Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So is it 2017 yet?

I realize that as a semi-professional cycling blogger I'm supposed to know stuff about bikes, but the truth is there's a lot of things I don't understand.  For example, consider this bike:


It belongs to Peter Sagan, who's currently the World Champion at the discipline of doped road bicycle riding, and the brakes are all tucked into the frame and stuff:


I realize this is done for aerodynamics, but if being aero is so important than why does he ruin the effect by having all that hair on his face and head?


Or is the idea that the aero brake setup and the hair simply cancel each other out?

Though I suppose slicking it back does lower the drag coefficient considerably:



That's the best musical star turn for a pro cyclist since Bradley Wiggins did "Wonderwall:"


Which isn't saying a lot.

Speaking of pure, unadulterated speed, the world's most popular Strava segment is apparently a hill in a London park:


So where was the world’s most popular segment? That would be Full Sawyers Uphill in London’s Richmond Park, with 33,226 individuals attempting the climb in 2015. Surrey’s Box Hill was also very popular though, with 32,485 attempts in 2015.

Having visited London on a number of occasions I certainly realized that they take their Cat 6-ing very seriously indeed:


Though I was surprised that their city is even more heavily Strava-ed that hives of Fred-dom such as New York City, where legions of delusional cyclists ritualistically straddle their crabon Fred sleds and do hill repeats that, in their rhythmic self-serving repetition, evoke the very act of wanking.

Anyway, here's the Strava segment in question:


So if this is the most popular Strava segment in the world, then we can conclude that current leaders "Gabriel E." and "Mathilde P." are the best cyclists in the world.

Well done.

Put that in your hair and slick it back, Peter Sagan.

Meanwhile, as London tightens its grip on the title of Cat 6 Capital of the World, Germany may be looking to succeed Denmark and the Netherlands as Europe's premier bike-commuting utopia:

Last month, Germany opened its first stretch of “bike autobahn,” a cycle route that will eventually cover 100 kilometers (62 miles) between the northwestern cities of Duisburg and Hamm. The autobahn moniker (the German term is actually radschnellweg) may sound over the top given that so far just five kilometers of the route have been launched. But the plan’s ultimate scale and ambition is not to be denied.

Irony of the term "bike autobahn" notwithstanding, I think we all know better than to deny the scale and ambition of any German plan, but thanks for the warning.

Also, Duisburg and Hamm sounds delicious.

The completed tracks are four meters (13 feet) wide, providing enough space for lanes set aside for overtaking. They’re fully segregated from cars (the Duisburg to Hamm route will run partly on disused railway tracks) and use bridges and overpasses to create a safer, smoother ride. While excellent cycle infrastructure like this is increasingly being constructed in Northern Europe’s cities, these highways should one day cover the whole country, ultimately joining up to form an alternative national network.

Wow.  I just added Germany to the short list of countries to which I will flee in the event of a Donald Trump presidency.

As for countries that hate cycling, nobody's going to get near Australia anytime soon.  In fact, at this point the state of New South Wales is a bike throw from banning cycling altogether, having now legislated mandatory IDs and increased helmet fines for cyclists:


There will be a grace period of 12 months for cyclists caught without photo identifications. However, a penalty of $106 will be introduced from March 2017 –  the same as applies to drivers caught without a licence. 

Penalties will increase dramatically for cyclists caught breaking road rules. While most offences currently attract a $71 fine, cyclists caught riding without a helmet will be a slugged $319.

Running a red light will incur a $425 fine, riding dangerously a $425 fine, holding onto a moving vehicle a fine of $319 and not stopping at a pedestrian crossing a fine of $425.

Holy shit.  That means a typical Lucas Brunelle ride would cost you at least two grand, even with the plastic hat:


As for the ID requirement, we know kids don't ride bikes anymore, but this really puts an end to it once and for all, because how many of them bother to carry IDs?

In exchange, cyclists get this:

Drivers will also be required to leave a one-metre buffer when overtaking cyclists, and at least 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h, or face losing two demerit points and a $319 fine.

Okay, so the bullshit helmet law is an easy thing for the police to enforce, since you're an easy target noodling around on your bicycle with your bare head exposed to the Antipodean sun.  Then they slap another fine on you if you don't happen to have ID on you.  Meanwhile, the odds of the police swooping in on the driver who buzzed you during the fraction of a second they're committing the infraction are virtually nil.

Sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me.

Yet incredibly the New South Wales bicycle advocacy group is behind it:

Bicycle NSW chief executive Ray Rice said he was pleased with the package of changes, particularly the introduction of the minimum passing distance.

The increased fines and requirement for identification, Mr Rice said, would not have a huge affect on cyclists as 90 per cent already carried identification and 70 per cent already wore helmets.

"We don't think it's necessary and therefore why legislate for something that people are already doing ... most riders obey the law already," Mr Rice said.

