Monday, June 15, 2015

Let's Get This Show On The Road (Once We All Agree On What Pressure We Should Be Running, Of Course)

Let's talk about bike locks.


(Bike lox.)

Locks are perhaps the most commonly used form of bike security.  However, there's one major problem with them:

They're inconvenient for bike thieves.

Sure, some locks such as cables are easy to cut.  However, heavy chains and u-locks require power tools and unwieldy levers to defeat.  This is so inconvenient that many thieves don't even bother in the first place.

Fortunately, now that we live in the information age, all this is changing.  For one thing, inventors are making bike thieves' jobs easier by incorporating all sorts of Bluetooth nonsense that increases the odds of user error or simply allows thieves to open the lock electronically themselves.  Ironically, these are called "smart locks:"


Even better for the thieves are bike alarms.  Everybody knows car alarms are useless, especially in big cities where their blaring is just part of the background noise.  No wheeled vehicle in the history of wheeled vehicles has ever been saved by an alarm.  Unless you're an active firefighter, the human response to any type of alarm is to reach for the snooze button and shut it off as soon as possible--or, in the absence of one, to simply ignore it until it goes away.

It's only natural then that inventors would apply this same bullshit technology to bikes.  Usually these alarms are incorporated into dumbass smart locks, but now inventors are pitching them as stand-alone items.  Consider the "CHIRP," which is the greatest gift to bike thieves since the quick release:



Not only does this motion-sensitive alarm have an on/off switch (!), but it also mounts easily to the handlebars so in the unlikely even the thief can't find the switch all he has to do is pull the fucking thing off and throw it in the gutter.

Brilliant.

This is exactly the sort of security system you'd expect from someone who discovered the concept of bike theft yesterday:

My wife and I love to ride our bikes.  We often meet our friends at coffee shops to begin our rides.  Of course, we all lean our bikes against the building and shuffle inside to have a cup before we get going.  I had never worried much about the safety of our bikes sitting alone out there.  Then, one day, a friend told me that he had gone into a restaurant for lunch and when he came out his bike was gone; they cut right through the lock.  Then, another friend had the same thing happen.  It wasn't long before I started to worry that it would happen to us.

This got him thinking, which in the Kickstarter universe is never a good thing:

I thought, wouldn't it be nice if there was a little device that would alarm if someone was getting tricky with our bikes?  It had to be small, easily put on my bike, and loud enough to scare away thieves.

Or, even better, what if there was some kind of locking contraption that you could wrap around your bike to keep it in place and then open and close with a key so that nobody could take it in the first place?

Though admittedly that wouldn't also allow you to annoy the living fuck out of people:

I also wanted a device that I can use while I'm riding.  Sometimes, I ride  on multi-use paths.  I like to let folks know that I'm coming up.  When the path is busy, I feel like a broken record ("On your left . . . on your left . . .  I'M ON YOUR LEFT!").  I want a device that will let people know that I'm there, and all with a little push of a button.

Yep, he's That Guy.

How about one of these devices, genius?

Oh, right, a bell isn't jarring enough for people who are trying to enjoy a leisurely walk or ride on the shared path on a lovely spring day.  It's much more effective to ASSAULT THEM WITH AN EAR-RAVAGING ELECTRONIC SHRIEK AND SHATTER THEIR MORNING TRANQUILITY.

Putz.

So how much does he want in order to market a device that is as annoying as it is useless?  Seventy thousand goddamn dollars:


Kickstarters undermine my faith in humanity even more than people like Kim Jong-un.  At least despotism has been with us since the dawn of humankind, whereas people who want to destroy your everyday environment with electronic bullshit are a fairly recent development, and while we're worried about ISIS and melting ice caps and nuclear meltdowns it's probably the cumulative effect of stupid shit like this that's ultimately going to be society's undoing.

It's almost as alarming (get it?!?) as the existence of the Cipollini Bike Academy, to which I was alerted by Elena in Italy:


After alerting INTERPOL I searched for more information using a popular Internet search engine, and here's what I learned:

From 13th to 19th and from 20th to 26th June, participants will be guided by the champion in the best methodologies of training, nutrition and technique. 

It will also be possible to rent a MCipollini bike.

