Now, eight years later, I've abandoned both anonymity and pride, and here I am on my knees begging you to come see me at the Walz booth at the Bike Expo New York:
By the way, why are so many cycling event titles reversed? I find it pretentious. "Bike Expo New York?" Why not just "New York Bike Expo?" "Gran Fondo New York?" Why not just "New York Gran Fondo?"
And so forth.
At least they don't call it the "Bike Tour Five Boro."
Anyway, I mention the Bike Expo because I have more details for you about my presence there, and here they are:
--I will be at the Walz booth on Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd, from 12-2pm, where I will sign your personal effects and accept your lavish gifts;
--The first 12 visitors to the booth on both days get a free--FREE!--special limited edition BSNYC hat;
--On Saturday anyone who wants can join me for a ride in the morning. For the ambitious among you, we'll meet early-ish (figure like 8am) and go for a two-hour stretchy-clothes ride. For the more sensible among you, we'll meet somewhere in Manhattan (figure like 10am) and then make our way down to the Expo together. Oh, and the first 12 people to the ride get a free Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" Speed hat, though I can't possibly imagine there are more than 12 people in New York who would want to ride a bike with me, since I've lived here pretty much all my life and I don't even have 12 friends;
--Once the freebies are gone, you'll get half off any Walz cap with the purchase of a BSNYC cap, and they can also do hat/book combos (meaning a hat and a book I wrote, not a book you can also wear on your head);
I don't know who's more desperate, me or Walz, but it sure works out well for you, especially if you like free hats.
Best of all, then you can wear that hat at the BSNYC Gran Fondon't on May 17th.
This is shaping up to be the best Bike Month EVER!
[end relentless self-promotion]
Meanwhile, by now you've probably heard about the Tampa police using bicycle laws as a pretext for targeting poor, black neighborhoods:
A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Tampa police are targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.
Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn't just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.
Distressing, but hardly surprising. Last year a study revealed a similar pattern here in New York City.
This is yet another reason to oppose mandatory bicycle helme(n)t laws.
So what sorts of highly dangerous violations are Tampa police enforcing, anyway?
There was the 56-year-old man who rode his bike through a stop sign while pulling a lawnmower. Police handcuffed him while verifying he had, indeed, borrowed the mower from a friend.
There was the 54-year-old man whose bike was confiscated because he couldn't produce a receipt to prove it was his.
One woman was walking her bike home after cooking for an elderly neighbor. She said she was balancing a plate of fish and grits in one hand when an officer flagged her down and issued her a $51 ticket for not having a light. With late fees, it has since ballooned to $90. She doesn't have the money to pay.
So living their lives, basically. Meanwhile, a typical Portlander will do all three of those things in a single afternoon. Granted, instead of fish and grits it's usually a sustainably raised charcuterie plate, and the lawnmower portager runs an artisanal bicycle-powered landscaping business he funded through Kickstarter, but I'll guarantee you not a single one of them can produce a receipt for their Speedvagens on demand--and I'll put a frame pump through the spokes of the first putz who says that woman should have been using a CETMA rack:
So apart from not being black, what can you do to avoid getting a bike ticket in Tampa? Here are some tips from the article:
This one's my favorite:
Riding too slowly
If there is no bike lane, keep up with the speed of cars, or ride close to the right-hand curb. Bike law doesn't specify how close.
Holy crap! Keep up with the speed of cars? So if there's no bike lane I need to ride at like 30-40mph?
What the hell kind of fucked up city is Tampa anyway?!?
One full of extremely fit racists, apparently.
Speaking of Portland, BikePortland recently covered both on-the-bike air conditioning and that stupid bike periscope, and they did so with typical earnestness:
Though I don't know if you can call something that sits on your handlebars and ejaculates in your face an "air conditioner:
Because if so then that makes Mario Cipollini a Commando 8.
Note the description of the video:
Clearly they're very confident in their product, though I'm not sure why they made me sit through over a minute of drone footage before the guy finally started spritzing himself:
Nice Euskaltel jersey, by the way:
Those guys made Astana seem straight-edge.
