Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It Happened One Wednesday

Well, it's Wednesday, so please join me in congratulating, uh, me, because I got something into the Washington Post:


(No fuckin' way I'm reading the comments.)

Thanks to Mike Madden for making it possible.  Also, a very special thanks to my colleague-for-a-day Courtland Milloy, who has done more to unwittingly undermine anti-cycling sentiment with his moronic columns than I ever could:


(Courtland and I have two things in common: we've both written about bikes for the Washington Post, and we both prefer bib shorts.)

Now that opinion pieces I've written have run in the New York Times and the Washington Post, I like to think that both papers have pending obituaries for me on file, and hopefully when I finally bite it they will make liberal use of the word "scranus."

Anyway, yesterday I headed out to run some errands on the Ironic Orange Julius Bike, which you'll notice does not require a periscope thanks to the comfy Nitto bars I got from Rivendell:


As I flitted to and fro I felt especially self-righteous, mostly because I knew my opinion (which technically isn't an opinion, since I'm 100% right) was about to be published in an important newspaper.  (Or at least on its website.)  So when I encountered these parked cars blocking the entire sidewalk I fired off an angry tweet at Enterprise Rent-A-Car:


It only occurred to me afterwards that maybe the cars didn't belong to Enterprise after all.  Briefly, I regretted my impetuousness, but then I regretted my regret.  "Awww, did I huwt the poor giant company's feewings?," I mocked.  Also, regardless of whose cars they are, shouldn't Enterprise be responsible for what goes on in its own driveway?  After all, watching pedestrians being forced to shimmy between or around these cars was maddening.  Then I thought about going inside and talking to somebody about it, but waiting at those counters is bad enough when you actually have to rent a car, so there was no way I was going to do it merely out of some sense of civic responsibility.  It's much easier to just tweet and complain, which is pretty much exactly what's wrong with the 21st century.

In any case, to my surprise, I received a reply:
You'll be pleased to know I duly ratted them out, and if Enterprise would like me to craft a sternly-worded company-wide memo for them they know where to find me--though I was disappointed they didn't attempt to buy me off with free rental car vouchers.

Yes, it's hard being a rental car company.  Not only do you have to put out figurative fires on Twitter, but you also have to put out actual fires in your rental fleet:



A Long Island man managed to set three cars on fire and give himself second-degree burns while attempting to rid his rental vehicle of bedbugs by dousing it in rubbing alcohol. Then, apparently, he lit a cigarette.

There's no way that car wasn't going on fire.  Even if he hadn't torched it while trying to kill the bedbugs, then he certainly would have managed to do it while filling the gas tank before returning it.

Anyway, I was still riding high on self-righteousness when I got home and found this waiting for me at the front door:


It's going on this, which is cowering on a UPS truck as I type this:


In fact, the driver's probably waiting outside right now with a periscope so the moment I go to the bathroom he can ring the buzzer, leave a tag on the door, and drive away.

But once I do take delivery, you can be sure my first upgrade will be an integrated kickstand/pump/tire lever/tail light/did I miss anything?


Meet the inventor:


"Hello everybody.  What a great season to ride, right?  Except when something like this happens:"


I dunno, she looks pretty happy to me.

Nevertheless, he's going to try to sell you a kickstand pump whether you want one or not:


And to prove it, he's challenged to Freds to a "pump-off:"



Holy shit, my kid's name is Max Pressure Comparence!


Now that's just freaky.

111 comments:

ricochet said...

Podium

Envious foldist said...

Podium!

Anonymous said...

Scranus!

Buffalo Bill said...

Congratulations!

Kenny Banya said...

top ten Kenny

Anonymous said...

Great article in the WP.

And leave it to a teenage boy to figure out how to get maximum pumping action.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

RANTWICK said...

You are right snob, don't read the comments. I couldn't help myself... hope you have better restraint than I.

balls™ said...

Even you're nemisis over at TreeHugger picked up your Washington Post thing. Does that make him a frienemy now?

scranus
scranus
scranus
scranus
scranus
scranus
scranus
scranus

Anonymous said...

Hey Balls, your an idiot.

Love,
Balls

Steve B said...

I made the mistake of reading some of the comments on the WP article. Bad, bad idea.

Good piece though, Snob!

Anonymous said...

Ka-POOYA!

Freddy Murcks said...

Is a kickstand pump really less dorky and more functional than a fucking, motherfuckin' frame pump? Jeebus!! Kids these days.

