous asshole exrecising his self percieved right to not give a fuck about anyone else.

Anonymous said...

So, now I have to sign up to Slava so I can turn off? Just to win fucking BSNY hat.

babble on said...

This was an unfortunate accident, not an injustice. The real injustice is the way we cyclists are put in constant danger because of our lack of transportaion infrastructure, and because of the way that the law constantly looks the other way when it comes to automotive attitudes. Where is the crackdown on distracted driving? On speeding?

Strava is a TOOL. That doesn't make me a tool for using it.

Bloody fucking hell. I am going for a ride. Couldn't at stupid o'clock, so I guess I will be riding mid-afternoon. And because Friday afternoon rush hour traffic is dangerous (not enough infrastructure) in this city, I am heading to the PARK where I will strive for my personal best. As always. I will stop for pedestrians the way I always do, too, and if some unfortunate soul is daft enough to walk out in front of me, I pray I have the wherewithall to avoid hitting her.

You can demonize me all you like for choosing to use a training tracking tool, but I am not a criminal.

Happy Fucking Friday all. Ride safely, and try not to kill anybody.

ce said...

Yeah, nah, thought about it some more, not sure if I agree with myself.

Probably is a good idea for clubs to consider deciding as a club to not ride certain segments, but not sure if I agree with users flagging segments as inappropriate - how would that even work fairly? The conditions for when a segment is appropriate to ride hard or not are too variable, and besides a lot of people use Strava for record keeping purposes from a fitness perspective and not so intent on times alone. People just need to take personal responsibility and assess the risk as they go - hard to do with a full head of steam of course. Hard to say, perhaps Snobbo's general awareness weekend is the best bet after all.

BamaPhred 5:08, you are right.

babble on said...

I'm ok with the segments which are flagged as dangerous not showing up, because some people who are tools use the tool, but there is no point in blaming Strava for an accident that would likely have happened in any event.

Serial Retrogrouch said...


...comments here today that try to say, "yeah, one cyclist critically injures a pedestrian, but what about all of our brethren maimed and dying on these roads" are being disingenuous, hypocritical, and careless.

...every life taken by 'accident,' no matter the means, should be decried and denounced... most of all by those that are most vulnerable.. i.e. us cyclists.

...likewise, a discussion of how our police departments handle these issues bears not on our responsibilities and actions as road users but on how we all (or some of us) can lobby, petition and try to change the status quo... or otherwise lead by example, e.g. don't go into an aero tuck on a beautiful end of summer day afternoon when the park is full of people enjoying what nature has to offer us in this concrete jungle.

...AND, it goes without saying that this should be in no way an attack on strava or its user... but i really do hope that it at least begins some real changes to the way the company allows its users to use it. perhaps they should be reading the comments in this here blog because i've read some really good suggestions so far.

...i hope you have a great weekend and are successful in recording your best without killing or maiming, or being killed or maimed.

and the same to all the rest of you... for me... i'm turning off for the weekend.

ce said...

Babs, you might have missed the intent of my earlier comment, I was actually supporting Strava use. I do think is by definition an "injustice" when a vulnerable person is injured by a negligent person, but I'm just running with the hype and assuming negligence, so I'm probably wrong.

I'll shut up now. Scranus.

babble on said...

Ce - I thought you were right on all counts, actually. I am just feeling judged and reacting generally. Sorry if it came off as a rebuke.

Grouch - I am the biggest bleeding heart out there, with care and concern for all vulnerable road users, but that is exactly the point. This IS an attack on strava and its users, when the real issues ARE the systemic injustices which lead to so many deaths on the road. With all due respect. xo

Brompton Boy said...

I ride hard and I ride fast, but I'm always ready to cede to the idiot in my path. You gotta know when to hold and know when to fold.

Comment deleted said...

Brompton Boy, I hope you don't literally "fold" when a pedestrian crosses your path.

Hit 'n' Run said...

Now let me give y'all a rundown on pedestrian avoidance...

Mark Pernerewski said...

It's a disgrace to have a Light Infantry Army Ranger displaying a violation of the United States Flag Code.

Brompton Boy said...