In any case, the gold standard of on-the-bike cooling systems remains the KoldRush micturating helme(n)t, which I examined a little over a year ago in great detail--but let's take a quick look at it again, because it's just that good:
Remember Super Dave Osborne and his insouciant helme(n)t strap slack?
The most ironic aspect of mandatory helme(n)t laws is that if you were to wear yours like this you wouldn't get pulled over, yet the risk of strangling yourself when your strap snags a truck's side view mirror vastly outweighs any safety benefits the helme(n)t might provide if it somehow stays on your head during a fall.
As for on-the-bike cooling systems, why not just use the water from your own water bottle instead? I mean yeah, it's sort of a decadent use of water on a hot day--like the lip balm scene in "The Three Amigos"--but what's the difference really? If these guys have such a problem with overheating I don't think these gadgets are going to cut it, and it's only a matter of time before they wind up on the side of the road sucking the last bit of moisture from their handlebar jizzers or urinating helme(n)ts as the case may be.
Then there's the periscope, and we've already taken a thorough look at that invention:
Though I was amused to note that the inventor himself left a comment on the BikePortland post:
Mike Lane April 22, 2015 at 9:17 am
Hey guys it’s the Pedi-Scope guy. Thanks for the feedback (albeit brutal, ha ha) and thanks Jonathan for posting. I’m going to take your feedback and go another direction (literally). I’m going to design a rear facing Pedi-Scope and will launch it sometime in late May (that’s the beauty of getting a posting on a real-deal bike blog, you get real-deal feedback from real-deal bikers). If you are interested please be sure to look for it on Kickstarter then. Thanks again!
Hey, I posted about your crackpot idea first! What the hell am I, chopped liver?!?
"Real-deal bike blog" indeed.
I hope he's kidding about the "rear facing Pedi-Scope" thing though, because I'm pretty sure that's just an incredibly stupid way of saying "rear-view mirror," and he's about to enter a crowded marketplace:
("Rear facing periscope on the wall, who's the dumbest inventor of them all?")
They even make ones that go on your helme(n)t--though I'm not sure if they're compatible with the KoldRush.
Perhaps Mr. Lane should invent a helme(n)t mirror with a windshield wiper.
Penultimately, here's another invention that's going to make both the bike and the car obsolete my incorporating the least practical aspects of both into one vehicle:
It's got a windshield:
And even a state-of-the-art dick-breaking system:
Yet beneath the sleek, modern exterior lies what is essentially just a crappy exercise bike:
It looks like Batman's velomobile swallowed a Citi Bike.
Seriously, they couldn't have made the cockpit just a bit more comfortable?
Hopefully there's a system to restore sensation to your genitals, because if you attempt to stand and relieve the pressure you'll hit your head on the ceiling.
And what is it about Americans that we can't envision a form of practical cycling that occupies the vast middle ground between "charity rider" and "fully-faired freak?"
Though I admit it's a very handy vehicle for the many, many people who live in quaint, seaside bungalows with bike lanes in front of them:
I'd love for the inventors to attempt riding this thing over any bridge bike path in New York City and report back.
Sure, I'll pull you out after you get stuck, but I get to take your picture first:
Lastly, here's a bike with a revolutionary "new" downtube:
Which was last seen on the Colnago BiTitan:
Here's the description:
Lattice space frame down tube
The lattice space frame down tube is an integral part of the frame's structure, reducing lateral bottom bracket pedalling flex, yet keeping some compliance for comfort. The space lattice frame on all our bicycles is engineered to put rigidity where it is needed and compliance where needed to ensure speed and comfortable ride. The space lattice acts in a similar way to an oversized down tube, however having two tubes further apart spreads the stress load as far out as possible on the 92mm-wide bottom bracket, while keeping some vertical compliance. Very aggressive riding styles, like singlespeeding, result in down tube flex and loss of power through the bottom bracket. OLSEN BICYCLES designed the space lattice to optimise lateral rigidity, so pedalling energy is translated very efficiently into forward motion.
As a bonus, it lets mud fly all over the place:
I suppose bespoke canvas downtube mudguard will be next.