Monday, February 23, 2015

On your marks, get set...read!!!

So Ed Begley, Jr. rode his bike to the Academy Awards in the rain:


That's great and all, but why no fenders?  See, to me it undermines his entire message, since it give the impression that he doesn't do this sort of thing routinely.  If he did, wouldn't he have fenders?  Plus, it's a black tie affair, so if you insist on wearing a helment you should at least find one shaped like a top hat:



Then again, I suppose the extreme non-pretentiousness of his bike makes up for its fenderlessness.  Downtube shifters and a kickstand?


Not to mention a quill stem, a frame pump, and a frame from...Performance?*


*(Upon closer inspection it's a Klein Performance, so that's 1,000 Retro-Fred points to him.)

Now that's impressive.  The helment-mirror-and-pant-cuff-retainer set must have been beside themselves, because that bike rolling on the red carpet is the bike co-op equivalent of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

Unfortunately, most members of the helment-mirror-and-pant-cuff-retainer set don't own TVs, so they probably missed the whole thing--unless they were listening to an NPR simulcast while scarfing quinoa chips.

As for me, I rode on the white carpet once again this past weekend:


And I was feeling pretty damn impressed with myself too--until I ran into this guy:


Humbling.

Speaking of being humbled (if by "humbled" you mean "flattened"), New York City drivers continue to take "Vision Zero" literally:


The bus driver stayed at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing, though no arrests have been made.

So a driver operating a bus with filthy windows kills a pedestrian in the crosswalk?  How will the NYPD ever solve this baffling mystery?

Hopefully they'll find the cyclist responsible.

Meanwhile, at least between awards shows, the media is slowly beginning to notice that it's open season on pedestrians (and cyclists):


But design is only half the problem. Less obvious, but no less consequential, was the legal shift through which society absorbed and dismissed the hazards of urban driving, exonerating individual drivers for crashes, even when they killed pedestrians. (In New York City, for example, 95 percent of traffic fatalities do not lead to arrests.)

This was not a quiet procedure. The early years of the automobile saw riots and vigilante justice over car crashes in major cities. There were proposals to outfit the “devil wagons” with mechanical speed limits. Woodrow Wilson once famously predicted that cars, realizing the violence of economic inequality, would bolster the cause of socialism in the United States.

Yet it has been nearly a century since drivers were regularly blamed, let alone penalized, for automobile violence. In concurrence with changes in city design, an evolving consensus made driving legally protected — and walking (and riding a bicycle) legally vulnerable.

The bit about how 95 percent of New York City traffic fatalities do not lead to arrests actually surprised me, since it seems more like 100 percent.  I was also intrigued by the mention of Woodrow Wilson, and indeed it turns out that he used to be a bike touring dork:


What’s far less well known is that Wilson was an ardent cycle tourist, who spent long vacations cycling around Britain, one time in the company of America’s most experienced State Department official, a Washington D.C. insider who spent sixty days a year cycle touring in Europe.

It’s highly probable that Wilson’s interests in good roads started when he was a cyclist, during his earlier career as a law and politics professor at Princeton University.

In fact, before he was elected, the press speculated that his hobby would inspire all of Washington to go Fred:



"If Gov. Wilson goes out much awheel, it will not be long before ambassadors and ministers and secretaries and military attaches will also be pedaling along the sleekly-oiled roads."

Did somebody say "sleekly-oiled roads?"



Anyway, in a sense this turned out true, because Wilson's legacy of Presidential bike-dorkdom survived well into the 21st century:


Not to mention Jimmy Carter's Rivendell:


And let's not forget our Secretary of State, who is the living lock-armed embodiment of the Fredly ethos.  Here he is riding with Jonathan Vaughters:


Legend has it that during the visit Vaughters gave Kerry a tuft of his sideburn hair, which Kerry then surreptitiously sprinkled into the palm of Lance Armstrong:


We all know what happened next, so if I were Vladimir Putin I'd be careful:


As for Woodrow Wilson, despite his affinity for cycling it seems that once he became President he got with the program and started running over kids with his car:


Young Crawford was greatly cheered when the President told him that he was to have a new bicycle with the President's compliments.