No, my strategy doesn't hinge on that action.

Roille Figners said...

So in conclusion I'd like to say:


Dooth said...

The New York Piss, er, Post had today's head line--CYCLE OF DEATH. Not subtle about its anti-bike bias.

Anonymous said...

Well at least he didn't put her in the ditch. Or did he?

Anonymous said...

With the return of cyclists to the road, the bicycle scorcher returns.

le Correcteur said...

About 20 years ago, I got rid of my computers.

Now, maybe once or twice a year, I ride a certain segment for time, and compare it to my known--only to me, mind you-- history. It's a gentle uphill, public road, and it's a much nicer way of figuring out your fitness than computers or, God forbid, Strava.

I know I'm slower than I used to be; but I also know that riding is more fun when you are not always Type-Aing it all over everywhere the way I sometimes did when I was younger.

We need cyclocomputers that read in "fun units" or "joy units" instead of in speed, average speed, maximum speed, and so on.

Andrew Wagerer said...

Surely Strava has nothing to do with this incident. This is a dick being a dick and not being careful out on his ride, wherever he chooses it to take place.

The way everyone is commenting here, you'd think that cycling was really dangerous when it's not. You're just as likely to die walking or in a motor vehicle as on a bike. The silly article on bicycle deaths in America linked earlier in the comments conveniently left out the 33,000 deaths from automobile accidents that same year, but he wasn't concerned about driving.

My belief is that when you stop being so angry, paranoid and fearful, you can actually start shrugging off (and thinking for) all the idiots out there who have the potential to cause harm, but it won't stop the fact that when your time's up, it's up.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

@le Correcteur, +1 on that. I stopped using a computer once I turned forty. I have been doing the same routes for a few years now, and I can say, yeah, that hilly route took around five hours again,legs not completely hurting, good form, good morale. That's all I need to know.
I used to time my ride back from work just to see, but the only time I ever tried racing myself was at 6am after the overnight shift.

The Ketsodr said...

Someone has an accident AND uses Strava and if you feel entitled to go on a rant against Strava and the people who use it?

How about this: someone has an accident on a bike, let's attack bikes as a whole? That dangerous crappy two-wheelers, the spawn of the devil, right?

You're coming across like a pro-bike, anti-Strava Dorothy Rabinowitz: picking on something simply because it irks your sensibilities.

T said...

If the rationale behind no strava is a moment of silence, then why not implore people to not ride their bikes at all over the weekend?

If we're going to tar all strava users with the same brush, why arbitrarily stop there? Why not all cyclists?

Is it because not riding your bike at all is something you don't want to do, but since you don't use strava, then you don't actually have to alter your plans?

Saying "it's not stava's fault, but don't use it this weekend, out of respect and as a moment of silence" is just like a non-cyclist saying "I know not all cyclists ride like idiots, but out of respect and as a kind of moment of silence, please don't ride your bike this weekend."

JC said...

ce @1435 and again @1609, bravo. Kudos on your subsequent posts too.

I'm an avid reader of this blog and the comments but this is the first time I've felt the urge to get involved.

I share a similar background to you, and hail from the same region, and I also share your disgust. I'm going to jump to a conclusion here, but in my experience it's always the try-hards and the wannabes who carry on like that. The true "heroes" and "patriots" (please leave out all the negative connotations of that word) generally just shut the fuck up and get on with their job. It's the blanket counters and the weekend warriors who spout all the hoorah bullshit.

Anyway, enough of that. Funny that I should jump on a bicycling blog to make my first comment and it has nothing to do with cycling. Apologies.

While I'm here, many, many thanks to all of you incredibly funny people. It truly brightens my frequently dull now-office-bound life. Keep it up.

And condolences to all involved in this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

No Strava is silly. Like saying ban alcohol because there are drunks out there. This guy, according to his strava profile, rides an average of 20 hours a week and 291 miles/week. This is over the top. What would be interesting to see is the actual data file he uploaded for the ride, where you could actually see what speed he was riding at the time and location of the accident.

Plenty of people suck, whether on a bike, driving in a car, or on shank's mare. Bad stuff happens. Main thing is to do the right thing yourself. Which includes riding a road bike responsibly in Central Park, ideally between the hours of 6-7am on Weekdays.