Anonymous said...

kickstsand girl is cute I guess that's how you sell something

#thxrepresent

Buffalo Bill said...

I bet the editor at the wp used up a couple of red pencils correcting all the references to helments in that piece.

Way to stir the pot snob.

K-Bo said...

I read the comments.... Rubes...

ken e. said...

zzzzz!

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Up there!

Saw a great video last night on Facebook of a fellow changing a tube last night with his feet (due to lack of arms).
Really wild. I forgot to post the link. I am sure some of you folks have seen it.

vsk

bieks said...

Not surprised Enterprise replied. Budget would have just chided you for not buying their optional "car parked in your way" insurance.

Anonymous said...

Good two, Snob!

(This one plus the Post one + 2)

Dave said...

My neck is hurting from reading this blog. Maybe I should prop my chin off the keyboard, with a bag of Cheetos or something. But as I eat the Cheetos my chin drops again. Guess I'll buy a periscope. Must preserve my aero reading position, though.

Anonymous said...

Toppus XX

JB said...

How do you decide which single-speed city bike to ride: State or On One?

Anonymous said...

Man, you were shit-faced towards Enterprise after their kind and courteous comments to help you. You should give them an apology for your language towards them.

BTW, I LOVE Enterprise. Best rental agency around.

Mark

PS; watch out for the cars. They do hurt when you hit them.

paulb said...

Longing for vicarious gratification means I hope for a Riv parked at WCRM Towers. I guess I'm not the only one who, full of regret, shakes head sadly at Riv price tags. Milwaukee job seems good practical value. Also, WP column = guest excellence.

Lenny Weinrib said...

"...my kid's name is Max Pressure Comparence!"

Supreme Court Justice Max Pressure Comparence. All pro linebacker Max Pressure Comparence. Both sound equally good.

DB said...

Good post today!
If you decide to read the comments, you do have a few folks on your side.

McFly said...

Dang it. I was waiting for that Kickstand Pump Kickstarter to segue into some soft porn. It did not.

Anonymous said...

HEY DOES ANYBODY KNOW BIKESNOB'S EMAIL ADDRESS FOR STORY LEADS? I'M EITHER DUMB, LAZY (MAYBE BOTH) AND I'D LIKE TO GIVE HIM A STORY LEAD FOR AN IMPORTANT PSA IN NYC FOR CYCLISTS.

Bodacious Ta' Ta's said...

"I dunno, she looks pretty happy to me."

With a rack like that who wouldn't be?

Anonymous said...

"I'M EITHER DUMB, LAZY"

You are also obnoxious.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:27pm,

I HEAR HE READS THESE COMMENTS!

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

oh snap thanks anonymous for corroborating the opinions of my parents, sister and girlfriend. I appreciate it. Anyhow, I'm not trying to sell something. There is a serious road hazard on the well frequented hudson greenway. I'd respectfully ask you to eat me. And, if this is Eben just getting all cranky pants because I wrote in caps then I'm not sorry, but I still think you should see what I've got with pictures and all. I thought it was important enough to call 311 and 911 as well as sitting out for 2 hours (like a schnook) on a cold friday afternoon warning people of it until somebody showed up to fix it (never).

BamaPhred said...

A two fer Weednesday!
Pump Kickstarter looks interesting, pumper babe is hot, but still no deal unless it also shoots rockets, flares, smoke, and an oil slick to ward off road ragers
Here, I'll save you from reading the comments:
Whining, racist, scofflaw, deserve to be run over, what about the children, you're an idiot, buy a tag, registration, license, pay road taxes, etc
Nothing to see here, move along, no criminality suspected.
It's a great post in the Post

Anonymous said...

F**k it, I'll just say what I have to say in this thread. I can't imagine why my original post is more obnoxious than the "podiums" every day. Anyhow, on the hudson greenway someplace around 93-96th street there is a section of the bike path that is sandwiched by two metal bollards. I suppose they are for traffic calming. One of the two is gone. Just a metal stump is there. It is the same color as the road. It is hard to see, and can't be ridden over, because it is too big. I stopped, called 311. They will fix it in 14 days, maybe. So, I called 911 to have somebody come put a cone or something. I waited for somebody for 2 hours, the whole time pointing it out to passing runners and cyclists. Nobody ever came. I'm a native New Yorker and figured this would happen, but what am I gonna do, just walk away without trying? Apparently, it has been like that two weeks prior to my afternoon crusade. I also went to the precint nearby when they didn't show up, and they just said "ok we will check it out". This after the dispatch told me somebody was coming multiple times. The story is longer and there are some comedic parts; ive also got pictures. If anybody gives a crap, or if Eben is willing to put it on his site (after seeing the image) then thats cool and maybe something will be done. If not, then I hope the first person to break their face on it is...you know who you are.

