In the wake of the CIRC report, should I divest myself of my US Postal bicycle holdings now, or should I hope they appreciate in value over time due to the irony factor?
--Fictional Writer Of Letter Actually Composed By Blogger As A Contrived and Transparent Rhetorical Device
You raise a compelling fiscal question. It remains to be seen whether your bicycle will appreciate in value over the long term, or whether the market already hit "maximum irony" with the USADA Reasoned Decision and the Oprah confession. We may just need to watch this auction closely and see:
Up for sale is a Trek USPS road bike with Spinergy wheels. I think it's a 52 cm bicycle. The stand over height is 29" or 29.5" the bike does shows some signs of usage but is still in great condition and rides great . Dura- Ace components Please pay with PayPal within 2 days of auction end . Bike will not come with pedals or triathlon bars as seen in pictures . No returns , sale is final . Thank you
Nice Spinergys, but it doesn't come with the triathlon bars?!?
Now that's a dealbreaker.
Speaking of divesting yourself of your holdings, a family in the Toronto suburbs has gone car-free, and they've made the news for it:
What? No car?!? So how did they do it? Sure, I've heard of people not owning cars, but they're usually world-famous musicians who live in the middle of Manhattan and get driven to and from airports:
(I don't own a car, but fortunately all those Uber drivers do.)
Well, as it turns out, going car-free in the Toronto suburbs is easy. All you have to do is quit your pesky job, which is apparently an option for people in Canada:
“We sat down and did the math and basically worked out (that) what I was paying in daycare and for my car (meant) I was working so I could have a car so I could be very tired,” she said
So you mean to tell me that in 2015 a Canadian family of five (5) can still survive on a single income while living in a major metropolitan area? Jeez. I doff my toque to you, Great White North:
Anyway, once that inconvenient job was out of the way, it merely became a simple matter of saying "Fuck it, we're getting rid of a Hyundai." Oh, and buying a folding bike:
The Hyundai was the first to be sold. Once he figured out that the GO train fare was less than the price of downtown parking, Kevin stopped driving to work. He rides a folding bike 10 minutes between home and the station and then between Union Station and his office near University Ave. and Dundas St. He has become such an enthusiastic cyclist, he will occasionally bike all the way and he figures he’s dropped between 10 and 20 pounds.
See that? The American Dream is alive and well, only it's taunting us from just north of the border.
Meanwhile, here in New York City, the new taxi driver exam is focussing more on safety and less on geography:
If you're like me you were probably shocked to learn that New York City taxi drivers have to take any kind of exam, much less one that tests geography and safety, since the two qualities most commonly associated with cabbies are "reckless" and "lost." But apparently they really do have to take an exam, and apparently it's even "rigorous:"
Knowing how to get around the five boroughs of New York City — understanding not just the geography, but the nuances of timing and the endless exceptions to every rule — is part of driving a yellow cab here. And as part of their training, New York cabbies have long had to face a rigorous set of geography questions on the 80-question test they must pass to get a license. Landmarks and popular destinations were on the test, but so were less familiar streets and alternate routes. It was not quite “The Knowledge,” the test London cabbies spend years preparing for, but even drivers from the city found it daunting.
Ah, "The Knowledge." Remember my Brooks Inspector Gadget jacket?
Well, I had to go to some street in Shoreditch to get fitted for it, and the cabbie couldn't find the street, so I had to look it up on my phone for him.
So either "The Knowledge" is overrated, or else the guy who fitted me for my jacket is so goddamn disgustingly cool that even London cabbies can't find him.
And scoff if you will, but the jacket is amazing and I wear it all the time. Yes, it is very expensive, but you can always get one of these from Rivendell instead:
It's made from a very similar fabric but it's a fraction of the cost, and as you can see you can use the savings to buy a second top tube...and a Brooks.
That way, all my sponsors win.
(Subliminal message compelling you to buy...buy...buy...)
Anyway, sure, all of this is probably a boondoggle to make it easier for the TLC can compete with Uber, but when it comes to taxi drivers I'm totally fine with prioritizing safety over knowledge--though others seem to feel differently:
“If I got into a cab and the driver didn’t know where Penn Station was, that’d be ridiculous,” said Carolyn Baker, a lifelong New Yorker who has been taking cabs for more than 50 years. “I mean, would you hire a chef who never fried an egg?”
If you're a "lifelong New Yorker" then you can take the three fucking seconds to tell the driver where Penn Station is--and even if the driver doesn't know where it is before he starts driving I guarantee he will by the end of his first day. In fact, test or no, by the end of the first week that same clueless driver will be able to find Penn Station, Grand Central, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, all three airports, and the homes of two or three celebrities--not to mention witnessing various sex acts in the back seat that he never knew existed. Plus, what's worse: a driver who doesn't know where Penn Station is, or a driver who attempts to run over a bike messenger and instead severs a tourist's leg?
