I will return on April 8th with regular updates.
As time goes on this blog's posting schedule will be increasingly tethered to the school holiday schedule, and the schools are going to be closed the next few days in observance of some of the more popular Judeo-Christian superstitions. For example, in my family, we load up our BB guns and celebrate the Avenging Easter Bunny of Death by shooting at raw eggs:
(We also say a special prayer.)
Then, once the kids are asleep, the grown-ups slip into the neighborhood houses and get totally plastered on the Elijah wine.
Hey, the Jews think it's a miracle and we get free booze. That's what theologists call "win-win."
Second of all, here's a Tweet that was recently Tweeted in my direction:
Hey @bikesnobnyc I spotted this beauty in Chicago yesterday. Although the photo is recent it has a real #TBT vibe no? pic.twitter.com/9juW06GoNNWow. This may very well be the narrowest set of drop bars ever recorded:
— Jason Marshall (@jmarshall312) April 2, 2015
In fact, they're so narrow that the drops barely clear the headtube, and I don't think you'd even be able to execute a full shift with those STI levers before hitting the opposite one:
Meanwhile, I was riding back home this morning when I witnessed a New York City Department of Sanitation truck run two stop signs in rapid succession--the second just as a pedestrian was about to step into the crosswalk. One second later and he'd have been flattened like a cardboard box for recycling. It's hard to put much faith in "Vision Zero" when the city can't even marshall its own employees. Then you've got the bus drivers, whose union continues to fight driver accountability:
(Isn't "extreme safety" a good thing when you're talking about buses?)
As bus drivers waited to turn left at a traffic light, Tommy McNally handed them fliers warning of a new city law aimed at cracking down on motorists who injure or kill pedestrians and bicyclists. The law subjects motorists in such wrecks to a potential misdemeanor charge, fine and civil penalties.
“If you see anybody in the crosswalk, just hang out,” Mr. McNally, an official with a union representing city bus drivers, told one of them one morning last week. “Don’t get arrested.”
The leafleting by the Transport Workers Union Local 100 carried another message: Expect delayed buses if drivers, faced with the threat of arrest, take attention to safety to an extreme.
As you may recall, all of this started when police enforced the so-called "Vision Zero" law against hitting pedestrians and cyclists with the right of way (imagine that!) and the transit worker's union responded by attempting to incite some sort of class war.
Now they're threatening delays due to driving safely, despite the fact that "delayed" is the default speed of a New York City bus no matter how recklessly it's driven:
“Don’t expect to be on time,” J.P. Patafio, another union representative handing out fliers in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall, said in an interview. “Things could really slow down.”
I'd say threatening delays sounds like a Mafia protection racket, but in this case it's exactly the opposite. The Mafia comes into your place of business and says, "Pay 'da protection money. It would be a shame if the restaurant burned down," whereas the transit union is saying, "You'll be late either way, so it would be a shame if we drove more carefully and nobody got hurt."
I'm especially disappointed in this whole kerfuffle as a parent, because it fucks up my whole "Who are the people in your neighborhood?" sensibility. Kids love riding buses, and when we do we always give the driver a friendly hello. Sure, sometimes the driver responds like we just farted, but usually they respond in kind, and then I lead the whole bus in a spirited round of "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round."
So it's a bummer that in a few years I'll have to explain to my kids that bus drivers want to be allowed to run them over so they need to be extra careful.
Also, I appreciate the job bus drivers do, but I've also seen them do some crazy shit, especially now that I live by the city line where both the New York City Buses and the Westchester Bee-Line Buses make their respective u-turns at the ends of their respective lines.
Now that's some fancy driving.
Moving on to marketing, sometimes confused people send me press releases:
Dear Bike Snob NYC Editors:
Inspired by the classic bike musette, WaterField Designs owner Gary Waterfield maintained the musette’s best features—its straightforward design and lightweight, compact convenience—and upgraded it with enhanced comfort, improved materials and increased functionality to create a handsome, new multi-use bag.
A designer musette? Tell me more:
So it's a wearable bag for carrying your everyday items? Yeah, it looks nice and all, but that's in no way a musette.
That's called a purse.
I'm firing my editorial staff.
And here's another press release, which stood out only because of the company's name:
Boeris Bikes celebrates 105 years. A company in continuous changing and modernization that accommodates to the needs of our clients.
Artisan tradition and experience merge to create a precious product, thought for backing up your passions.
Our site is now updated with new pictures and contents in order to stay in close contact with those who enjoy, even online, the Made In Italy quality and efficiency.
Boeris Bikes? I thought that was the name of the bike share system in London:
("Bikey sharing to the faraway towns...")
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right then fan-freaking-tastic, and if you're wrong you'll see when musettes attack.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and beware the Avenging Easter Bunny of Death.
See you back here on April 8th.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) What happened to this Grateful Dead dancing bear?
--Hit by a garbage truck
--He's tripping balls
--I killed him
2) What is this professional bike racer doing?
--He's taking a break so he can bask in the sun on the Flemish Riviera
--He's peeing for distance
--He was blown off his bicycle by stiff winds during the Gent-Wevelgem semi-classic
--He is receiving an invisible blowjob like that scene in "Ghostbusters"
3) What is this?
--Volvo's new glow-in-the-dark bodypaint for cyclists
--Subaru's new crotchal deodorant for mountain bikers
--BMC's new Swiss hairstyling spray for Euro-pros
--Extra-strength pepper spray (special Cipollini formula)
4) Why has Specialized recalled 8,300 aerobars?
--The are not aerodynamic enough
--They are too aerodynamic
--The single bolt holding the aerobar extension can loosen because most Freds and Tridorks are fat
--Because aerobars are stupid and 99.5% of recreational cyclists cannot adequately control a bicycle equipped with them
5) If you are for mandatory bicycle helment laws then you are a sellout and a traitor who should be forced to give up your bicycle and lease a Hyundai.
6) What is this Fred wearing?
--A virtual reality mask
--A home VO2 max tester
--A facial helment
--A home altitude trainer that uses rider flatulence to simulate cycling at high elevation
7) What does "BA" stand for?
--"Bad Attitude" (e.g. "B.A. Baracus")
--All of the above
***Special "Recumbent Down!"--Themed Bonus Video***