Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Blizzard To Snow Job

Well, that didn't happen.

New York City, which was shut down overnight, was spared the worst of a snowstorm that swept across the Northeast early Tuesday and slowly returned to its normal rhythms as travel bans were lifted and transit services gradually restored.

My sympathies to those of you residing in areas that did receive or are currently receiving the full cockwallop of the storm, but here in my woods of the neck it was something of a bust, and it skipped New York City like the march of time has skipped Cleveland.  (It's still 1989 in Cleveland, which has confounded physicists for decades.)  This is ironic given the unprecedented level of storm preparedness, which included shutting down the entire New York City subway system last night for the first time ever in anticipation of a blizzard:

Juno becomes first snowstorm in history to shut down MTA

New York's subways, commuter trains and roads were shut down Monday as an overnight travel ban went into effect, the first time in history that subways have been shut down due to snow, the MTA says.

New Yorkers will debate as to whether or not this was a necessary precaution or gubernatorial exuberance for days to come, especially since the trains ran all night long anyway, just with nobody in them:
See, they have to run the trains anyway to keep the tracks clear.  You just couldn't ride on them.  I believe that's called dramatic irony as opposed to regular irony.

Even more incredibly, they closed the roads to non-emergency motor vehicles!
Ah, now that's what I call "Vision Zero."  If only he could do this every day!  While shutting down a train system that runs largely underground was probably unnecessary in this case, I'd argue that they should close the streets to private motor vehicles and their incompetent operators at the first sign of snow all winter long.  After all, it's the dingbats who take to their cars in snowstorms who block the roads for plows and emergency vehicles--the very emergency vehicles that need to rescue them from their own cars.

It's situations like these that underscore our skewed perception when it comes to danger.  When a storm is bearing down on us (or even possibly bearing down on us) our officials are willing to declare a state of emergency and close the roads to prevent deaths and injuries that might occur.  However, hundreds of people are killed and thousands are injured by drivers every day, yet that's not an emergency.  It's just business as usual.  One death in a snowstorm caused by a driver who lacked the common sense to stay home?  Not acceptable.  Hundreds caused by drivers who fail to yield?  No big whoop.

Oh, they also closed Citi Bike, which should surprise nobody:
And further warned riders to make way for the plows:
Given the shitty weather we had last night you'd think these sorts of warnings would be unnecessary, but I'm sure somewhere out there some schmuck on a Citi Bike decided "Screw that, I'm taking the lane!"

There's a time to take the lane, and there's a time to get the fuck out of it.  A snowstorm is generally an example of the latter.

Finally, even the revived Yehuda Moon comic strip tackled the blizzard with its trademark brand of dry irreverence:


By the way, that's the NSFW version, and the "NS" stands for "Non-Sequitur."

Meanwhile, in other NSFW-ish news, a Twitterer alerted me to this post on Mario Cipollini's Instagram:


Oh, Cipo.  Classy as always.

(I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume there's a bowl of cereal between her thighs, in which case it's technically safe for work.)

Speaking of class, what's classier than caviar?  Nothing, that's what!  (With the possible exception of marble columns, of course.  And I grew up close to the location of the fictional Mike's Marbleopolis, so I know what I'm talking about.)  Well, just when you thought no company could possibly want to invest in the shitshow that is pro cycling, here comes the luxury fish-gutting industry with an infusion of cash:


Actually, I have no idea if this is a cash sponsorship, and maybe they're just paying them in fish eggs.

Expect a "Bicycling" article on the recovery benefits of caviar in time for the spring riding upgrading season.

Somewhat less classy and infinitely more dorky is this "22-foot-long bike-powered 'Star Wars' star destroyer," of which I was informed by a reader, and which can be yours for nothing assuming you live in or near Portland:


Residents of Portland, Oregon are in for a treat, as a custom-made, bicycle-powered, 22-foot-long Imperial I-class Star Destroyer parade float is currently available for free on Craigslist. The Star Wars-themed float fits in a standard road lane and requires four bicyclists to operate it. The current owner gives a stern warning about the seriousness of adopting such a craft.