It's easy to give directions; it's a lot harder to give someone back a limb.
Or, if you don't like it, you could take the bus instead--and on Staten Island the buses are going to have bike racks soon!
Though of the bus drivers don't like it:
City buses on Staten Island will soon sport bike racks as part of a New York City Transit program that bus drivers are already slamming as a surefire way to slow down commuters.
Oh, save it. I bet you could load 50 bikes onto a bus rack in the time it takes for the average bus passenger to fish out a MetroCard while blocking the entrance. Watching people board a bus in New York City will dispel any illusions you've ever had about the existence of a so-called "New York minute." If you've ever wondered what it's like to be inside of a fecal impaction in progress, go ride the bus. But of course we all know how bus drivers hate getting blamed for stuff:
“The consensus right now — no one’s crazy about it,” said a transit source who works at Staten Island’s Castleton depot. “If the bike falls off, it’s on us. If it gets damaged, it’s on us.”
First they're getting in trouble for running over pedestrians with the right of way, now they've got to worry about a bunch of bikes?!?
It's getting to be like a bus driver can't get fired for texting while driving, then get his job back, then post to Facebook while he's driving the bus about how he wants to kill people, then actually kill someone while speeding, and then call his union representative instead of 911 in this town anymore:
It was the bus driver’s first day back on the job, since he had been previously fired for texting while driving, but the union got him reinstated with only one week of retraining. (Conversation with an MTA exec. said that they knew he was a “problem” but that they were instructed to allow him to drive again and they had no choice.) According to the New York Daily News, the driver had posted to Facebook while he was driving his bus, “Thinking about how many people I want to kill today, including myself” and “I hate these people. I want to kick the (expletive) out of them.” The driver was texting-while-driving; posting messages to Facebook and reading a newspaper all while he was sitting behind the wheel and driving a MTA bus. His driving record also included two red-light violations and a citation for “reckless operation of a bus.” The MTA did suspend the driver and take steps to fire him, but the penalties were curbed by a contract arbitrator who determined that they were too harsh. Instead the driver, was given refresher training and was back driving an express bus on November 4, 2009, which was his very first day back at work when he killed our son, Seth Kahn.
At the end of his run (his bus was “not in service”) at the time he ran over and killed Seth. He was off route without permission. He was speeding around the corner; making a left-hand turn (doing 15 mph, 10 mph above the speed that a bus is supposed to do while making a turn).
The driver’s first phone call after he ran our son over was to his union.
Thanks, De Blasio.
Then again, I suppose it's always possible a bus driver could get some nightmare passenger who's returning from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, claims the driver is responsible for damaging his stupid $1,000 derailleur pulleys, and then tries to sue the MTA:
(Why not just wear them as earrings?)
Or maybe accuses the driver of scratching his stupid ugly artisanal Softride:
Complete with ridiculous cockpit:
(That's not a cockpit; it's a facactapit.)
That looks like something you'd buy at Williams-Sonoma to chop herbs:
Or even claims the bus driver crushed his bamboo fat bike:
I also wouldn't blame a female bus driver for "accidentally" crushing one of these:
(Via Stevil Kinevil)
Signorina (young woman in Italian) is a unique 16-pound bicycle with frameset constructed entirely of carbon fiber composite. The sculpted female form is functionally incorporated into a conventional road-racing bicycle configuration. Her responsive geometry is that of today’s best road racers; the double seat tubes help create a very stiff platform. Signorina is equipped with Campagnolo 2014 Super Record components and Campagnolo Bora One 35 wheels.
Signorina was conceived and constructed by Allan Abbott. Abbott has designed and constructed several unique human-powered vehicles; in 1973 he rode the first of these designs to a new paced bicycle speed record of 140.5 mph. Abbott co-authored the book “Human-Powered Vehicles” in 1995.
Interestingly, it seems Allan Abbott forgot to include "registered sex offender"* in his bio:
*[Disclaimer: as far as I can tell, Allan Abbott is not a registered sex offender...yet.]
Though he did manage to squeeze in a rape joke, which is pretty much the same thing:
What a douchebag.
I wanted to learn more about Allan Abbott, but the only thing more dangerous than doing an Internet search for "sex offender" is doing one for "bicycle speed record," and before I knew it I was looking at stuff like this:
Yeah, that's a shin fairing made out of a bottle of Armor All:
I'm assuming he's participating in some kind of triathlon, but they've replaced the running leg with LARPing.