Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sorry I'm Late, I Left My Apple Watch On My Other Wrist.

So it's finally acting like winter around here:


And just in time too, because tomorrow's apparently International Winter Bike to Work Day:


Sadly I'm unable to participate--not because I don't want to ride, but because I have no intention of doing anything remotely resembling "work" tomorrow.

Working on Fridays is for suckers.

That's why I'll be participating in "International Fuck Off And Ride Day" instead, most likely by grabbing the chubby bike and heading into the woods.

Nevertheless, it looks like quite a few people have committed to International Freeze Your Genitals Off Day so far:


A special tip of the helmet to those brave souls in Florida, Texas, and southern California for showing the world that they're not afraid to commute by bike in temperatures that may require long sleeves.

Moving on, yesterday's post touched upon the condition known as "middle age," which prompted some commenters to ask how you know whether or not you're suffering from it.  Here's one commenter's astute diagnosis:

janinedm said...

Also, and this may be easy to say because I'm still under 40, but people seem to be in denial about the existence and definition of middle age. Here's a checklist:  When you refer to yourself as a young person, do people either smirk or (worse) make their face go completely blank? Look up this week's Billboard 100 chart. Do you recognize 40% or less of the artists? (You don't have to like them, it's pop. But do you recognize them?) If you answer yes to more than 2 of these questions, you're very probably middle aged. It's no sin. The only shame is in fighting it.

February 10, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Naturally, I went through the checklist:

1) Does any event more than 20 years ago feel recent?

I'd say 20 years ago is the outer edge of what seems recent to me.  For example, 1996 was the year the StarTac came out, and I remember it like it was yesterday:


(Analog: the vinyl of mobile communication.)

That was a badass phone.  I think I even had a refurbished one at one point that crapped out almost immediately.

Then again it was hard to tell when a cellphone actually worked in those days since reception was spottier than the maillot à pois.

2) When you refer to yourself as a young person, do people either smirk or (worse) make their face go completely blank?

Well, I would never refer to myself as a young person, though sometimes other people still call me young--though presumably it's because they can't see me through their cataracts and are really old like this woman who smoked and drank her way to 100:


Speaking from her home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, yesterday, she said: ''I've been smoking since I was 30 and have had no problems at all.

''People try and tell you it's bad for you but my family wouldn't dare ask me to stop. If they did, I'd put them across my lap and give them a slapped bum.

I'm sure the tobacco companies would love us to believe that smoking is the key to everlasting life, but who really wants to live to 100?  For one thing all your peers are long dead.

Actually, that sounds pretty good.

I'm going to pick up a pack of Marlboros this afternoon, assuming I can scrape together the $50 or whatever they cost now.

3) Look up this week's Billboard 100 chart. Do you recognize 40% or less of the artists? (You don't have to like them, it's pop. But do you recognize them?)

Well, I looked it up, and to me it seemed vaguely dystopian, like that list of pop groups in the record store scene in "A Clockwork Orange:"


By the way, those are all great band names, and I can't believe they haven't since been used in real life.

Or maybe they have.

I wouldn't know, because I'm middle-aged.

Then again, I also looked up the Hot 100 from the year I graduated high school and I didn't recognize a lot of those names either.  Timmy T? Hi-Five??? Stevie B?!?

Neva hoid of 'em.

In other news, I was sorry to hear from a reader in Louisville, KY whose entire garage has been completely robbed of all its bicycles:
Yeah, that's right, they even stole the tandem.

That's messed up.

So if you're the sort of person who habitually scours the used bicycle classifieds and you happen to see one or more of these bicycles for sale, please alert the owner.  In fact, I'm more than willing to offer a reward for any information leading to the safe return of one of these bikes.  Of course, I'm not sure what that reward would be, but the one thing I can tell you for sure is that it won't be money.

I'll gladly hook you up with some coffee and a hat though.

I'll also double the reward if the bike you find is the tandem.

Moving on across the Atlantic, the Cat 6es of London have scored a landmark legal victory:


Cabbies have lost a high court challenge that could have disrupted completion of London’s £47m flagship east-west cycle superhighway.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) asked a judge to declare that the continued construction of the segregated cycling route linking Westbourne Grove and Tower Hill via the Victoria Embankment without planning permission “constitutes a breach of planning control”.

But Mrs Justice Patterson rejected the application.

Not only that, but Transport for London is also proposing sort of a "Fred window" for trucks:


Transport for London is considering proposals that would require trucks to have large, glass panels along their side doors, the Evening Standard reported. The design gives truck drivers a “panoramic” view of the road, and also gives drivers greater responsibility in avoiding collisions with bikers and pedestrians.