If you're unfamiliar with cycling jargon, here's what all that means:

"guided by the champion" = "made love to"
"best methodologies of training" = "doping"
"possible to rent a MCipollini bike" = "you will be charged extra for the lovemaking"

And here's how much Cipollini charges for a "date:"


Interestingly he charges less for the lovemaking session if you're a non-cyclist, presumably because as laypeople they're not impressed by the world champion stripes on his thong underwear and he can't get away from the surcharge.

Lastly, speaking of both stupid inventions and things coming explosively over your head, a reader has forwarded me this article about the Hövding inflatable hamlet:


I wouldn’t want to wear it off the bike, though, so it doesn’t really solve the problems I have with helmets. It’s a bit easier to carry around than a bog standard one as it can be folded and put in a (largish) bag, but not much. And at £249 you certainly won’t be leaving it on your bike. Then there’s the heat – it might keep you warm in winter but having a chunky scarf around your neck in hot weather is not going to be pleasant.

Sounds great.


It's also ideal if you often experience intentional collisions in which you don't even hit your head.

(That's a £249 crash by the way.)

Best of all, sometimes it just goes off for no reason at all:

A video posted by abc3d (@abc3d_) on


You can't put a price on that kind of humiliation.

93 comments:

Spokey said...

wow

good thing i didn't go for that nap

Ted K. said...

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized person are more restricted by society’s expectations than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think “unclean” thoughts. And socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to conform to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human beings inflict on one another.

BamaPhred said...

Podiodio

Blog Drafter said...

I'm exhausted, stopped to read Ted K.'s comment.

Anonymous said...

poo

PotbellyJoe said...

Lox and capers.

Blog Drafter said...

It had me at "naughty behavior"!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

dude, my bike is gone!

RB1 said...

Its a terrible thing, but the real problem with the helmet airbag is that there's a serious risk that, once you wear it, you'll never get laid again. Did you see the way those girls giggled at that guy who had the mishap in the reception area? They might as well just have gelded him.

Anonymous said...

je suis dans le premier dix

Spokey said...

i'm getting me one of them CHIRPs for the cat's birthday.

it's just like a bird call. he'll love it. no more having sneak up and pounce on a bird. he can just lie there all lazy like, open his mouth, start the CHIRP and voila. another kill.

JLRB said...

I hate it when people get tricky with my bike

Anonymous said...

Too bad Dr. Henry Murray died in '88. He might know some sort of "safe word" we could use to turn off Ted K.

Ted - Project MKUltra was unethical and cruel, but WCRM wasn't responsible. Stop taking it out on us.

PotbellyJoe said...

As do why we don't need any more alarms in NYC, Mocking Birds already imitate car alarms in NYC

The thing that amazes me about the "Smart locks" is that they see the locks other have to use in Billy-burg and Manhattan and yet they still build these wimpy little locks. Sorry, that Bianchi Pista will not be protected by rubbercoated, 1/4" shackle. And then add in the reliability of electronics to something designed to weather through storms.

Yeah Good luck with that. I'll stick with a cheap bike and heavy chain lock. Locks are like friends during bear attacks. You don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to be faster than your friend. With locks, you don't have to impenetrable, you just have to have one harder to crack then the bike next to you.

Grump said...

Speaking of locks (which I never use, because I never take my hands off my bike, when it's not in my basement), I remember by first bike, way back in 1852 (or something like that) It was a Schwinn cruiser that had a locking fork. You'd flip down the kickstand (at the time, I didn't know that kickstands weren't cool), turn the fork, and remove the key. The fork was locked at an angle that made the bike impossible to ride. Since the bike weighed 92 pounds, it was pretty impossible for a young tyke, my size, to pick it up and walk away with it.

I'm sure some smart guy could make a modern version of this out of titanium that would lighten the bike to 45 pounds.


RANTWICK said...

Thank you for posting that video of accidental hovding action at the end. Although I had seen it before, it brought me joy again.

"The Salmon Mousse!" the Grim Reaper said...

Do I need special gravlax bagels, fatter and with chewier tread, or will the regular lox bagels work out okay?

DB said...

Hey, Snob:
Who's our new friend promoting the lox?
I don't recognize him.
What's his back story?