Wow, what a sellout.

The photos on the website are pretty depressing too:


Helmets?  Insurance?  Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai:

And how about this happy family?


How can they even afford the membership?  They're already into the NSW government for like a grand for not wearing helmets while touching a bicycle!

Lastly, speaking of anti-cycling sentiments, here's a pithy response to pretty much every anti-cycling newspaper screed you've ever read:



I like to ponder what other extremely disparate groups with only one, minor thing in common are so herded together these days. “Vegetarians are behaving in ways that pedestrians cannot predict or understand.” Or (to part-borrow again from Grant): “The percentage of arsehole great aunts may be a minority, but it’s a minority large enough to make going to tea parties an exercise in guesswork.”

Dorothy Rabinowitz and Delia Ephron do not appreciate the great aunt dig.

83 comments:

Dorothy RabinoBOT said...

Scranular Conditions: PODIUM!

Eric the Infrequent said...

Podio!

Anonymous said...

Fuck heath insurance FS.

Anonymous said...

Scranarhoids

Anonymous said...

Fifth again!

cdinvb said...

Can't roller skate in a buffalo herd. Going riding.

clyde said...

Top 10!

Anonymous said...

Top 10 already! Looks like my Strava for biek blogs is really helping out!

Mike Skinyard said...

Fuck it! I am moving to NSW and taking my foam hat collection and photo ID with me.

Hee Haw the barista said...

HAMM BURG

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Top 11

And then I said...

Hard to trust that article when the author there can't even remember to keep his punctuation marks inside the quotation marks consistently.

N/A said...

I will not consider that bike, and you can't make me!

Anonymous said...

Auto Ban (which some German city is considering) beats Autobahn every time.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

New Years Res... I will not get so wrapped up in podiating.



Screw that - 15th BayBay !!!

vsk

Anonymous said...

I'll take top 25

Anonymous said...

Top 20 is like a podium for a Unicorn...just saying

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

So cold today I rode the four-wheeled gas powered fully enclosed recumbent with extra large cargo bed that I own to work.

Anonymous said...

I ride that hill (well, lump) most evenings in the summer, it's a lovely way to take the longer way home. It's worth noting that although Gabriel E is the Strava acknowledged best bicycle cyclist in the world, he won't be coming back to defend his title in 2016, as he is banned from cycling due to his admitted EPO use. He's 18.

All pedestrians are liars, except me said...

Not only am i a cyclist, which as the article says is the only group which is grouped together, i am also a pedestrian. And in >50 years of walking i've never been hit by a cyclist, not even close. When people say they nearly get hit by a cyclist every other day, i wonder what they mean; that they saw a bicyclist on the same street?; cycling attire offended their fashion slavery?; that they read some bullshit anti-cycling article???,,

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 11:46am,

Nice.

As far as I know Strava is not a WADA signatory so his title still stands.

--Wildcat Etc.

BikeSnobNYC said...

All pedestrians are liars,

I have been "almost hit" by cyclists, by which I mean I was crossing with the right of way and they buzzed me. You know, just like drivers do.

--Wildcat Etc.

Dooth said...

Why would anyone write an anti-cycling column? The person should be shamed into oblivion.

McFly said...

They should rename that segment the Gabriel Byrnnnnnne.

Rat Race drop-out said...

Thanx for that Strava info, anon 11:46 and WC. Now i can assume that all Strava Kings (and Queens) are drug assisted cheatin' wankers. Previously i only assumed those who made every little hill and route into a race were merely wankers.

Reality said...

I "loved" Gabriel's confession. The subtext is "I am so sorry I got caught, but if i pretend to be really, really, really sorry, maybe they will shorten my ban". "I am not even actually sorry enough to take down my Strava victory, so actually "Fuck You".

JB said...

Fuck it, I'm getting a recumbent and riding it on rollers in my basement.

Vernal Magina said...

Well I've always found the trend of turning old defunct rail lines into modern-day bike pathways rather charming, quaint and fun -- but thought of a "bike autobahn" as such in Germany has me a tad skeptical there.

Then again, at least you won't need to carry "your papers" like in Australia. Yeesh

ken e. said...

present. guardian is good media, like here and y'all. if that's even a sentence.

Freddy Murcks said...

Peter Sagan is pretty much the skeeviest motherfucker in all of professional cycling.

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

JB - Right?! Everybody is riding indoors these days, it seems, usually on Zwift. Everyone but me. I was out there in the crazy assed freezing rain this morning. Treacherous in Kits, but the park was fine. Did it without lights today, the way the Indie Java rides do: you see some things better without bright lights, it's true, but there's something about hurtling down the hill in the dark that can be sort of spooky sometimes...