Though of course the truckers don't like it:

Not surprisingly, the Freight Transport Association isn’t a fan of TfL’s new plan, saying it could cost an estimated £280 million (about $407 million U.S.) to outfit trucks with the panels, and that there could be cheaper ways to improve truck drivers’ visibility.

Silly Transport for London!  Your big mistake was attempting to sell this as something that would benefit cyclists.  Who the hell cares about them?!?

I'll tell you what though, pitch this as a "Wanking Window" that facilitates indecent exposure and this proposal will pass faster than a big rig overtaking a Prius.

Speaking of speed, the Specialized "fUCI" concept bike has made the pages of "Outside" magazine, which means you'll be reading about it at the dentist in four months:


The first thing you notice about the fUCI is its massive rear wheel. At 33.3 inches, the hoop dwarfs its companion up front, which violates the UCI mandate that all competition-eligible bikes sport equal-sized wheels. The rear wheel, however, acts as a massive flywheel, maximizing the bike’s efficiency when brought up to speed. Of course, winding that monster flywheel up to speed would be hellishly difficult—that is, it would be if it weren’t for the electric motor tucked discretely inside the fUCI’s frame, which gives the rider another UCI-banned boost of power. 

A flywheel and a motor?  The "f" in fUCI must be for "Femke."

We’re just scraping the surface here, but you get the idea. The fUCI is a mechanical middle finger thrust in the general direction of cycling’s rule book. But it also makes you ask: Why? Why did Egger spend six months creating the thing? What’s the point of it all?

“I’m a designer. My job is to push the limits and design stuff that blows people away. I can tell you, all the regulations the UCI forces us to live by, it stymies us. It’s hampering innovation in the bike industry.”

How is the UCI limiting bike innovation?  You're free to design whatever you want as long as you don't enter it into a UCI race.  So instead of designing an awesome bike you designed a half-assed motorcycle.  Nice job.

“Why did we make fUCI?  It’s a message for the UCI, sure,” says Egger. “But it’s also a challenge to us—Specialized—and the rest of the bike industry to shake things up. We’re located next to Silicon Valley, where all this tremendous change is happening, and here we are, still producing models that look like safety bikes from the turn of the last century. There is so much technology out there in terms of motors, spoked wheels, aerodynamics, and the bike industry considers disc brakes on road bikes to be a big deal? We’re just scraping the surface of what’s possible.”

“Your bike,” says Egger “doesn’t even have to look like a bike at all. It can be better.”

Sure.  It could be a Yamaha, or a Hyundai.  It could also be a Segway you can ride while wearing a jetpack.  What the hell is your point?

This is like building a racing bicycle with gears that can coast and calling it the fJKA, or putting a saddle on a cheetah and calling it the fThe Jockey Club.

Lastly, remember the Missouri representative who wanted cyclists to ride with a 15 foot flag?  Well, a reader tells me he now wants to allow golf cars and ATVs on the bike path:

What an asshole.

Something tells me he'd be a fan of the fUCI.

94 comments:

Vernal Magina said...

omg.

Ted K. said...

116. Because of the constant pressure that the system exerts to modify human behavior, there is a gradual increase in the number of people who cannot or will not adjust to society’s requirements: welfare leeches, youth-gang members, cultists, anti-government rebels, radical environmentalist saboteurs, dropouts and resisters of various kinds.

tooldad said...

Po-diddly

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Top group. No motor.

boobies said...

boobies

Anonymous said...

Podio. S my D Christian.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

so frigid today, my nipples have disappeared

cdinvb said...

Has anyone seen my inflator?

N/A said...

Hmm, I'm close enough to Louisville that I'll have to keep an eye on the list from Craig. How the hell does somebody steal an entire garage worth of bikes and nobody notices?

McFly said...

Speaking of shaking things up in silicone valley all this coldness has me missing the boating on Tennessee River.

Anonymous said...

Winter? 55 and sunny in Nor-Cal today. Once the Super Bowl moves off the bike path (a trail, AND ITS DETOUR still blocked by Super Bowl crud.) we will be extra chipper. And waves coming, big waves.

Vernal Magina said...

hey cdinvb, what pressure you need?

N/A said...

Also, I love riding and don't mind a little cold, but I don't have anything to prove. So, with single-digit temps (American), I AIN'T TOUCHING THE DAMN BIKE TOMORROW. I'm going to sit on the couch, watch Netflix, and drink a beer.

Ted K. said...

BTW half way done today.

mike said...

First shithead!