Then post your results proudly on Strava or any of these other social vanity bike performance brag sites...

Anonymous said...

And by the way, Det. Mennan isn't wrong - the whole NYC cycling community is embarrassed by this incident. The NY Post article is a turdpile, but News Corp is highly effective in installing the narrative in narrow-minded brains. We cyclists are pretty f**ked every time this happens, but don't blame one of NY's finest for his post. Its only about 20% as snotty as this article.

The Super Champion said...

I'm not a Strava sort of fellow, but I do own a stopwatch that I use to time my laps around Lord Stanley's Park in Vancouver town. So in keeping with the spirit of the day, I shall leave it unused in the pocket of my cycling vest this weekend as a show of solidarity and perhaps also prevent the untimely demise of a wayward pedesrtian or a slow of foot raccoon that might happen to cross my path.

David Pearce said...

Dear WCRM,

As someone once said,

Thanks very much for reading. I love you. Ride safe this weekend.

I'm happy to comply with your suggestion to not use Strava this weekend, because I don't have a Strava, and I don't use it anyway. I keep track of my rides on Map My Ride, and the results are so anemic that in embarrasses even my lazy ass.

Now, as for Ethan Mennen, I'm going to state my opinion right here, I don't think he's a real detective of the NYPD. I have no proof one way or the other, but what self-respecting NYPD detective wraps himself in the Flag, then doesn't capitalize Detective in their profile, and then adds in and, lacrosse, complete with spurious comma? In a pig's eye, I say! Prove it to me!

Mennen? Really? This is a real person? When he solves a case, if he is a real Detective, does he sing while closing the file, By Mennen!. The whole thing smells like deodorant to me!

I can't stand it that some bicyclists are so freaking gung-ho that they throw caution to the wind and send pedestrians to the hospital in critical condition. FUCK THEM!!! (The crazy bicyclists, I mean). It SO screws it up for the rest of us!

Thanks for not having the Friday Fun Quiz to devote your post to this important topic.

Thanks, Bike Snob NYC!

David Pearce said...

an Instagram web viewer:

NYPD Detective, Army Ranger, bad picture taker. Tell your friends. Tip your bartenders. Try the veal. Lax is life.

mennen26 I'm at Tavern On The Green for a rehearsal dinner for a wedding. So fuckin classy. I have no business being here. So pretty.


If this is representative of your NYPD Detective corps, heaven help you!

Scott Banks said...

I'm a teacher and, like Bike Snob, a parent. The most powerful thing you can do to change behavior is model the behavior you expect. If we cyclists, as a community, want to change the world—if only to accommodate us—we need to model the behavior we expect. We expect lawless, irresponsible users of roads to be held accountable. BikeSnob just held our own community accountable. He did right. He did right by us, he did right by that poor lady, he did right. Accept it. We all know that if everyone were held accountable for their road use, it would benefit us as cyclists. That's the direction we want to go. Thank you, BikeSnob.

AYHSMB said...

Perhaps, just perhaps, pedestrians should be required to wear helments? I MEAN,ISN'T THAT WHAT SAVES US CYCLISTS FROM CERTAIN DEATH?!

dancesonpedals said...

I rode past the accident site around 5:30 this afternoon. I'm not a ghoul; I rode in to work this morning (35 miles according to strava) & had my bike. After work I rode over to Columbus circle, where I was meeting my wife for dinner & I could stow the bike in the basement bikeroom of my mother-in-law's apartment building.

There were 4 cop cars & a channel 7 news truck (the station is 3 blocks from the site)b There was an LED sign flashing 1) Pedestrian struck. 2) If you have information call dot at 718 etc

There were a half dozen cops in the crosswalk, milling around. You had to slow down to pass through safely, which felt tense. I wondered about the cops disposition towards cyclists about cyclists. On the other hand, I was a middle-aged white guy completely Brooks'd out (Brooks Brothers, not Brooks Saddles. White shirt with blue pinstripes, grey slacks, black shoes, giro helment & gloves)

A rich white lady got run down(killed?) in the city's living room & there's a public show of force & concern. Across town a young woman of color gets filmed being hit & run, and the police can't be bothered to put down their donuts and talk tom the driver. At times this city blows chunks.

