("30 Rock," very first scene, very first episode.)
Besides being the actor film and TV productions call when they need a "messenger type," he's an all-around bike racing maven, organizer, talent scout, coach, and raconteur. Whether it's helping some fledgling bike racers make their way through the wilds of Westchester on the Gimbels Ride or lending a hand at the Five Boro Bike Tour, he's a New York City cycling institution. Now he needs some help, and whether you know him or you're just one of those twisted people who gets off on helping strangers, you can chip in here.
As for me, I'm a comparative "noob" who lacks the good sense to come in out of the rain. Well that's not entirely true. I do come in out of the rain, but I leave my gloves on the saddle like an idiot when I do:
Nothing like having some cold wet gloves waiting for you when you finish your gluten-free muffin.
It's almost as bad as eating a gluten-free muffin.
(And please feel free to leave your lengthy nutrition advice and insights in the comments section of a blog that isn't this one.)
Fortunately, though it was raining, the temperature was tickling the undercarriage of 60 American Freedom Degrees (that's the temperature scale formerly known as "Fahrenheit"), which made the precipitation almost pleasant:
Of course it's important to use fenders in these conditions, otherwise your ass gets wet and you spend the rest of the time picking your shorts out of the crack of it, just like this statue appears to be doing:
("Pondering the Palisades" by Ivan Avedgie)
By the way, I tweeted the above picture and somebody criticized my fenders. So if you've got any fender critiques or insights please feel free to leave them in the comments section of a blog that isn't this one. (Or, if you prefer, simply give yourself a wedgie.)
Oh, I also wasn't wearing an Australian standards helmet:
In Australia, helmets are a hot topic of discussion. You’re legally required to wear one whenever you swing a leg over a bike, and it must be AS/NZS 2063:2008 approved.
Achieving this certification is difficult, and often times brands are sent back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to pass this perplexing standard. But that little red (or white) sticker is required in every helmet bought in Australia, whether it be Giro’s new top of the range Synth, or a Spiderman lid from Kmart.
In other words, when is a helmet not a helmet? When it's not an Australian helmet:
“If it (the helmet) doesn't carry identifying marks for accreditation for the Australian/New Zealand standard, then basically we have to assume that the helmet does not comply with the standards set out for the helmet, and therefore the person is taken to not be wearing a helmet at all," the spokesperson goes on. "If they are not wearing an approved helmet, they can be issued a fine – $190 in Victoria”
Yes, Australian helmet standards are far superior to those used by the rest of the world. For one thing, they result in less effective helmets:
Unfortunately for Australians this means an inferior product is sometimes being put to market. “With the way the (POC) Octal is actually designed, instead of having a hard foam it has a softer foam, so basically the idea is it’s meant to act like the crumple zone in a car," says Nick Daly the POC brand manager from Snow Sports International. "So the foam pushes in instead of cracking because of the force, and absorbs more of the impact.
“The way the test is designed, the helmet just couldn't handle the testing and there was too much movement in it. So for the standards they had to change it, make it a little bit heavier and use a thicker foam, which actually reduces the good benefits of the helmet because you’re putting more strain on the neck.”
More importanlty, they provide yet another excuse for insurance companies not to pay out claims:
"An insurance agent could reject your claim for insurance issues, because of contributory negligence," Peter Bourke from Bicycle Industry Australia explains. "Basically under the eyes of the law you are riding illegally. Under the eyes of insurance, you are riding illegally and you could void your insurance. In reality that’s the crux of it.”
Because really, isn't making insurance companies happy what safety is all about?
It's a good thing that when I went to Melbourne I bought myself a helmet to use while I was there. Indeed I still have it, and here it is in all its visored glory:
I wear it whenever I watch the filmic works of Yahoo Serious.
Yep, that's a genuine AS/NZS approved helmet, and it's got the sticker to prove it:
Though the true mark of quality is the label telling you which way to put it on:
Really? I thought the visor was to keep my neck from getting sunburned--though I suppose it's necessary because they'll ticket you for that too (wearing it backwards, not having a sunburned neck):
Officers from Fawkner highway patrol began Operation Aware on Monday morning. The first person they stopped was a young woman riding slowly in the bike lane with her helmet on backwards and unbuckled. The officer showed her how to wear her helmet properly but did not issue a $185 penalty.
Anyway, I guess if you live in Australia you just peel a bunch of certification stickers off the kiddie helmets at Kmart, take them home, and then order whatever you want off the Internet. (It's also a good idea to put "rear" stickers on either end of the helmet so you can wear it whichever way you choose.)
Lastly, I hate shitty drivers as much as anybody, but this guy (some NSFW language, unless you work at "Fucking Wankers, Inc.") seems a little stressed out:
Then again, I live in New York City, so my shitty driving scale is probably badly miscalibrated.
(Around here that driving would be categorized as polite.)