Here's the text of the actual Craigslist ad:

This is a ~22ft long, ~8foot wide STAR DESTROYER (like the ship from STAR WARS). It is best described as a bike-powered parade float. No bikes are included or attached; instead the craft is held up during flight* by 4 individuals on bikes. The design allows the bikes to move somewhat independently. 

The ship has been ridden and featured in 2 years of the Pedalpalooza "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" bike rides. This is a one-of-a-kind item that we unfortunately do not have the space for anymore. We want this to go to a good home, so we're letting it go for free.

A great deal of engineering effort and money went into this project. The ship itself is a PVC frame, re-enforced in certain areas with electrical conduit. The coverings are grey-painted weather-resistant coroplast. It's roughly 22feet long and roughly 8 feet wide. It fits in a standard lane of traffic--for scale, it is about as wide as a 2015 Ford Super-Duty, and a little longer. ( http://www.ford.com/trucks/superduty/specifications/exterior/ ) The craft is designed to split into 2 sections using convenient screw-joints for easier storage.

If you think your life would be enhanced by owning a 22 FOOT LONG STAR DESTROYER that you and your friends could ride around Portland, please let me know ASAP!

SERIOUS REPLIES ONLY. YOU WILL NEED 4 PEOPLE ON BIKES OR A VERY LARGE TRUCK TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THIS.

*Spaceship is bike powered; it does not actually fly.

It's good to know Portlanders are putting a "great deal of engineering effort and money" into important projects like this.  Admittedly though this does have other applications beyond Pedalpalooza attention-whoring.  For example, it could easily be repurposed as sort of a "Fred stockade" in order to teach Cat 5s how to ride in a pack without crossing wheels.  In fact, in addition to completing 10 mass start races, Cat 5s should have to spend at least 20 hours in the "Fred stockade" before upgrading to Cat 4.

Also--and it hardly warrants mentioning--triathletes should not be allowed to ride within 20 feet of another cyclist at any time on public roads unless they are confined by such a device:


 You can't be too careful.

73 comments:

dop said...

Fat bike on asidewalk...only bike I saw today..

P. Bateman said...

GET SOME!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hardy-motherfrackin'-har

CommieCanuck said...

SNOWMAGEDDON?
NOMAGEDDON.

dop said...

and the sidewalk had been shoveled

CommieCanuck said...

deBlasio also banned sunbathing in Central Park.

Anonymous said...

Top ten. And I would cheat to do it again.

P. Bateman said...

its ironic they dont have enough space for their space ship.

or is that not actual irony? i dont know anymore. its like whom or who? whom or who can remember which is witch?

le Correcteur said...

Top ten. My breakfast was pretty boring compared to Cipo's, though. Higher in calories, too.

DB said...

Wait.....
Did I read McFly's name in Cipo's tweet?

DB said...

McFly:
Who is this Maxime Roger?
She's calling for you.

DB said...

Thanks for not taking a snow day Snob.

Anonymous said...

Toppus XX?

Vernal Magina said...

Portland.

Anonymous said...

SHIMANO 14 SPEED REAER CLUSTER 2019

BamaPhred said...

Snow is like sex, don't know how deep it will get or how long it will last.

mikeweb said...

Snob, thanks for alerting me to the Cipollini IG account. That will pair nicely with the Colavita FB page.

Jeff Beeston said...

can you stop calling triathloners, "triathletes". It gives people the impression these people are athletic, or perhaps even athletes. If you don't, I will boycott this blog for ever. if not ever then at least for days...

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Looking forward to the Hudson River Bike Path road conditions review.


vsk

babble on said...

Lol!! Snowverreaction much? Half the time, Environment Canada can't even tell me what's happening right now, never mind tonight, or tomorrow. But the Norweigans do it well... try yr.no or weatherunderground.

Um, and oooooh la la! Thank you for the sexypic, Snobi Wan! You've gotta love love love those early morning rides. Mmmmmmm. :)

BigRedClydesdale said...

Star Destroyer? Meh. I'm holding out for a Death Star.

THAT'S NO MOON....!

JLRB said...