Heh. Genius today, snobberdoodledoo. I missed you. Sweet! That means I don't have to train my arse off with those fast guys I ride with. I just have to win more of those little crown thingies!!

I used to live near Box Hill... climbed it regularly, usually right after I finished chasing deer in Windsor Great Park! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Snobi Wan. :)

leroy said...

Strava wanking in London the equivalent of hill repeats in NYC?

I dunno.

I was doing hill repeats on River Road last week to test out my new internal steel tubes and matching bicycle.

They work fine, however, the goal was to not get stiff.

My dog, of course, now advises that if I don't stop, I'll go blind, but I'm not taking advice from someone who licks himself in public.

And anyway, I already need glasses.

dop said...

Those Portlanders thought cyclebahn was better than bicycle autobahn. Let me dork out & say that the real name works pretty well. Radschnellweg. A Rad is a bicycle. As a bonus, it's pronounced "Rot". Schnell is easy. We've all heard it a gazillion times in cheesy war movies. It means fast. Weg ("vake") just means way.

If we can say 'fun-fun-fun-auf-die-autobahn', we can say Rot-Schnell-Vake.

Anonymous said...

Where are you Ted K.? The only thing that makes this corporate propaganda blog bearable is the daily passages from your lunatic manifesto.

I am not a robot.

Anonymous said...

The Bronze take our pride...

Anonymous said...

it's fahren, fahren, fahren auf der autobahn...

Bike fast way.

babble on said...

I hold a few pages of those little crown thingies, and whilst I am definitely doped to the gills sometimes, I most certainly am NOT taking any performance enhancing substances. In fact, were I to sober up completely surely I would become significantly faster.

My body took the first step on New Years Eve, when it began to react to alcohol with violent headaches. It looks like 2016 will be a dry year for me. The pain Dr still prescribes a regular vape bowl of BC's best bud, but that stuff certainly never helped a single person to ride faster. Nope. Not once, not ever.

dopersrus

dop said...

I knew I would get tripped up on der-die-das before I clicked publish. I've always been bad on lyrics. Maybe not "scuse me, while I kiss this guy" bad, but "Blinded by the light, dressed up like a douche" bad.

Al said...

those top two segments both had a closed road sportive with over 20,000 freds (self included) up them, as well as being general fred magnets anyway, which will rather have boosted the numbers

Anonymous said...

Dop @ 1:01 and 1:36-

What about Rad Fahrt?

I always get caught by Whitney Houston's "Climb Every Woman" could never understand why she would want to do that.

Roille Figners said...

"The autobahn moniker (the German term is actually radschnellweg) may sound over the top..."

Way to replace a term with an incorrect term, and then complain how the incorrect one sounds over the top. Winner!

"Drew Barrymore today announced she's working on a nuclear bazooka (the English term is actually movie) and while that may sound over-the-top, the thing of it cannot be denied.

PS Drew Barrymore hubba hubba

Freddy Murcks said...

Can we all agree that farts are rad?

Bryan said...

Happy 2016, you lycra louts!

Vernal Magina said...

If not all farts are rad, can we at least agree that all functioning Rads fahrt?

When properly lubed, of course

JuanOffhue said...

Today’s post came up as a blank page until I disabled the Trump Filter in Chrome. Way to foil my reality enhancement, Wildcat!

Bob Patterson said...

Memories of those bad, old days of NYC graffiti -http://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2016/jan/05/subway-art-book-new-york-graffiti-street-art-1970s-in-pictures

JB said...

"...we can say Rot-Schnell-Vake."

Wouldn't it be more like: Rod-Schnell-Vague?

--High School German Class

dop said...

Maybe the Autobahn is gender fluid?

JB-

Speaking in my shitty German accent, I forgo d's and g's for t's and k's. Makes it sound meaner. Also, I spit a lot.

McFly said...

Babble is riding down hills in the dark without lights. There will be lights. Red flashing one's.

(I crashed going down a hill but it was dusk so I can judge)

N/A said...

IT HAS BEEN ____ DAYS SINCE BABBLE ON'S LAST CRASH.

Two Claws said...

I'd say it "Rahd-shnel-vehgg"

And by the way, "bahn", I think, means "train", or "railroad", so all those names are a little off if you take them literally

And literally "rad" means "wheel", but is kind of a short word for bike, like bicycle/bike

Rahd-shnel-vehgg would be something like "bike-fast-way" or "bike-fast-path"

Wiedersehen!

Roille Figners said...

So autobahn is basically "car-railroad." How deliciously ass-backwards. Sounds like somebody had to explain a new concept in terms of familiar ones. "Hey guys we need a word for this newfangled automobile carriageway. It's for cars, but you can haul ass and not stop much, like a train." Makes sense to me.

In America of course they're called freeways to indicate that they cost nothing to build, and lead to freedom.