Lox o' Luck said...

RB1:

Geld!

Anonymous said...

Rapha!

May or May Not be Nothing Wrong With That said...

"Geld!"

Another link I'm not clicking.

babble on said...

I'm with you, grump, at least when it comes to my road bikes. Oh wait. I do leave it outside when we stop during a club ride. Only then it is a modest bike compared with some of the ten thousand dollar, fourteen pound bikes that some of the guys are riding, so in that event, I am counting on camouflage.

leroy said...

My dog explained that bike lox are what prompted the note "so long and thanks for all the fish."

grog said...

So, what pressure should we be running?

Anonymous said...

"So, what pressure should we be running?"

High. We should always run high pressure.

leroy said...

As long as we're talking lox, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and bicycles -- a bicycle is the easiest way to get to Acme Smoked Fish's Friday morning retail sales. Factory open all morning, try the balik.

Grady's iced coffee stand at their factory is two blocks away (N. 15th and Banker Streets).

What more could one want?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, who's the new guy. Backstory please.

David Olson said...

"It had to be small, easily put on my bike,
and loud enough to scare away thieves."

So, a chihuahua in the front basket?

Leroy's dog, how the fuck does one spell chiwahwah?

ken e. said...

chihuahua... chiwahwah is a guitar sound. exploding scarfs are GO!

ken e. said...

dammit, i thought there was another "h" in there. stupid innernets.

JLRB said...

ChiHaHa

Due to this blog I was actually thinking about the stupid scarfment the other day, when it was 95+humdity and sweat was running off my helmented head whilst stopped at a light - thinking thankful thoughts that at least I wasn't wearing a scarf.

HOTR BALZ

BikeSnobNYC said...

Leroy at 12:39pm,

Yes, but are there any actual delicatessens left?

--Wildcat Etc.

bad boy of the north said...

this talk of lox and bikels are making me hungry.(apologies to Kramer).

McFly said...

I forgot all about Edweena Sweaterhands. She was lost in my subconscious like a 17 year old from Chicago named Angel that was not necessarily an angel. I'm getting side-tracked.............

DB said...

Is Katz' Deli worth a stop, or have they been turned into a tourist destination?

wishiwasmerckx said...

IMHO, Carnige Deli is superior to Katz's.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Grog, I never take my hands off your sister in your parent's basement.

Flyover BC said...

By way of greeting every morning, a fellow bike commuter rings a small bell, with which every bike he owns is apparently equipped.

I assume he is a Buddhist, and the bell is a reminder to live in the present.

If that ain't a fine howdy do, I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

They actually caught a bike thief in Portland this weekend, because he stole the bike from Target, wow, that was really dumb!

leroy said...

Katz's Deli still worth a visit even though touristy.

I go there after my son plays Arlene's Grocery nearby. A few years ago, he let me sit in. Asked if I knew "Purple Haze." Oldies concert. Ouch.

Jay and Lloyd's in Brooklyn pretty good if you are out that way.

Not many real delis left.

DB said...

Thanks, Leroy and WIWM.
Coming from the Midwest, I wouldn't know a good deli from a so-so deli.

JLRB said...

A certain Internet behemoth has plans to Silicon Valley bike like Copenhagen

DB said...

Leroy:
Make sure your son knows that there was some very good music in our days:
Moby Grape, Seeds, Velvet Underground, Byrds.....
Good luck.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Late the blog today I was out getting tricky with my recumbent bike.

Was a nice ride on the multi-use path except for the two old ladies walking their dogs with those damn extendable long line leashes. Here I come Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-dinging on my brass bell that looks just like the one in your picture. The two leashes stretched out 15 feet and crossing the trail in a big X. Damn idiots. The women not the dogs.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I put about 7 bar in the big wheel and 6 in the little front one.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I was going to enroll in the Cipo school until I saw he was selling it as a package. No way I go near a package from Cipo.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

And one chocolate-peanut butter protein bar in my belly. Sometimes a banana too.

Neil said...

William Gibson's novel Virtual Light had a messenger character who's bike had an electro-shock inducing security system. I want to see that on kickstarter...

Anonymous said...