"I didn't know it was the President's car that I ran into," said the boy, shyly, to his distinguished visitor.

"I rather thought it was the President's car that ran into you," answered Mr. Wilson, smilingly.

Awww, isn't that cute?

See, people were more fatalistic back then when it came to kids.  If Polio didn't get you then the president's Pierce-Arrow did.

Lastly, here's some cheerful news:


A Chilean man who began an around-the-world bicycle journey four years ago and was closing in on a Guinness distance record has been killed.

Juan Francisco Guillermo was hit by a passing pickup truck while stopped on the side of a highway in rural Thailand. His Singaporean wife and 2-year-old son, who were traveling with him, sustained minor injuries.

Though it would seem that even rural Thailand is more evolved in New York City, at least when it comes to charging drivers:

The newspaper said the driver of the truck, who was unhurt, was charged with "careless driving resulting in death and injury."

Wow, you can do that there?

Here they would have ticketed the victim.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium! So what...?

BamaPhred said...

Say What?

benDE said...

holy shit!

Anonymous said...

FART BALS

benDE said...

I'd like to thank my sponsors, my agent, especially Roman Kreuzinger . . .

groanhammer said...

keeyaw

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

McFly said...

If I was Neil Armstrong I would go to parties and tell really lame-ass moon jokes and finish with "Ahhhhh I guess you had to be there....."

Buffalo Bill said...

I thought it never rained in southern california?

I wuz lied to.

Vernal Magina said...

dude, I had no fenders here in this city yesterday -- I prefer to rough it out there; if it's actually raining down, what's the use of preventing rain spittle from coming up off the ground/bike; and if it's just kinda damp on the ground, so what if I get a little dirty -- but man, yesterday was really the kind of day fenders would be useful!

ugh, all that snow and ice melting runoff etc. yikes

(... and thanks for the bicycling version of lemonparty today)

BamaPhred said...

Can you imagine running into the Presidential motorcade today?

streepo said...

scranus

ken e. said...

lucky!

JLRB said...

Well done Snob - that is some interesting history.

Fenders are evil pains in the ass. Bikes aren't made to fit them anymore, and if they can fit they force you to skinnier tires. And once on they squeak and rattle.

(Open season to criticize my failed fender installation skillz)

JLRB said...

McFly - That is awesome!

BamaPhred - I don't even like being near the motorcades when walking down the sidewalk - the shooters gazing out the windows as they drive by is not comforting.

Freddy Murcks said...

I think Jimmy's Riv and Rose's Betty Foy are about the coolest things I have seen in a long time.

leroy said...

My dog insists that Tom Hanks' companion in Cast Away was named after President Wilson.

I'm not sure I get his drift.

"There can be no equality or opportunity if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or singly cope with." said...

Snob surely (yes I will call you shirly) you must have one of those BSNY filth prophylactics left over from your book tours you can send Ed.

grog said...

One month until Spring, when we all hit the sleekly-oiled roads and trails.
scranus

Anonymous said...

So, if it was raining why didn't Ed just jump in his Nissan Leaf, zero CO2 just like his bike.

JB said...

I'm infatuated with the background couple, between Lance and Kerry.

(lady pointing; man is the Pretty in Pink father)

dockworker said...

There are no fenders on the Begley mobile because it rains maybe 3 days a year, during the day, for longer than maybe 2 hours.

A fairing would be more useful.

Of course, he's going to die unless he upgrades that bike. I mean, the risk of catastrophic failure to old crabon... Oh, nevermind.

Upgrade!!! Certain death!!!!

dop said...

SIR OTA'

balls™ said...

Was he wearing a helment?

PotbellyJoe said...

If we made a law that required clean windows, the reps would slip a rider on it that requires bikes to have a clean drivetrain.

We can't win.

You know if bicyclists came up with a system like poison dart frogs, where we wear bright colors and then shoot poison at any would be predator who gets to close... We may start to get respect on the asphalt threshing floor.

dockworker said...