Anonymous said...

The Tiger Williams incident was an ITT. Tiger was, is?, a very fast TT rider and the incident occurred in one of the fastest sections of the park. The person who was hit ignored the whistle blowing and yelling of course marshals. He had a blanket over his head and jumped a fence to cross the road. They were almost hit by the rider ahead of Tiger. Tiger was not so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob - I like your blog, has been reading it for years, but:

one thing I like about bikes and bicycling is that there are so many different ways to use them and enjoy them. Some people like to ride them for fitness and fun, some like to commute, some make deliveries, some enjoy art or mechanical aspect, whatever. We are all the same in some sense.

Lately you seem to ridicule anyone who uses bicycles for anything other than commuting (or maybe riding super slow and making fun of anyone going faster than you). Well, that's as SMUG of an attitude as assuming that everyone should be riding on time trial machine at 27mph all the time.

So the cyclist collided with a pedestrian and you are so quick to assign all blame to the cyclist and to immediately assume that he just MUST have been going for KOM and that it's his love of strava that is to blame. How presumptuous of you.

Anonymous said...

(cont'd) I happen to have a strava account, does it mean that if god forbid something happens to me (say I get hit by a car, or crash on my own), strava is to blame because obviously I am ALWAYS attempting a KOM at all times? Newsflash - KOM thing on strava is more or less over. We use it in millions of other ways, and it is super-useful to a lot of us.

This is akin to assuming that any time a car hits a cyclist, the car driver is responsible citizen who always always pays attention while the cyclist must be a drunk helment-less hipster on a fixie who has a death wish (a.k.a. Lucas Bruyneel).

People were doing reckless things before strava existed, and will continue to do them even if we all ban strava or sue it for millions (billions?) in damages for ruining all of our lives (if we were to believe you - is there anything worse than strava? maybe only ISIL, Ebola and genocide?).
That is assuming that the cyclist was actually reckless, and it wasn't the pedestrian who did something stupid.

I like your posts about a lot of things (such as NYPD angles, stupid marketing tricks etc.) but your attitude towards fellow cyclists seems to be - anyone having fun on a bike by riding fast and enjoying it, or god forbid, training and pushing their bodies, should be ashamed of themselves and ridiculed endlessly. Cause everyone should ONLY be commuting at 12mph while wearing sweat-stained cargo shorts on a rusty 1980ies steel hybrid or something like that.

Anonymous said...

(Cont'd part 3):
Never mind that you are ridiculing exactly the same thing that you yourself used to do not so long ago. So some of us happen to enjoy to ride crabon bikes and (expertly) fill their tubes with CO2 cartridges, and upload rides to strava and images (good ones, not crappy photos taken from rear light cameras) to instagram and ride fast in fast groups of friends and have fun and be responsible human beings while doing so. We also commute to work most days - sometimes on same crabon bikes, sometimes on crappy steel bikes that would make your Scattante look elitist.

Is that really such a big deal that it bothers you to no end that someone else finds a different way of having fun on their bike from the way you thing they OUGHT to be having fun?

Your posts are grumpy-grouchy and SMUG at the same time and the annoying/entertaining level has been rising a lot in the past few years. Maybe you need to go on a group ride on a fast crabon bicycle and rediscover some fun that has been missing from your life lately.

Perhaps I am not getting the irony, but do you really think STRAVA is the public enemy #1? Strava is actually fantastic (yes, fantastic, all you hates scuk my balls) because it allowed me to meet so many new people who are now my friends, and reach out to them and stay in touch with them when I am away, and to push myself and to motivate others, and have fun, discover new routes, and most importantly realize that
1. IF you are jerk in real life, you will be a jerk on strava. Or without strava
2. IF you are a nice guy, you will be a nice guy on strava.
3. There will always be SMUG people who will tell you how retro they are and how anti-strava and anti-garmin and anti-powermeter and anti-carbon and anti-derailleur (or anti-fixie, whichever is more popular) they are - but they are people who so desperately try to appear original when at heart they have no original ideas, so they try to be contrarian because they think that makes them different, but it doesn't. It just makes them miss out on a lot of great things by always going against the trend. But sometimes, not all the time, but *sometimes* the trend is a good trend.
These are the people who tell their friends how great band X is, but then quickly turn to hating band X when their friends start to like band X, because it's no longer "cool" and no longer making them special.