Proper pronunciation of radschnellweg

Anonymous said...

I expect the proportion of bicycling Strava users in New South Wales will now reach 100%, given the new laws. When your state advocate's a Fred, only Freds and Fredericas will be wanting to ride. As we say over here and with no apprehension, Ray Rice is a dumb cunt.

Bryan Bracy said...

They will be no where for reprieve when Bonecrusher Bernie wins.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

I show little Peter Sagan where he can park his rodschnellwang.

Rod is easy, it is pronounced "rod" and wang means wang.

More schnell Peetie!

Focus503 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...

JuanOffhue - Heh. A Trump filter. That's a GREAT idea. :)

McFly - Right??! At first I was all "Wooooohooooohooooooooooo!" till I realized that if one of the park's many coyotes or (mostly black!!) raccoons or whoozits were on the road in front of me I probably wouldn't see em till I was on top of em. Second time round I went slower, and the third I just turned the light back on. For safety sake. But it's wickedly sweet when you're climbing in the dark, cause it's so stealth. I use that time to practice quieting this mad, mad mind, to try and meditate, and the absolute silence in those wee small hours before dawn are just priceless, specially under the starlight and by the light of the moon. Or the ice storm, or whatever.

If it's gotta be dry, then it's gonna be ambulance free, too, dammit. :-|

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see, it isn't a New Year without throwing Brunelle under the bus.

Wile E. Coyote said...

Fucking raccoons. They do all the mischief around here and I get all the blame. I'm so frustrated, Ima go hump Dorothy Rabinowitz's leg.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the bicycling NSW dicks who are being real dicks about the Draconian new laws in New South Wales, there is also megadick Mark Textor who is a massive Fred and an infamous push polling exponent who has worked for many of the most obnoxious right wing nutjob parties in Australia, the U.K. and Canadia being an ultra dick about it.

He heads the outfit that was pushing for the 1 metre pass law and he heralded the introduction of that law while completely ignoring all the other fascist new laws designed to suppress cycling here. Of course, he had to remain silent because it was cycling's favourite troglodyte, Duncan Gay, who introduced these laws and he comes from the same side of politics as Mark Textor.

Textor is best known to the general public for tweeting that the Indonesian foreign minister resembles a Filipino porn star. Which may sound pretty harmless except this was at a time when he was a senior advisor to since deposed Prime Minister Tony Abbott (who is also a massive dick and Fred) at a time of very tense relations between Australia and Indonesia.

He studiously avoided media exposure until he was ambushed on the grounds of Parliament house in Canberra one time:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tX75kMdgubs

We are obviously in big trouble here and we desperately need your help. Let's make a deal, if you help us out we won't highlight the fact that Textor is wearing a Brooks backpack in that video…

BamaPhred said...

Wow, I'm glad I didn't push the button on my first comment about the Sagan venge schmenge. I have a better grade of meds working today.

Frickus Rungus said...

On my ride home from work tonight I got to try out some new bike lights. My kids got me a string of leds for Lobsmas that you can wrap around the frame tubes and I added a bright new headlight. Can you say rolling circus?

Anonymous said...

The Autobahn thing is for tourists only… Commuting in Germany is as bad as in every other country that isn't The Netherlands or part of Scandinavia.

darryl from downunda said...

There's a petition you can sign against the aussie "dogtag" laws:

https://www.change.org/p/nsw-government-stop-the-nsw-law-requiring-cyclists-to-carry-id

Bicycle NSW said...

It must be noted that Ray Rice, CEO of Bicycle NSW was misquoted in the Sydney Morning Herald. Bicycle NSW has consistently through the Committee process voiced our opposition to the fines and ID proposals.
If you would like a quote from Ray Rice please read our CEO's letter to members for our position.
http://bicyclensw.org.au/news-from-bicycle-nsw/?postid=64107

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g8BRyLaQgg

Christopher Jones said...

Bikesnob NYC, you should correct your story as it has an error on the Bicycle NSW position

The official position from Bicycle NSW is that the safe passing distance is supported however they are against fine increase and ID requirement. Best not to rely on tabloid reporting like the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). Here is the official position of Bicycle NSW

However the Amy Gillett Foundation and Cycling NSW (sport) have supported the changes in their entirety which is concerning. The background is the the Amy Gillett Foundation are a prominent cycling safety advocacy group though focus on a single issue - the 1 metre safe passing distance. And Cycling NSW are a sporting body and not an advocacy body so have limited experience outside of competitive cycling.

dop said...

Shorter official position of NSW Bicycling.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps more important than the hair, Snob: why does Peter Sagan's chamois have a codpiece?

JB said...

Didn't Ray Rice beat up a gal in an elevator? Landed on his feet in NSW, I guess.

bad boy of the north said...

wile,make sure it's Dorothy's Acme leg.

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