What the hell happens in the first Hovding video at around 0:02? The lightpost bends to the right luring him close, then suddenly snaps back in front of him for the takedown as he passes.

Is this what passes for cyclist friendly infrastructure in the Netherlands?

Anonymous said...

POC or a package from Ted K

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"So, what pressure should we be running?"

It depends. What is the frequency, Kenneth?

Old-timer said...

Bike, stolen by the slipstream...

A friend’s wife, driving last weekend from San Francisco to Monterey, had installed her very nice bike on the trunk mount rack. Ordinary travel procedure. Upon arrival in Monterey, she noticed that the bike was…gone. She hadn’t made any stops along the way. A fine little mystery. I know, you’re asking: “Was she wearing a helmet”? No, she wasn’t!

NationalStatistAgent said...

if Ted K @ 11:21 ever accuses me of being social again, he'll get a nice friendly social kick in the balls.

Freddy Murcks said...

$249 for the Hövding airbag is probably pretty expensive for a bike helmet, but it's pretty cheap as a form of 100% effective birth control.

P. Bateman said...

some guy salmoning tried to race me on his Lox bike, but i f'ing smoked him.

i love the inflating helmat guy - makes him look like a big kernel of corn.

or Colonel Korn.

by the way, i apologize in advance to the snob community. i saw the most fantastic homemade tricycle with all sorts of steam punk inspired gee-gaws and whiz-bang-adry, a front tire that i swear to god was a 33 inch mud tire, a palm leave cabana cover and all kinds of other awesome and i couldnt captuure one single dang good photo. he was riding down US-1 yesterday in florida and i was hoping to have something to share. maybe next time.

instead though, here is a racoon riding an alligator for your daily fix of FLorida aswesome:

http://www.wptv.com/news/state/florida-man-snaps-picture-of-raccoon-riding-a-gator-in-ocala-national-forest

Anonymous said...

The raccoon riding an alligator is clearly awesome, in FL and anywhere else.

But the "recommended videos" on the right of the WPTV site? not so much:

"Sex in broad daylight: Shoppers in California mall get an eye full"

"Michael Jones could face death penalty if convicted in murder of Diana Duve"

"Woman accused of beheading 3-month-old daughter"

Apparently, awesome follows a zero-sum rule.

P. Bateman said...

well, we don't know what that 3 year old did.....

Ted K. said...

"Too bad Dr. Henry Murray died in '88. He might know some sort of "safe word" we could use to turn off Ted K."

Not a safe word but a trigger word, permanently ingrained in my sub-conscious. Every time I see PODIUM! or related words it makes me post another paragraph.

"Stop taking it out on us."

As others have said, you can just scroll past without reading.

JB said...

People are still reading Ted K.'s stuff? I read it when it was in the newspaper a while back. Not bad, but once is enough.

Spokey said...

i said that

but dont' member anyone sayin' dat.

that you consider me sow phat now that now i be too peeps.

makes me weep

i'd go kill meself with one of those popcorn healments. if i could only afford it.

Peter Norvig said...

I got a Fred-worthy lock called WordLock that replaces digits with letters. I tried to set the combination to "FRED" and it spelled out "FRED BUNS". The story is here: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/url/norvig.com/ipython/Fred%20Buns.ipynb

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I don't get the Hovding. Is it supposed to eliminate the dorkiness of wearing a helmet by substituting the ridiculousness of wearing a pooltoy around your neck?

JLRB said...

Why is that orange tuffy tube liner being placed on a circular bread?

Anonymous said...

Dork K

BamaPhred said...

Florida awesome. That's just Mr Rackety Coon hitchin' a ride on Uncle Albert. Somewhere off camera Pogo is lookin' on an sayin' "We have met the enemy an He is Us!"

Now here is yore daily helpin of not so Alabama awesome, but ohh so Alabama common, sad to say.

Ted K over socialization may have a point besides the one on his head. How could one not but feel ashamed riding in a Lycra clad pack on a $10,000 crabon wonder bike, enough electronics to navigate the world, all for the dubious accomplishment of a Sunday donut shop ride?

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Spokey said...

i wonder how many, what percentage of regular riders do group rides vs how many ride solo, or perhaps with one or two friends / SO / etc.