Driving near the Oscars, is asking to sit in an absolute mess of traffic.

If one actually attended the event, it's another long, slow, mess getting in and out of the theater area using a car.

Ed seems like a practical, geeky, guy when he's been interviewed about his lifestyle habits.

JLRB said...

Why wasn't Boris on the red carpet?

JLRB said...

And - Snob's white carpet looks like a fine place to kick and glide the skinny heel free skis - another of my geeky passions ... indeed the tracks of fellow Nordic geeks are impossible to miss

streepo said...

That dummy with the top hat helment sort of looks like it should have been in Clockwork Orange.

Angry Beaver in Mirimichi said...

Oscars were last night? Who knew? Heard on radio this morning some film called Snobman won best picture. And, Ms. Babble got Best Supporting Patient in "Vancouver EMT".

babble on said...

OMG I love it! I was invited to attend the Oscars a few years ago. I couldn't make it, but would oh so definitely get there on a bicycle, givi4n half a chance- top hat healment and all.

Great post today, Snobi-Wan. This is why you are our spiritual leader. What can we do to change the enforcement of the laws, to stop the wholesale massacre on the roads?! People get mighty pissed at the thought of bearing the responsibility of their driving mistakes. And terrified at the thought of not driving everywhere they go, all of the time. It's pathetic.

I wish one of your presidents would take up the cause of protecting us vulnerable road users, and dissuading the whole one person per car lifestyle. That man would be a true hero. Like you in all of your witty, satirical glory.

bieks said...

Don't be so hard on fenderless Ed. Here in Vancouver I wouldn't think of going fenderless, but in LA? Not sure.

It only snows a couple of days a year here so I forgo snow tires on my car and just don't drive those days. Gotta think riding fenderless in LA would be a similar choice.

Il Pirata et Mort said...

Wilson was a man of such intellectual reknown that he was elected President of the US only two years after entering public life. First did a teo year stint as Gov of NJ and before that was President of Princeton.

Fred Frederickson said...

Enquiring (Inquiring) minds want to know ...

Is Uma a FREDerica?

Knute Fredrickson said...

Snobbie,

Will you be attending this years Prince Edward Island Seal Clubbing Festival? David Byrne is onboard again this year. You know how he loves to girlie squeal and speak french as he sends the little furries off to seal valhallah.

DB said...

Working on logistics for BSNYC Fondon't ride.
I think if Flyover drives up through St. Louis and picks up Frilly and heads for Chicago; and Nebraska guy, Minnesota guy, Des Moines guy and Madison guy converge on Crosspalms in Chicago with me; Bama and McFly meet in DC and pick up Kenny, then on to pick up the Philadelphia group. The Chicago contingent borrows Team Gourmets Ragbrai school bus with the party deck and heads east picking up Yeah, Cleveland and whoever else is out there and we all meet in NYC. The West Coasters and Australian group will have to make some space warp portal arrangements. We'll be staying with our NYC brethren, so Dooth, Mikeweb and Leroy, you may want to alert your spouses.
Just need a date, Wildcat.

babble on said...

Totally off topic... any of you peeps speak Italian? Can you translate, please?

Hai belle gambe e spingi quanti watt?

Does it have something to do with whether or not I use a power meter?

babble on said...

OMG I met a Fred and Cat 2 racer this weekend who was grumbling because his club insists on fenders here in Vancouver between October and April, when it rains almost constantly on your average year. He said "I don't believe in fenders.

Anonymous said...

I’m starting to see a nascent market emerging for the resurgence of a specific type of cycling accessory. Not that I fear tramps, mind you — with the right kind of protection they can be kind of fun.
http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/guns/

the commentariat said...

Babble, my Italian is a little rusty, but I think that he is asking you if you squirt.

Comment deleted said...

No criminality expected.

Comment deleted said...

"Your legs light me up like a 20 watt bulb."

Comment deleted said...

(Geez, I would have said "100 watt", at least. This is like saying "I feel like a hundred bucks.")

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,

My wife is in NYC today!

Say hello when you see her!

JLRB said...