Many of your attitudes are just like that, and it makes me sad. Strava is just a website, like google or Facebook - if you really think it's devil changing good responsible people into something they don't have inside of them already, think again.

If this was the case, anyone reading your blog would have turned into a smug scattante-loving commuter, and obviously that hasn't happened. Yet.

Anonymous said...

I adore Strava for pushing my rides, seeing where and if my friends have had saddle time, and showing them my ridiculous rides.
I loathe Strava for my abuse of the tool - downhill rides way too fast for any safety factor. I've biked in Central Park and seen many near misses between bikes and pedestrians and bikes with other bikes. You don't have to slow that much to enjoy the park safely even in crowds. Just take the down hills a slight bit slower.
My thought has been to have Strava keep rides KOM to the speed limit for cars in the area.
I've ridden for well over 35 of my 47 years with a push somewhere in my ride and really enjoy it. I commute and ride whenever I possibly can.
I try to get over 100 miles a week and Strava helps me to do it. It's a silly goal but it actually gets me on the bike and makes it a priority. I have met many people because of Strava and enjoy to camaraderie of certain hard hills won and seeing my friends take on difficult rides.
I propose a no posted Strava rides weekend. Keep all the rides private. Stay within the speed limit where you're riding.
I will personally have a moment of appreciation for anyone out there who might be in my path - pedestrians especially. I'm the bigger predator in that encounter and should be extra careful.

Unfiltered Dregs said...

I ride the same way.

I seriously doubt she was hit on principal.

If you're going to have a bicycling infrastructure then support with appropriate rules and enforcement.

As it stands the city is a predominantly threatening environment for riders.

Drivers don't give a shit and pedestrians don't give a shit. Cyclists are damned if they do or don't.

I'm surprised who had the light hasn't been mentioned by the authorities yet. I wonder why?

Rastas said...

ONYA Bike Snob. Pity more cyclists didn't think like you do.

SkipTracer said...

A really fine post. i wonder if the nypd could as easily turn up this much info on the cyclist? not likely... good research and reporting!

Unfiltered Dregs said...


commentatorbot_0348 said...

A white lady got run down(killed?) in the city's living room & there's a public show of force & concern.

One kind of accident. No criminality suspected.

Across town a young woman of color gets filmed being hit & run, and the police can't be bothered to put down their donuts and talk tom the driver

Another kind of accident. Hit an run, a crime, on tape. Nothing. Open season.

Don't get me wrong, the first is tragic and I am genuinely sorry for her family and friend's loss. Why should cyclists be embarrassed? That's 3/4 the reason PD treat you guys so badly.

The only thing worth tweetering back to cop-dude: "Tragic accident. Sorry for the loss. No criminality suspected.

Scott Banks,
we need to model the behavior we expect. We expect lawless, irresponsible users of roads to be held accountable.

Cyclist ticketing spree? Why do news stories always mentioning wearing helments in car-vs-bike incidents as if it has something to do with anything. You and Snobby are just welcoming cyclists to be treated terribly. Again.

I can play the parent card too. I'm not teaching my (non-cycling) kid to be a victim.

Unfiltered Dregs said...

Thats a huge assumption many are making regarding the incident.

Nevertheless, the problem overall has everything to do with more effective integration of cycling into our urban environment.

Quite a few European cities have been extraordinary successful in this regard and considering that cycling is on a significant uptick here maybe we ought to model the same success here.

There's no reason why CP can't accommodate a good fast ride and the safety of all involved.

It requires some minor re-engineering and consistent enforcement.

Fence the drive, have folks use the crosswalks, penalize jaywalking, etc..

What you have now is chaos.

The infrastructure does not accommodate cycling as intended.

