I know I keep repeating myself, but it is recumbent upon me to remind you once again I'll be at the Bike Expo New York and leading a ride to the Bike Expo New York and an early morning ride before the Bike Expo New York and Bike Expo New York:
(Bike Expo New York.)
Here's the abridged version of my schedule:
Friday, May 1st:
Walz booth at Bike Expo from 12-2pm (free caps!)
Saturday, May 2nd:
1) Early morning sub-epic two-hour road ride with token dirt sections, 7:30am extreme uptown start, email me at bikesnobnyc [at] yahoo [dot] com with the subject line "I WANT TO GO ON THE SUPER-SECRET EARLY MORNING RIDE!!!" and I'll give you the details (free caps!);
2) Mid-morning ride to Bike Expo, meet at Indian Road Cafe in Inwood at 10am (free caps!), no emailing necessary, just show up;
3) Walz booth at Bike Expo from 12-2pm (free caps!).
4) 2:01pm, I start drinking.
For those of you who have already emailed to RSVP for the early morning ride, you should have received details from me by now, so if you haven't let me know.
[Oh, and as for the BSNYC Gran Fondon't on May 17th, figure it will be about double the early morning sub-epic, and it will finish up someplace where they have beer.]
Thanks for bearing with me during all this plugging.
In other news, recently I discussed my feelings regarding the Automotive Industrial Complex's conspiracy to crush the soul of America's youth through excessive helme(n)ting:
("This magic hat is the only thing that can keep you from dying.")
Well, for some reason I'm on the Hatzolah mailing list. I don't know if it's because I've booked passage to Israel in my lifetime, or because I used to live adjacent to Boro Park, or simply because my wife had a baby inside a hospital recently and when that happens you get solicitations from everybody because they know there's now a new consumer on the planet. Whatever the reason, I'm pleased to announce that recently I received this lavish and exclusive catalog for their upcoming auction event:
By the way, if you don't know what Hatzolah is, it's basically the Jewish volunteer ambulance service, and they're the ones who will burst into your dining room if you plotz at the dinner table:
("Jew down, Jew down!!!")
Anyway, I only mention all of this because this awesome door prize for kids caught my eye and it made me think of the Helmetization of America:
I will now make all of my 18 (eighteen) children wear a helment and carry the complete Hatzolah emergency bicycling kit at all times.
You never know when junior's going to need a stethoscope in order to diagnose a rear hub pawl issue or a congenital heart defect.
Then again, now that I think about it, I'll probably withhold the megaphone. The last think you want to give a kid is anything that amplifies sound. I'd sooner give a kid a box of strike anywhere matches than a megaphone.
Moving on to international matters, here's an interesting article in the Guardian about how cars are like totally over:
Are you familiar with GG Allin? If not, he was a "musician" of sorts, and he was basically the Jimi Hendrix of making doody on the stage and then attacking the audience with it. Anyway, regarding his act--which was not exactly crowd-pleasing--GG Allin had this to say:
"With GG, you don't get what you expect—you get what you deserve."
Whenever getting around in New York City feels like a giant shitshow to me (which is a good portion of the time), this quote always pops into my head. After all, whether you're walking, or cycling, or using public transportation, or even driving, are there not many, many occasions when you feel like you just took a fistful of GG Allin's feces to the face? And is this not because millions and millions of people a day are making lousy, selfish decisions?
So when it comes to getting around in New York City, I always think to myself, "We don't get the city we expect--we get what we deserve."
This is why I was pleasantly surprised to read the following quote in the article:
I suggest to her that not all cyclists behave well – I am thinking of the ones I see in London who whizz along pavements and go in the wrong direction down one-way streets – but she has a good answer. “Cities get the cyclists they deserve. If you have good infrastructure, you will get good cyclists. It’s the same with drivers and pedestrians.”
I suspect she didn't have GG Allin in mind, but it was validating to know there's a city official in Helsinki who feels the same way as I do.
On balance, I found the entire article really interesting, though I could have done without the very last sentence, which sort of cheapened it.
Speaking of a smug, car-free future, here's a Kickstarter from Sweden for a "child bike seat and stroller in one:"
I have to say this is a pretty good idea, though I'm not sure about the Hannibal-Lecter-on-a-handtruck child position:
("What, no helment?!?")
By the way, if you get the special director's cut edition of "Silence of the Lambs," you'll notice some subtle differences. To wit:
I want to thank Brian K. for sendingthat easily cutted-and-pasted version of Nonplussed Bib Short Guy.
It's about time someone started pulling their weight around here.
Anyway, as someone who has been known to get multi-modal, I applaud the bike seat-cum-stroller (oh, grow up), Lecteresque position notwitstanding:
("What, no helment?!?")
And while we're looking at Kickstarters, here's a "video based warning system for cyclists:"
The inventor is an aerospace engineer, and here's a picture of him next to a diagram of a thingy so you know he's serious:
Basically, the way it works is that the Fred or Frederica mounts his or her smartphone onto his or her Fred(erica) Chariot:
The "app" locks onto the target:
And then relays the coordinates to the nearest submarine or battleship which then launches a Tomahawk missile at it:
Note that there is no collateral damage, because the missile merely roughens the road surface in order to discourage the driver from following too closely.
Just kidding. It doesn't fire a missile. It records a video that the police will subsequently ignore.
Still, could be useful if it works--though it does raise the following question:
"What if you get overtaken by a Cat 6 Attack Fred, will it record him too?"
Causing a fellow cyclist to crash and then riding away?
Now that's what I call "vehicular cycling."