Yes or No said...

Snob, I scanned through a bunch of the WP comments (over 500 so far). Lots of people agree with, or at least understand your points.

A few SUV drivers would like to launch a Proton Torpedo at you from their Battlestar Galactica sized vehicles.

This just in, Fox News poll says drivers overwhelming want bicycles banned.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...FUCK ME!!! and put a helment on before you read the comments on the washington post oped.

don't go there snob... your scranus will burst and your obituary will be posted today.

grog said...

Snobbers, you got a big mention on Treehugger, too.

Greenbelt said...

Brave. The Post comments are dominated by scared and resentful suburban flight types, like Courtland Milloy.

PotbellyJoe said...

That WashPost article was spot on. And the comments on the article are exactly what I expected.

"Grr, I'm in a car and entitled, you bikes slow me down and are faster in traffic than me. Therefore I hate you because you have to have caused this traffic by your not stopping for traffic shtick."

I am not a robot. Robot's don't harm people.

Envious folder said...

WCRM, have Brompton offered you a place today in the 2015 Brompton World Championship criterium around Buckingham Palace on 1st August to try out your new folder? Pity we poor suckers who've been dragging ourselves to Blenheim Palace and Goodwood for the last few years but got the bum's rush from Brompton's ballot for places in London. If I had a Cambium to replace my B17, maybe I'd feel better about it. As it is I'll just take the B17 off my extended seatpost so I can literally stick my Brompton up my arse, like they seem to want me to. Disappointed and bitter, moi?

chances_are said...

Anonymous,

They'll fix it.... Right after the first injury lawsuit. That's how your tax dollars work!

Pumping model is cute, but the problem is pumps aren't a thing to be seen with any more, much less a kickstand.

How about a pump inside a seatpost? Yeah, been there done that.

Anyone remember the "#1 pump?" It was actually very good, but needed a more elegant frame mount/moulding.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i told 311 and 911 that there is gonna be a lawsuit, especially cause this was installed by the city and not fixed after it was vandalized or whatever. Nobody seemed to care. What can we do? It's a big city. I just wish I got more satisfaction out of it than I have. If anybody wants to call me up to personally thank me for my public service then you can do so. I'll open a PO Box and post the address here shortly.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:47pm,

My email is in the profile in the right margin if you want a send a pic. Happy to post though not sure how I can help.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

ps:

Not that it's any comfort, but the city leaves life-threatening hazards for weeks on all the roadways, so in this sense at least they don't discriminate between cars and bikes... (I've killed a LOT of car tires over the years.)

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

with yahbos like those, she could get someone to "pump it" for her.

crosspalms said...

Nice job on the WP piece, Snob. And you got some intelligent comments, too, not just "my taxes, you cyclists..." fist-waving.

Anonymous said...

and it further happy news, aaron hernandez is going up the river for a long, long time.

Bender said...

Does that kickstand pump tail light tire lever have a beer opener? Sheesh! That's just lame.

Comparance? Really?

dop said...

You had me at bollard

dop said...

Anonymous:

On the subject of the west side greenway: last year persons unknown marked hazards with fluorescent green paint (bad junctions, large seams in the pavement, deep potholes, bits of metal protruding through asphalt, broken boards on the wooden section of the descent under the GWB)It was really helpful.

If you're really worried about the vestigial bollard, you might get some brightly colored rustoleum and mark it

McFly said...

You liar. You are going to read the fook out of those Warshingdon Post comments.

Fred Salmon said...

Nice Post column. Phrase that comes to mind something like "casting pearls before swine." Also anyone who refers to himself as an "avid cyclist" is usually a tool.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

That figures. For once I am busy at work so I don't have time to wade though the 500.

Oh well there'll be 1000 of em later tonight.

"scranus"

dop said...

Maybe an avid cyclist is just an avid braker

CommieCanuck said...

Wow..the Washington Post!
Wait..does this make me "Deep Throat?" because I'm not comfortable with that.

I'm sure Tucker Carlson will correct your editorial with references to your comments and association with known communists, comrade.
Yeah, we're scared of commies again.

CommieCanuck said...

WOOD WARD

BERN STIN

Anonymous said...