N/A said...

Take my hand, Ted K., and we'll make it, I swear.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Gold Bitchez !!!

Oh wait, sorry, ... wrong blog.


I go to take a peak at the classical rondaview and I slip way down...

vsk

Anonymous said...

Scanus, missed the sprint!

Anonymous said...

Number 97 on the Billboard top 100 from the year I matriculated?
Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots: Disco Duck

Sometimes I wish I was still middle aged.

N/A said...

Just thought I'd share this funny CL ad.

Hey look, it's got the "trick" forks!

Anonymous said...

"Hey look, it's got the "trick" forks!"

Looks like it has a trick chain, too.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

saddle on a cougar is a wilder ride

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Top Twenny, fUCI and fUCU, too

N/A said...

Haha, I didn't even catch that.

balls™ said...

That fucky doesn't look like a bike, but it does look like every bike ever posted to any of those "design" websites. Well, not exactly, because it has hubs.

On Friday, I'm going to drive to work and wish I was riding a bike instead. I suck.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I'm not very hip to the scene these days either but I'm pretty sure I never heard of a band called "The Humpers".

It is catchy though.

Anonymous said...

Here is the email of the Missouri Rep. that hates bicycles in case you want to let him know how you feel.

Jay.Houghton@house.mo.gov

Moving to Decorah, Iowa as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

Middle aged men are like teenage boys but with less hair and more health problems.

Middle aged women though, that is another story entirely. Confident. Know what they want. Get to the point.

Bryan said...

I am not riding tomorrow. Not because of the weather, but commuting on Fridays really sucks. Motorists seem to be in a special La La Land and are extra impatient.

Fuck the fUCI. Nothing is stopping you wankers from designing whatever you want to design. I wouldn't buy that shit. Though, maybe Specialized really really wants to offer up a bike even more expensive than the Venge Schmenge.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

That Special-Ed fUCI biek is of course the next logical announcement for innovation and R&D after yesterday's-

“We are tightening up our structure and focusing it on three key areas: innovation, marketing, and supply chain,” said Mike Sinyard, Specialized founder and CEO. “We are investing in new R&D space in Switzerland, Taiwan, and Morgan Hill that will keep us at the forefront of cycling innovation. We are focusing on marketing that will expand the global market for our brand and help our retailers drive traffic and sales. And finally, we are investing in our supply chain to ensure we are delivering the best product at the best price to riders and our retailers. All of this is an investment in our future.”
Personally, I just think it's FUGLY

Schisthead said...

Yeah, screw Timmy T and Hi-five, Gerardo was where it was at...

The Ghost of Linda Lovelace said...

BABBLE 812 Yesterday: "Sucking, I'm an expert at it" - Everyone should be good at something, especially the fine arts of adult recreation behavior.

BamaPhred said...

the Fucki, or fuci, or whatever. Stop it Snob, my ribs are killing me. What, you mean you didn't make that up? I must be living in Ed Gein's head or something.

More Gold Chains than Cipo has Teeth said...

StarTac Phone. I bought one from a guy on the street, never worked at all. But it looked cool as hell to whip it out and scream "FOOL" into it like Mr. T. Anyone reading this who recognizes who Mr. T is from the Triassic age - FOOL.

PS Loved Ms. Babble's comment yesterday. Now there's a woman who knows how to pleasur...err, I mean please her man.

Anonymous said...

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

Band from a Clockwork Orange. I remember them because I'm middle aged.

DB said...

Went back and checked my Billboard Top 100.
The Guess Who, No Sugar Tonight.
Followed by The Carpenters, Bread and the Partridge Family.
No wonder I was high all summer and riding my Schwinn Varsity yellow ten speed to work at the cemetery digging graves and mowing grass.

Leo DiCaprio Tolstoy said...

TedK sez he's half way done. War and Peace will be next, one sentence a day.

Ernest Shackleton said...

What about us poor souls down here in the southern hemisphere? When do we get our International Bike to Work in the Winter Day?

BamaPhred said...

Checked mine to, Edgar Winter Group, Frankenstein.I believe you got me beat DB. You're looking good. No, I really mean it. You're looking good. In my case, it's not the miles, its the severity of the miles.

Anonymous said...

77 degrees in Houston today--no winter here. It is still Houston, though.

dnk said...

There's an apartment-hunt story in today's NY Times featuring Emilie Gossiaux. She's the person who was hit by a truck six years ago while riding a bike in Brooklyn. The outcome of which is that her heart stopped for a minute, she went into cardiac arrest, broke several bones. And she is now blind.