TOP TWEEENTY

snow day for offspring today for 2 friggin inches (joke in there somwehere)

JLRB said...

That Star Wars float is about the same size as that helmet with registration plate

dop said...

Hey babble, how about a little love for the podium boys. dop, PB & anony 11:09?

babble on said...

You know I am always happy to spread the love, dop! Big, juicy kisses, gentlemen! XXXXXXXXXXX

After all, lots of lovin is key to the art of living well, or, well... living the art.

McFly said...

Well.....I do love the breakfasts.

Star Destroyer? More like Virginity Protector.

dop said...

I'm just a segue on the ass of the universe...

JLRB said...

Oh yeah - almost forgot - my new Masterlink Derailleur Hanger Pump Peg Rock Machine commemorative BSNY wool hat arrived in the US mails yesterday, and it enjoyed shoveling our little bit of snow with me

Anonymous said...

"It's still 1989 in Cleveland, which has confounded physicists for decades."
No, you mean it has confounded physicists for centuries.

jodphoto said...

Snob,

Did you read about this?

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/cyclist-queens-struck-killed-garbage-truck-saturday-article-1.2082991

Freddy Murcks said...

Tryathletes - always good for a laugh (tm).

McFly said...

Pure magic is the birth of my kids
I've seen shit that'll shock your eyelids
The sun and the moon, and even Mars
The Milky Way and fucking shooting stars
UFOs, a river flows
Plant a little seed and nature grows
Niagara falls and the pyramids
Everything you believed in as kids
Fucking rainbows after it rains
there's enough miracles here to blow your brains

Jon Webb said...

The Michelson-Morley experiment proved Cleveland is the center of the universe. Hence time not passing.

crosspalms said...

I too am bike-powered; I do not fly.

Glad you mostly dodged the storm and hope the folks who really got buried do OK.

K-Bo said...

Magnets, how the fvck do they work?

ken e. said...

@mcfly,
who knew you were part of the montauk (poetry) experiment? that's awesome!

dop said...


Every bit of clothing ought to make you pretty
You can cut the clothing, grey is such a pity
I should wear the clothing of Mr. Walter Mitty
See my tailor, he's called Simon, I know it's going to fit

babble on said...

Mr Webb... yes, and also YOU are the centre of the universe. In fact, the bold truth is wherever you are, there you are in the centre of the universe. Because the universe is infinite in all directions.

dop said...

forget morley...as a 12 yo I used to love the monument* to Michaelson at Annapolis....


*aka June Week Sobriety Test

ubercurmudgeon said...

Go to any big skiing area, and you'll find the same "no big whoop" attitude to motoring in blizzard conditions. The degree to which a society cares about road deaths is inversely proportional to the amount of money that can be made off other people rushing around like idiots.

Anonymous said...

Oh, New York, you silly thing. The "Greatest City in the World", the "City that never sleeps." Yet you can't manage to run subways underground because of snow? And shut them down while at the same time telling people not to drive?! Hilarious!

Srcunas said...

You are the Luminiferous aether of my bunghole

Dave said...

Just to show up Portland, I think we should get together in the old barn and build a 23-foot float as a faithful replica of Spaceballs One, with some real lasers, a rolling-coal type cloaking device and the "WE BRAKE FOR NOBODY" bumper sticker. It would be powered by a squadron of recumbent trikes, and have about 3 inches of ground clearance. Suitable sci-fi klaxons would sound at random intervals. Dark Helmets would be de rigueur.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:20pm,

The city can run the subways just fine. It was the governor's decision to shut it down.

Also, they need to store trains in the tunnels instead of the outside yards in cases of blizzard, so that compromises system's capacity.

--Wildcat Subway Machine

bad boy of the north said...

two or three inches in the northern environs of nyc.dodged the bullet this time.

babble on said...

McFly - Who knew? I love it, you crazy clown, you... :) xo xo

Angry Beaver in Mirimichi said...

Cipo's breakfast of champions would appear to include a side order of edible panties.

Old-timer said...