BIKESNOB, CAN YOU FIX A BROKEN KEYBOARD WITH A STUCK CAPS LOCK KEY?

Glory said...

You spelled "helment" wrong the whole way through that Post piece.

Maillot Jaune said...

"BIKESNOB, CAN YOU FIX A BROKEN KEYBOARD WITH A STUCK CAPS LOCK KEY?"

I hereby call a truce on attacks on well-meaning young people venturing out into the world and trying to find their way, trying to be helpful. Trying to learn how to use a keyboard. Let’s all think back to the time in our youths when we thought getting a photo we took posted on a blog we admire was a worthwhile accomplishment. Youth cannot know about old age but we old people are fools when we forget what it was like to be young.

Top said...

Hanzzze and franzze will pump you up.

Anonymous said...

God damn over there in the WP comments... Over a thousand! It's worse than Gallipoli. A big conseritive shell knocked me ass over tit...

Anonymous said...

Good idea to ignore the comments onteh WP article.

Anonymous said...

You want smug and entitled? I'll give you smug and entitled:

I'm visiting Amerika from Europe presently. The little infrastructure you once had is crumbling and you all have gotten so fat it has gone from health issue to comical. However, you do have the 'spend two hours a day in a car' thing nailed.

(I meant to post this in the WAPO article but seeing as the comments there are pushing 2000 I feel it might get lost.

bieks said...

SNOB, YOU'RE A SUCKER FOR PUNISHMENT! AND HERE I THOUGHT YOUR EMAIL WAS THAT EXTRA CLICK AWAY TO ACT AS A FILTER.

Well, no guarantee your instructions will be understood.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:58pm,

We don't need infrastructure, our SUVs can roll over anything.

--Wildcat Etc.

Maillot Jaune said...

"Well, no guarantee your instructions will be understood.

When the race leader calls a truce, riders that attack anyway will find a frame pump in their spokes on the next decent.

Anonymous said...

I just read some of the comments at the WP and they are just like the same comments on bikes vrs cars I see everywhere: dumb dumb dumb.

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

Car Fires: Darrell Issa (House Member, Wacka Wacka Party, CA.) will undoubtedly say that all three vehicles were electric cars.

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

No posts by Babs today, thank god for Socialized Medicine. If she were a US Citizen insurance would have told her she's reached her cap by now.

Anonymous said...

CC@224: "Deep Throat" Beat Babble & Cipo to laying that one down.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey nice article on the Post Wildcat. Thanks for championing the cause, parroting the truth etc. etc.

dnk said...

Righteous fuckin op-ed in the Post, Snobbie.

Although I made a mistake of looking at the comments, and so far the most "liked" comment comes from someone who either didn't read your article. Sigh.

dnk said...

..or was too intellectually dishonest to engage.

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...

Congratulations, Snobi Wan! You've arrived. Maybe you'll acutally get through to somebody.

Sigh... I read about five of the comments, and was just soooooo tempted to engage with a couple of the more obnoxious ones, but no. Been there, done that, and nothing ever comes of it bar a loss of valuable time, and it's a busy week. Any of our number who has a few minutes to spare might want to go and fight the good (if useless) fight. I find it too disheartening to even read them.

anon@3:49 Natch. Commie has the far superior intellect, and razor sharp wit. Never. Ever. Fuck with him. Many have tried...

bad boy of the north said...

i thought i had posted a lot earlier today...maybe it disappeared.anyway...congrats,snob,on your piece in the Washington post.
i think we should have the gran fondon't in dc....hmmmm..

Old-timer said...

The comments to your excellent WP article? An unseemly stampede of braying jackasses. It’s worse than I could have ever imagined. That’s who is driving all those cars?! Very, VERY disturbing.

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I am surprised that the motorzits are taking exception to a pro bike op-ed. I never would have seen that coming. Surprising that the readers of the great liberal bastion of the WaPo become wild animals at the mere thought of having to share the road with other users,

Congratz, Snobbie, on stirring the mick up from the bottom of the pot. Thanks the gentle cleavage shot of pump girl.

Your Dystopian Future said...

Those WP comments got me feeling all nostalgic.

Such blunt bigotry peaked and lapsed here years ago. The hostilities in Australia are now fought on a much more refined, subtle and sophisticated battlefield.

We're still fucked, but in a classier way.

Something y'all can look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Dear Snob, father of 2 children,

Why do people like to blame the "car" or the "SUV" instead of the careless behind the wheel? And why do females seem to need to stay in the left lane on the I90 (that's eye 90).

