This is proof, as if you needed it, that you do not need to pass an IQ test in order to purchase a motor vehicle or obtain a driver's license, and that even the most sophisticated all-wheel drive system is utterly useless if you're stupid. It also underscores the fact that we're all "sharing" the streets with a bunch of addled morons. Is it any reason drivers keep running over people? Can you imagine how bent out of shape this dimwit must get when he has to slow down for a cyclist for a half a minute?
Anyway, I really hope that guy drove up from Florida and had never seen snow before, because even the most incompetent driver should be able to get out of that spot in no more than a few seconds.
Speaking of Florida, yesterday I mentioned world record holder Mike Unklesbay, and a reader pointed out that the reason I couldn't find any information about his feat was that I'd spelled his name wrong. Here's the story:
Specifically, he's set a record for off-road miles ridden in a 24-hour period:
The 41-year-old Port Orange man has counted a lot of them as an endurance mountain-bike racer. And Tuesday, he set off on the beach near Frank Rendon Park to log 24 hours of beach riding and perhaps a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Here's a closer look at the bike setup, which as far as I can tell is not electric:
And here's the gripping video:
I like the mid-ride interview, because he's clearly under the impression that he's doing something monumentally important:
Hey, we've all been there. What amateur bike racer among us has not accepted a bottle hand-up with an expression of tortured self-importance?
(Also, what cyclist among us does not hold some sort of world record? I'm fairly sure I hold the one for most miles traveled without a crotchal adjustment.)
And here's Unklesbay's record if you're feeling spunky:
(But how many times did he adjust?)
Though I don't think it should count because he did it on a beach.
With the exception of the Invasion of Normandy, nothing of any significance was ever accomplished on a beach.
I am, however, impressed that he was still riding in the "sport" class as recently as 2012:
It just goes to show that if you devote an inordinate amount of time to riding bicycles you can get into the local newspaper.
Meanwhile, the big news in cycling is that a giant underground bike park has opened in Louisville, Kentucky:
The complex includes more than 45 trails marked by different technical skills and riding styles — and by features such as jumps and a cargo container that been integrated into a bike overpass.
Having attended the IMBA World Summit last year I know they're way into these bike parks, which they feel represent the way forward, at least for the baggy-pants bike-jumping set. I, however, have mixed feelings about them. On one hand, they're pretty cool, and I would have been all over them when I was like 12. On the other hand, I watched the video, and it put me to sleep faster than a canary in a coal mine:
Mostly though I can't help feeling suspicious of any enterprise that conspires to force cyclists underground, because it's fairly obvious that once these things get popular enough they're going to seal us up inside and be done with us.
In fact, I tweeted as much, and moments later erstwhile New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan expressed a similar sentiment regarding another underground scheme:
Too many cyclists are already six feet under. A London plan to trap them all underground won't create safer streets. http://t.co/OvgzRGT8WOThis plan, which exists only in goofy renderings submitted to some contest for urban planning dorks, involves turning old subway tunnels into bike and pedestrian paths:
— Janette Sadik-Khan (@JSadikKhan) February 10, 2015
A proposal from the global architecture firm Gensler, the London Underline would transform abandoned London Underground tunnels into subterranean cycletracks and pedestrian paths. The plan calls for reclaiming disused infrastructure, along the lines of New York's High Line or the proposed Dupont Underground in Washington, D.C. Plus, the London Underline would ostensibly provide a few connector routes for cyclists (and pedestrians, and even tourists).
Evidently, the smuggies don't like it:
Lately, London finds itself enamored with all sorts of magpie infrastructure. That's the term that Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize coined for a certain kind of architecture or planning that's more glitter than gold. Ferris wheels, streetcars, and plenty of high-profile, high-design building plans fall under this rubric: Shiny things that catch the eye but can't be taken seriously.
Hey, Mikael Colville-Andersen singlehandedly invented urban cycling advocacy, so there you go.
Then again, this guy likes it, so how bad can it be?
If only I could Photoshop, I would insert Thumbs-Up-Boris-Bike Guy into everything.
They seriously fucked up those renderings though by not including Bret:
Those goddamn tunnels were made for him.
Anyway, between underground bike parks in Louisville and repurposed tube lines in London we should all be transformed into Morlocks within a generation:
(Obligatory Morlock reference.)
Alas, only American manufacturing--or at least assembly--can save us:
Kent International has supplied bikes to Walmart for many years. But their bikes produced in Manning will be the first U.S.-assembled bikes sold in our stores in more than a decade. Watch how they’re making a difference – and why we’re proud to work with them as part of our $250 billion commitment to purchase more products that support American jobs.
Here's the heartwarming video:
Just stay on the sidewalk where you belong.