Order in the court. ORDER in the court! Meteorologists forecast NYC would be buried in snow. It wasn’t. Case dismissed. // In other news, a Cold Snap here in Central California saw temperatures plunge into the high fifties!!! Nonetheless, we are soldiering on without complaint. (Think I’ll do a ride over to Baskin Robbins...)

James said...

"It's still 1989 in Cleveland..."

Wooohoo! that means I'm permanently 21.

JLRB said...

fifty is nifty

The Sun Beats Down Without Mercy said...

Here in San Diego the snow is melting long before it reaches the ground. As a transplant from upstate NY I honestly do miss the snow; the zero and below temps, F THAT.

Rick M said...

Dave@235. Excellent idea, get it going on Kickstarter.

Brady Dale said...

I think it's weird that Citibike shut down 4 hours before the travel ban. There email sounded like they wouldn't necessarily wait to reopen when it was listed, but instead wait until THEY thought it was safe.

This strikes me as a bit nanny'ish.
I feel like they should just basically follow the city's lead. If there's a travel ban, shut down then (not four hours early. Maybe an hour early) and if its lifted then reopen.

xkcd said...

Tip for keeping warm during winter biking, brought to you by SCIENCE!

Scroll down about ¾ to the question from David Nai

It's my bike said...

Brady Dale - What if the owners of CitiBike want to protect their property from idiots?

mikeweb said...

Is Cipo having Lemond for dinner?

Regular guy said...

I was going to comment on the Star Destroyer, but it's not worth my time and effort.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the delightful embarrassment of the tri-dork.

Getting beat to the transition by some guy in baggy shorts, running shoes, non-aero helmet and a bike worth maybe a quarter of the crash "victims" bike (not to mention superior bike handling skills), then he does the full superman endo.

More of this please.

Peter G said...

I keep watching the video. It's fascinating watching what happens when morons encounter morons. Trying to figure out why Mr. Running Shorts just pulled up short and why Maj. Tri Geek can't avoid him.

McFly said...

Not Down with the Clown Babs, just dickwad fake McFly again. ignore

I.C.P. said...

wOOt wOOt!!

Anonymous said...

Snob, Why is it that the winter bike hasn't been or become a popular segment in Canada's underpants. Selfish cyclists in other parts seem to embrace the idea or at least the marketing. http://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/buyers-guide-winter-bikes.html#iKWI3hxzkXpfhy3p.97

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 7:07pm,

The short answer is that Americans are stupid, especially when it comes to bikes. I really like those Racelight frames by the way, have come this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to ordering one on numerous occasions.

--Wildcat Etc.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Further to that, the stupidity is based in the American Fred's abject fear of tire clearance and fenders. They had to invent this whole idiotic "gravel bike" concept just to get them to try something different.

--Wildcat And So Forth

Yeah Cleveland! said...

Right state, wrong city. Mark Twain supposedly said when the world ended, he wanted to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind.

In other who cares, I took my life in my hands and rode to work today in the snow today. Who needs a fatty, my 27"x1.25" tires were spectacular. My brakes not so awesome.

Bogusboy said...

Jeezuz, I could watch that a hundred times....

Bogusboy said...

Jeezuz, I could watch that a hundred times....

Petal Boy said...

I went outside for a little ride around the block today and it was sooo mild outside! I was wearing just a thin purple sweater over my white button-up, fitted shirt, along with some cream colored slacks and boatshoes with no socks! It was just a lovely afternoon in Vancouver to see and be seen. I even saw some little flowers pushing up through the moist earth to say "Hi" to Mr Sun!

Old-timer said...

“Winter Bike”? ANY Rivendell frame, for EVERY season! Grant’s been preachin’ variable tire size clearence, and fenders/mud guards for, well, forever. He got it right, long, LONG ago.

McFly said...

The only thing I can think of as being more pathetic than being me is someone impersonating being me. He is not only making the comments but also replying to himself. Weird.

Arse said...

custom saddle for the fireside - Brookes?

Anonymous said...

Pedalpalooza is going to blow up this year, but hopefully not as a result of terrorism. I'm thinking of organizing a bsnyc ride where everyone has to dress up like a cynical New York bike rider(whatever that looks like) and ride a Brooks saddle. The Rock Crusher

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