Anonymous said...

The lass doing the inflating. Is that Uma with a new hair color? Inflate me Uma!

The Cock Brothers said...

We have engineered and manufactured a bicycle made entirely of petrochemical derived substances. Model name. Cipo!

Anonymous said...

Holy shit that article is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Obituary:

BSNYC died of a cheesecake overdose in a suburban Starbucks yesterday. He was not wearing a helmet at the time.

JLRB said...

Cleavage Comparence - today's plump pumpers or Julie from the other stupid kickstart

JLRB said...

Sort of bummed that you posted in the Post when life has me out of DC for a few days. But then again, I'd have to listen to all the dolts whine about it to me if I was there, and then a few idiots would try to run me down in revenge. Off to read it now - but yea - I could probably recite the commenteers now...

Anonymous said...

Pedophile

JLRB said...

Now that I read it I absolutely refuse to read the comments, and will not comment because I won't sign into that rag as long as Cortland still works for them.

Here is my comment: Amen.

For my commute into DC from the burbs I CHOOSE to wear a helmeNt and usually some day glo with lots of illumination but: (1) it does little more than help me justify taking the risk of beik commuting; and (2) I sure don't want to be told I have to do it. (and (3) yes I look like a freak but no I don't give a ratzazz)

Nate said...

Comparence? Unnecessary product and making up words, score!

Angus 'Backdoor' MacDouche' said...

Courtland has a precocious rack of mon teats.

Dave said...

Today's Antediluvian Anecdote:
(en voce Abe Simpson)

I got a job in DC 12 miles from home in 1985. Driving was nearly useless due to the same traffic and parking trouble that we still have now. The Metro was feasible but a very unpleasant claustrophobic experience just as it is to this day. After a while I plotted a bike route via the Roosevelt Bridge, the only feasible way for me; the Virginia section was on a decent bike path and the DC section was on service roads and paths on the Mall, mostly, which was ok. But there was a horrible gap at the border, because at that time there was simply no pedestrian access from Roslyn to the Roosevelt, which had and still has some narrow little token sidewalks. So, thinking, hell, my life's not worth a plugged nickel anyway, I would take a deep breath and hit the ramp down onto I-66 as hard as I could, and merge through freeway traffic where it veers right to the bridge and left to the Jefferson Davis, cross the bridge and fetch up on peaceful, car-choked Constitution, feeling like I'd survived the falls in a barrel one more time, and ignoring the abuse of the drivers. After a few such days, I got my first helment. That was before the invention of foam hats; it was more like a hockey helmet than anything else. I did not feel any safer, but I continued my daredevil ways until the blessed day when the various jurisdictions got together and somehow managed to build a nice little pedestrian/bike bridge that connected Roslyn to DC.

And another thing, you know, in those days we didn't have to brake with our dicks, though we could have if we'd wanted to; we just reached down and clamped the wheel between thumb and forefinger, etc, etc.

JLRB said...

Dave - That is nuts! I don't even like driving the car I hate across the Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...

Greatings from Washington!

bieks said...

Excellent article Snob. Reading comments would have ruined the experience.

bieks said...

I was almost sold on the idea of the kickstand pump until I saw the tube shredding rim scoring lever. Ouch.

97

Anonymous said...

Great article in the Post. Comments are scary and remind me of one of the many reasons I happily left the States.

My favorite: "bikes are more agile than cars, so it is the cyclist's responsiblility to ensure they are not in the way."

Not sure how one can even begin to confront such stupidity on such a massive scale.

JLRB said...

Courtland Courtland please move to
Portland

JLRB said...

Insomnia century woo hoo hoo

Dooth said...

Wildcat, you hit them with facts and truth... the WAPO commenters retaliate with stupidity. And there's NOTHING that will change their minds.

Anonymous said...

Oh those craven idiots WILL respond to one thing (and one only) which is the authority of their MASTERS.

Roger Oveur said...

Roger, Roger.
Over, Oveur.
What's our vector Victor?
Ready for clearance Clarence.

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Hafiz Sajid said...

yeah The lass doing the inflating. Is that Uma with a new hair color? Inflate me Uma! spark 2016

KEVIN said...

Nice to hear you got your bike article in the washington post congratulations!

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keven man said...

I was almost sold on the idea of the kickstand pump until I saw the tube shredding rim scoring lever. Ouch. southwestern bedspreads

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