Source Language

Hai belle gambe e spingi quanti watt
Human Translation

Target Language
Translate
You have nice legs and push how many twatts

Anonymous said...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1255345767/raht-racer-worlds-first-highway-speed-bike

Anonymous said...

So, yah, it definitely looks like the rendering of the Manhatten skyline featured on the Vanity/Premium license plates on that SUV from Friday's post features the freakin' "Twin Towers" of the Worlds Trades Centers. Is that creepy/gross/or what? Or are they like pre-9/11 plated? Those could be worth something to some post 9/11 ghoul, eh?

Dooth said...

Wildcat, you know it never rains in California (but, boy, don't they warn ya).

DB, the Fondon't is sounding epic already.

babbleluv, I heard enough Italian growing to translate that statement as a compliment to your legs or, maybe, eggs.

Fred Fredrickson said...

Hey Snobbie! My anatomically correct life size Uma action figure has sprung a leak. Can you at the least supply a patch kit? I mean really DUDE Uma likes it rough.

Dooth said...

...and if you've ever heard Italian growing, you know just how painful it can be.

babble on said...

Lol! Thank you, Dooth.

You guys are a lot more fun than google's translate page, and equally believable. It wouldn't translate the whole sentence, and it doesn't make a ton of sense when you put the parts it would translate all together, either. Maybe I will just respond as if he had said all of the potential translations... that way he will leave the interaction having gained the certainty that Canadian girls are starkers, and I won't have any further conversations in Italian.

babble on said...

Um, and I'm sorry... how can anyone NOT BELIEVE in fenders?!! What, are they just a figment of our collective imaginations?

babble on said...

Breaking news!! He wants to know how many watts these legs push. How on earth is a girl without a power meter supposed to know that?

babble on said...

Oh ferfucksake. So there is an easy way to translate on Google after all. Just exercising my inner blonde.

You guys are still waaaaay more fun.

And I like the Granfondon't plan. Count me in. Specially if that Frilly chick shows. And Road Queen. Where IS she, anyway? And where is Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist?

Anonymous said...

If you want to ride in style like Mr. Begley Jr., surprisingly, you can still buy a 1989 Klein Performance from the amusingly named "Budget Bicycle Center" for a mere $1000:

http://budgetbicyclectr.com/1989-klein-performance-elite-road-bicycle-56cm.html


Dave said...

I suspect the missing commentariatistas have been abducted by the supervillain cabal headed by Ed Begley Jr. and that dastardly mustachioed master of disgruntlement, Roille Figners. (Remember that guy?) They are being held in the secret underground Fortress of Smarmitude, being fed nothing but chocolate, and pinned under scanning tunneling electron microscopes. Objective: to discover cure for dorkitis afflicting said supervillains. Etc....
Hey, I'd rather watch that movie than "Birdman".

By the way, some of my best friends are robots. Ok - all of them.

Bad Things Hours After Climax said...

Three bicycles worth an estimated 27,000 euros ($30,000) belonging to the Chinese world track cycling team have been stolen from a hotel car park near Paris, according to French police. The theft took place overnight Sunday from the van where the bikes, which were still boxed up, were being stored in preparation for the flight home. The back door of the van had been forced. "We will have to see if the CCYV camera images are clear enough," a police source said. The theft came just hours after the climax to the world championships in which the Chinese won a gold and bronze medal.

Sean Penn is Still a Dutch said...

Backstage, Iñárritu, who directed Penn in the 2003 film “21 Grams,” said, he found the “green card” comment “hilarious.”

“Sean and I have that kind of brutal relationship where only true friendship can survive,” Iñárritu said. “I make on him a lot of very tough jokes that I will not tell you.”

“Calm down people!” the Latin Times said in an op-ed. “That ‘racist’ comment Sean Penn made was an inside joke with his friend. ... No need to start a World War III over this.”

Paul Hastings said...

while the pickup driver was 'charged with "careless driving resulting in death and injury."' its likely he'll just get a minor fine (even though he was indeed driving dangerously by passing on the left/wrong side). a couple of years ago a driver here killed an english couple on their round the world bike trip too. all he got was a 5000 baht fine (about $150 US).