The apartment-hunt story was sort of heartwarming. It's good to know she's doing well despite all that happened.

But still. Damn.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/realestate/room-for-the-dog-on-the-upper-east-side.html

Glory said...

I appreciate Specialized's consistency. Fuck any poor schmuck who thinks he can name his shop after a town in France, fuck their own workers, fuck the UCI. At least the UCI deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Checked my graduation-year hits too. “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” “American Woman,” and “Mama Told Me (Not to Come, but I Just Couldn’t Help It).”

JLRB said...

2 days in a row with bikes with mismatched wheel sizes - fFORAGING

bieks said...

IMAGONNASTARTDRINKINGANDSMOKINGANDCLAIMIMNOTQUITEMIDDLAGED

Does recognizing the "FEATURED" artist count?. I think I could hit 40. Would I recognize 3 of those 40 songs if I heard them? Doubt it.

I got 98 (artists and/or songs) for my grad year. Kind of destroyed my recollection that all I listened to was Priest when I was 17.

Mike in Dallas said...

They had a PROBLEM with ATVs on the Katy until they started confiscating them and selling them at auction. Funny thing, the ATVs disappeared from the trail after that. Is jughead in Missouri going to fund the repair budget for the damage the ATVs do to the Katy? I'm sure he's "fiscally conservative" and tight with the tax dollars, so my guess is a big hell no...

Colonel Harland Sanders Died in 1980 at age 100 said...

Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1980

1 "Call Me" Blondie
2 "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" Pink Floyd
3 "Magic" Olivia Newton-John
4 "Rock with You" Michael Jackson
5 "Do That to Me One More Time" Captain & Tennille
6 "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Queen
7 "Coming Up" Paul McCartney
8 "Funkytown" Lipps Inc
9 "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" Billy Joel
10 "The Rose" Bette Midler

Pretty eclectic; everyone can find something they like and something else they hate.

crosspalms said...

Next time someone bakes the world's biggest pizza, they can use that fUCI to cut it. Years from now we'll all try to blot the memory of its theme song, "Wheelies in the Cheese."

Dooth said...

1981 Kim Carnes with Bette Davis Eyes (I heard Casey Kasem's voice as I typed those words). Blondie had two top ten hits that year, representing our Blank Generation ("and I could take it or leave it each time").

Blast from the Past said...

If Mama Cass gave Toni Tennille here ham sandwich, they both would be alive today.

Blast from the Past said...

...half her ham sandwich...

bad boy of the north said...

beegees beegees beegees andy gibb beegees....oh,donna summer.

P. Bateman said...

a saddle on a cheetah! i want one of those. give me a gawd dang battle cat any day.

also, i've been playing catch up to this week's posts: what the best organ one can get from a Groudup? never heard of one of those. is it like foie gras where i want the liver or what?

unrelated side note: bikeen did nothing to prepare my legs for two days of snow skiing. i kept telling myself it was just pain but turns out pain is very hurty.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ted K., you're not going anywhere. Not in your living arrangements and not in your head either. You think you're making a point? The self-centered end will be as senseless as the self-centered beginning.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Listen, I'm not copping to middle age, BUT...I'm not talking 'bout moving in,
And I don't want to change your life.
But there's a warm wind blowing the stars around,
And I'd really love to see you tonight.

P. Bateman said...

How soon until an anonymous TedK hater starts giving consideration to mail bombing TedK? i'm thinking its at least crossed a mind.

Anonymous said...

fAvitard.

Anonymous said...

when I read that outside article

https://youtu.be/wKjxFJfcrcA

George The Fifth Element said...

The Heaven 17!?....

Roille Figners said...

Well that's fun. I think the relevant Billboard chart is the one when you lost your virginity, therefore you get Bobby Brown, Poison, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Milli Vanilli. And Phil Collins & Madonna with the shark under them and just slightly behind. Explains a lot doesn't it.

dancesonpedals said...

Dear Blast From the Past.

Toni Tenille is alive. I think you mean Karen Carpenter.

Anonymous said...

With regards to middle aged folks and mountain biking, some of these men suffer from delusions of grandeur in their old aged. In fact, mountain biking isn't recreation, it supports economies. American mountain bikers are so great the can help save entire countries from the ruins of natural disasters. My original comment on the article -have since deleted the annoying discus account - suggested these folks had their heads up their arses, but that didn't go over too well.

Ricky Ricardo said...

Saggy and unattractive

DB said...

When did Ted K. Graduate from High School?

DB said...

Archie Bell and the Drells. Tighten Up.
Should have been Number One with a bullet on the Billboard 100.