I see many more onezee twozee riders around than packs. But then we haven't had an LBS for maybe 7 or 8 years now.

Anonymous said...

This troll “Ted K”? OK. Let me see if I understand. He does not approve of the traditional “race to the podium”. Or, even usage of the word “podium”, I guess? (Never mind that the commentariat, for a LONG time, have been having good fun with it.) “Ted K” categorically does NOT APPROVE. So, “Ted K” appoints himself as Chief of the Commentariat Police, JOINS the “race to the podium”, but ONLY for the purpose of squelching it by posting dogmatic social claptrap? Is that right? Geez. Who is this “Ted K”, a spoiled eight-year-old with access to his mommy’s computer? Teddy K, try to get control of your little tantrum. Dry those tears. And leave your mommy’s computer alone. Do us all the favor, please. We’ll all still love you.

BamaPhred said...

And the Hamlet of Humiliation video just never gets old.

Top said...

Anonymous 2:53
I think the light post bends because the video is recorded using a wide angle lens, which gives you that 'fish eye' effect at the edge of the image. The light post moves across the field of view, from center to outside, as the camera pans, and the distortion bends the post.

four hour erection said...

Anon 7:42- Ted's not a troll. HE'S THE EFFIN' UNABOBMER!!! So, anyway, Ted K., Are you the REAL Unabomber? I ain't gots the time to re-search ya.

Anonymous said...

JUDG EFUK

Anonymous said...

UNIE BOMB

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Velonews lately, holy smokes. Ads galore... Ads within Ads... Thanks Competitor.. #6 will shock you.

dop said...

I'm late..,...did I miss anything?

Anonymous said...

Lantern Rouge...

leroy said...

BamaPhred's "Hamlet of Humilation" - very nice!

(Tops the dry cleaner's observation about Bjork's swan dress: "Oh that this tutu, soiled fresh, would molt.")

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

anon@ 7:42 - ++ heh heh... good point. And the best thing is that we get to troll the troll simply typing the word podium, never mind the ever awesome and enjoyable race to the top. Double your fun.

That's whatchacall low-hanging fruit.

Harvard Ted - does the lantern rouge bother you, too?

Anonymous said...

I love how the guy in the 'crash' video hams it up after he hits the deck - what, where am I? (wobbly hand action).

McFly said...

Almost got runned over in slo-mo yesterday en route to the Rape Trail in the city park. A witness at the stop sign yelled "THAT GUY NEEDS HIS ASS WHIPPED!".


I concur madame.

P.S. My Hovding just inflated rapidly! has a nice ring to it.

Struggling with But Like iPython said...

Peter Norvig at 5:12 PM

I for one find your link cool.

Dooth said...

Lox and tomato on a toasted everything bagel.

Anonymous said...

muidoP, ted K

Anonymous said...

"I don't get the Hovding. Is it supposed to eliminate the dorkiness of wearing a helmet by substituting the ridiculousness of wearing a pooltoy around your neck?"

Theoretically, an inflated air bag provides better impact protection then the Styrofoam used in bike helmets. The Hovding would be much cheaper and lighter, and would likely provide the same protection, if you just inflated and put it on. Don’t know how hot that would be, how much peripheral vision it would block, nor how dorky it would be perceived.

meltyman said...

This is not too bad (and cheap) Not easy to remove; requires code. It's only good for getting your attention though.

Anonymous said...

Mailing it in again we see - how many times with the inflatable helmet video?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 9:59am,

Second time and expect to see it many, many more times--or never if you stop reading this blog forever starting right now.

Thanks for mailing in your comment.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

vsk said . . .

The omnipotent and ever present Snob pounces on and eviscerates the troll with one fell swoop!

Tanfastic !



vsk

Spokey said...

Just so long as Heroes were Helments at least as often

Spokey said...

of Heroes wear Helments I actually doubt that any heroes were actually helments. Aside for cipo of course

JLRB said...

More electronic Overly Complex Bike Safety

wle said...

stupid bike locks won;t ruin society, they will just prove again that some fools and their money are on different tracks... as usual...

wle

Pick on Somebody Your Own Size said...

Leave Ted K. alone! He may be a troll, but he's OUR troll!