Fred in a Mine said...

At the Republican Clinic of Speleotherapy near the town of Soligorsk, south of Minsk, in Belarus, children are treated for respiratory illnesses 1,378 feet underground between layers of potassium and salts in an operational salt mine. According to the state clinic, more than 7,000 children and adults seek medical treatment for respiratory illness each year in the subsurface chambers of its facilities

9 9 9 said...

50/20/30 Broken Down

1. Fixed Costs

These are bills and expenses that don’t vary much from month to month, like rent or mortgage payments, utilities and car payments. We also include subscriptions, such as gym memberships and Netflix accounts, in fixed costs because you’re committed to paying them on a monthly basis.

When it comes to fixed costs, our Planners generally suggest that you aim to keep your monthly total no more than 50% of your take-home pay.

2. Financial Goals

LearnVest Planners typically recommend putting at least 20% of your take-home pay toward important payments or contributions that will help you secure your financial foundation. We believe there are three essential goals everyone should strive for: paying down credit card debt, saving for retirement, and building an emergency fund. But your financial goals can also include larger savings priorities, like a down payment on a new home.

3. Flexible Spending

Finally, consider budgeting no more than 30% of your take-home pay toward flexible spending. These are day-to-day expenses that can vary from month to month, like eating out, groceries, shopping, hobbies, entertainment, or gas.

We include groceries in flexible spending because even though food is a necessity in your budget, how you spend on food can vary. Some weeks you might eat out more, while others you may buy more groceries to cook at home. At LearnVest, our Planners often say that it doesn’t really matter what you spend your money on each month in this category, as long as you're aware of your spending and not going over your total flex budget each month.

Our Planners often remind clients that it doesn’t really matter what you spend your money on each month in this category, as long as you're aware of your spending and not going over your total flexible spending budget.

dop said...

I think RCT & Road Queen are in Sunny FLA

(in my day, it took 3 letters to abbreviate FL)

JB said...

"Here's to all that gorgeous snatch in FLA."
"Fvcked the barmaid last trip."

Movie?

The commentariat said...

50/20/30

1) 50% traditional missionary position.

2) 30% doggie/cowgirl.

3) 20% oral/anal/Vietnamese spin-fuck chair.

Our Planners often remind clients that it doesn’t really matter what you spend your money on each month in this category, as long as you're aware of your spending and not going over your total flexible spending budget.

Old-timer said...

Oh my!

Pervus Begley said...

Did you all know that camel toe desirability/attractiveness is measured in units called 'Cipo's' with 1,000 Cipos being the ultimate in camel toe, camel toeness?

James Earl Carter said...

50/20/30

Oh how I would loathe living in your world. With no reverse cowgirl, no string of pearls and no around the world how would I exist? Oh the inhumanity is almost too much to bear. Plus haters never win!

Anonymous said...

Moreoresidentsonbikesorimakillya

Anonymous said...

Now hold on there snob....pres. Wilson was a Democrate AND a Presbyterianism. Are you allowed to criticize him like that?. I guess you are safe because you also nailed Bush, the filthy republican so all is a wash..




babble on said...

dop - That makes sense... she is allergic to winter.

Reggie Dunlop said...

JB @ 10:44:
Slapshot, of course.

dop said...

Babble- If we can believe RCT's blog

Reggie/JB- That great dialog, beloved by guys, was written by Nancy Dowd

babble on said...

Um, and just to loop y'all... never, ever use google's translate program. It was waaaaaaay off base. I'd have been closer had I used the commentariat's translation

babble on said...

Dop- Doh!! Forehead slap. Of course! Strange... it wasn't in my feed.

Ryan Kelley said...

Is there a chance you would be willing to do a skit at the Academy Awards?

You would sing, there would be a fleet of dancing fixies and the climax would be a big truck ruining the parade.

On second thought, that might have unintended consequences such as Doogie Howser cheering.

Nobody knows what you look like, Bike Snob. That might hurt your chances of getting an invite to the handsome people gala.