And yes the riding North of the Bronx is brilliant..

commentatorbot_0348 said...

Uhh. FYI Strava is not a fantastic anything. It takes vaguely accurate GPS tracks and makes stuff up.

Not kidding.

I'm not sure why people are so in love with such a half-assed time waster.

I'm still not clear how a half-assed website figures into this accident.

commentatorbot_0348 said...

What you have now is chaos.

Agree. It's a multi-use space that is still probably woefully underfunded, not well designed for all the uses including cycling.

And some, like Snobby, would have cyclists assume all the blame.


JLRB said...

Read this excellent post and the first round of comments before getting on a long plane ride. First - my heart goes out to the family who lost a loved one, and to the Fred who hit her.

Most of what I would say has been said - let me just say that I think the Strava defenders are taking the wrong message - I don't interpret Snob to be saying never use Strava (or mapmyride or Garmin or pick one) again - it is symbolic - stay away from the KOM pursuit for a weekend and think about others while you ride.

JLRB said...

I ride MUPs for about half of my commute and sometimes the joggers do stupid shit that makes me lose momentum, but I've come to accept the added effort of spinning back up as something that will make me stronger, while avoiding harm to others (and me - crashing sucks).

When I was commuting to a summer job in college I hit a ped who stepped directly into my path as I was cranking to make a series of timed lights. I had barely time to touch brakes - she went flying - shopping bags everywhere, but thankfully she was OK. It's been almost 30 years but I will not forget the horrific feeling. It freaks me out all over every time a ped steps into my path - which happens on a regular basis.

JLRB said...

And, here is after the ped was killed in SF in 2012

I find the lack of investigation of the filmed hit and run to be disgusting, and possibly an indication of corruption (who was THAT driver?), but I am trying to keep the two incidents separate in my mind.

JLRB said...

And stay away from the comments following the article I linked - way over the top.

JLRB said...

Last word from me - when I quickly read Snob's post I thought Nostrava was some kind of Russian toast.

How is it so late

Anonymous said...

IF someone is driving a super expensive car, then the media often WILL report the cost. And if he was on his aerobars, then he WAS riding without brakes. At least without access to them. And it is a pretty good bet that he didn't apply them to avoid hitting the woman. So I don't see your point with your bitching about gthe Post.

Anonymous said...

The problem city life...period. The way I sees it, if your one of these stupid ass Fred's that actually thinks your competative and need to train like a wanna be lance, move out of the city and follow your strava dreams of grandure.

If you love the city, good for you! Stay in the city and enjoy all that it has to offer. Enjoy fried ding around the city if that flips your trigger...just do it with the knowledge that the city was built up to accommodate cars mainly...bikes, although around for longer were not on city planners sense crying about it or expecting a place like NYC to change dramatically.

Shocking as this may seem to some, your momma was wrong when she told you your special and can have your cake and eat it to. I

Anonymous said...

Central Park at 4:30 pm is the worst possible time to ride a bike really, really fast...Strava or not.

Stuart Rasmussen said...

In a sick and depraved sort of way, motorists have an "admirable" sense of honor among thieves-partnership in crime. They almost never question or condemn motorists as a group no matter what reckless behavior one of their members engages in. Sir Mennen even seems to admire them: "Anyone else totally psyched that the dude from Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift still has a career?! #NCISNOLA"

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I might ride from Bay Ridge to Dumont NJ to the GF's place.
My fat self can usually do it in 2 1/2 hours complying with (most) regs and being courteous and considerate.
It's gorgeous out.


Johnny Falschgedank said...

I agree with 95% of what you wrote.

lOne small point of fact that might not be apparent if you have not tried Strava - those "2nd bests" are relative to the rider's PR list. So the rider in question here may not have been trying to get the community record for those segments (which is the key thing Strava enables relative to your SRM / powertap / whatever other device you may use or maybe have thrown in a box because it was taking all the joy out of riding...) He may have just been out doing training laps (and I totally agree that hot laps in CP mid-day is irresponsible and likely to get all bikes banned) - but that was an issue long before Strava.

So - all the points about max efforts in CP when the park is crowded, aero-bars, courtesy - I totally agree. And more generally - "gunning for segments" is definitely a thing - and has definitely caused accidents - particularly in the MTB world. But maybe Strava wasn't the root cause in this particular incident.

Keep up the good work.


semi serious cyclist said...

"A VICTIM OF THE BICYCLE: The terrible death of a young lady in Brooklyn ......

The accident was directly attributable [i]to the bicycle riding,[/i] which has become a nuisance and a great source of danger on the streets of Brooklyn."

New York Times, October 20, 1880.

Holy Roller said...

Strava spelled backwards is 'Avarts'. This sounds like a satanic incantation used by the Four Fixie Riders of the Apocalypse to lure those of little faith away from the straight and narrow road that leads unto salvation but instead leads them to the LAKE OF FIRE that burns forever and torments all those who end up there. (Sort of like a Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib for sinners) Amen.

Spokey said...

sorry i'm late to the party. was wandering around monticello since yesterday.

as for racing, it seems to me that it probably is already illegal. In NJ and probably NY and other places, a bike is a vehicle. right? ok, so there are laws here about racing. as in you can get busted for that. like that just-in beaver fellow. so if you're racing on public streets sans some sanctioned event, you're breaking the law.

as for the jaywalkers et. al. i disagree. maybe i don't understand what snobbie is saying. Seems to me that i need to be vigilant looking out for jay walkers, autos, joggers, etc. But if a ped steps in to a bike lane and I can't avoid him, that is negligence on the ped's part, not mine. and it does matter whether i'm running a light or not. we have expectations based on the law, based on traffic control devices and other input.

as to the fred in the park, i can't really comment not knowing details. seems to me without knowing more it could be negligence on either side. although the way it's written seems to suggest innocence on the part of the victim, we don't really know where she was or what she was doing.

as for You know, just like they do when a car hits somebody.

completely irrelevant. a red herring.

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

on a (felix) leiter note:


Please don't hide da BOOBIES!!

David Pearce said...

Hey, Semi Serious @3:11 p.m.,

It's the <,>, and not the [,], for the HTML tags.

Now Mr. Spock, I mean Mr. Spokey, school me in how to embed links that seamlessly click to the content. I still haven't sussed that out!


Andrew Wagerer said...

Kudos to Snob for opening up such a good debate and don't let that 4 post rant change your humour. He misses the point of you being a snob. I read the blog because you take the piss out of people. It's the basis of all humour and who's more fun to make fun of than people who take themselves too seriously.

Spokey said...

David Pearce

it's like regular html. i just usually make the text the same as the url.

hopefully the below example will get the tags and such output correctly

e.g. some text before <a href="link-url">link-url</a>

Anonymous said...

This blog reads like a Batman cartoon.

There's the vainglorious cop who has nothing better to do with his time than posting snarky tweets, Murdoch's Post charmingly describing the victim as being "creamed", Snobby vilifying the rider based on nothing more than tabloid anecdotes and speculation and the roiling mob; half baying for blood, the other half defending the hammer and a third half bringing their forensic expertise to the party, declaring the rider innocent or guilty despite the absolute certainty they have no idea what actually happened.

All that's missing is some lurid colour and a few "ZAP" and "KAPOW" graphics.

What happened to the dignified discourse masquerading as wacky bullshitting that normally inhabits these pages? There's already enough internet delirium elsewhere, it would be regrettable if this little jewel became subsumed in that festering cesspit.

As a citizen (let alone a cyclist) I think we should remember that anyone who rides a bike, (wearing spandex or not, using strava or not) is a person who doesn't deserve having their identity hijacked to be our polemic prop. Let's leave the cheap posturing to others.

This post ain't about strava abstinence, but it's exactly 200 words so gimme a hat!

stravaboy said...


i am curious...strava said...


oh starva, can you spare a dime said...


the only thing we have to fear, is strava itself said...


1 have nothing to offer but blood, toil, swet & strava said...


how many strava's does it take to change a lightbulb said...


call me strava said...


where are the strava's of yesteryear said...


if i had a strava, i'd strava in the morning said...


i'd strava in the evening said...


all over this land said...


dancesonpedals said...


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