Old timer said...

“Middle age”? Yeah? What about it? Gone, and forgotten.

Blast from the Past said...

"Toni Tenille is alive. I think you mean Karen Carpenter."

D'oh.

When you get old the memory is the second thing to go.

I don't remember what the first thing was...

P!N20 said...

How do you have an International Winter Bike to Work Day when half the planet is experiencing Summer?

Frickus Rungus said...

On my ride home tonight I decided to celebrate international winter middle-aged bike to work day by crashing on some ice and snow. Wheeeeee!

John L said...

1991? Surprised. Your crankyness makes you seem older. That and your fixation with your scranus.

Regular guy said...

Wow, what happened?

One minute I'm reading Bikesnob, I click on the link to International Winter Bike to Work Day (don't do it!) next thing I know, it's 3 hours later and I've committed to riding my bike to work tomorrow. Cheeses Crust, it's gonna be -4 'merican in the morning!

Must be middle age catching up to me.

By the way, I think if you look up the Billboard top 100 for the year you graduated from high school and Bette Midler is on it, you just might want to give up thinking you're "young". But who am I to talk, Lionel Richie was still in the top 100 when I graduated. I do recognize all the artists, though.

Paul H said...

snob: not "golf cars" but "golf carts"

Tristan Shout said...

What's this about regulations requiring equal sized wheels? I guess since I always come in last, no ones ever bothered to tell me I can't race on a Penny Farthing.

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch was on my Deflowering Billboard 100.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that the band Heaven 17, a spin-off of Human League, was named after the band in A Clockwork Orange, right?

DB said...

Rollie:
That'd be James Taylor, Carol King and the Allman Brothers.

babble on said...

Heh. When the class in my senior year was studying and preparing for grad, I was living in Banff and teaching skiing at Sunshine Village, having earned enough credits to matriculate a little early. Spent the winters on the hills and the summers riding my Nishiki roadbike up to Johnston Canyon to the sounds of Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart and the rest of that 90125 album. Oh! And I seem to recall some early Madonna round about then, too. Heh. And it was all played on my Sony Walkman, too!! Ha! What a blast from the past that is!

Yep. Old works for me. I am totally good with getting old: after all, it sure beats the alternative!! Yep, old is good. Great, in fact. I want to be as old as Yoda. Don't want to look like Yoda, but whatevs. THAT's why I ride my bike every day, and that's why I'm partial to a daily dose of the D, too. Fountain of youth, n'all that... besides. Ye might as well make the most of the time you do have, and I can't think of a better way to spend yer day. Can you??

tubasti said...

I do have this recollection of Johnny Zhivago, though.

Spokey said...

jeez

come back from wandering through mayan ruins and the fuck-o town is on fire. i assume that pot-belly joe had some hand in this. that and this week-end is slated to be near absolute zero. thanks gang. maybe i'll head back to mexico.

Regular guy said...

There weren't a lot of cougars around when I was in high school, the closest we had was the "wow, you're mom's hot" types.

Oh, and John Cougar Mellencamp.

Babble, that sounds heavenly.

Spokey said...

and i only wish i looked as good as yoda

bad boy of the north said...

janinedm,thanks for the billboard test.well,we can add cartoons from elementary/grade/primary school.

JLRB said...

If rabbit ears as something used for tv means anything to you - middle age or +

bad boy of the north said...

jlrb...yes,yes they do.and if one broke off.....the wire hanger came out.

N/A said...

Don't forget the crumpled aluminum foil on the tips to improve the reception!


Also, if you're of a certain age, then you must remember your dad hollering at you to adjust it just a bit this way.... no... back a bit.... no... wait, there it is... damnit quit turning it around!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I think you know you are middle aged when the concerts on PBS start to appeal to you.

EricBikeCO said...

P!N20February 11, 2016 at 8:58 PM
How do you have an International Winter Bike to Work Day when half the planet is experiencing Summer?

Or is Winter when it's cold and Summer is when it's warm, regardless of hemisphere?

EricBikeCO said...

P!N20February 11, 2016 at 8:58 PM
How do you have an International Winter Bike to Work Day when half the planet is experiencing Summer?

Or is Winter when it's cold and Summer is when it's warm, regardless of hemisphere?

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that there is more than one country in the Northern Hemisphere. It isn't Global Winter Bike To Work Day.

John Pitts said...

Heaven 17! Wow, haven't thought about that band for a long time!

GeoTony said...

What's the fuss about? http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/feb/12/ice-cycles-northerly-world-cities-winter-bicycle-revolution

Spokey said...

@JLRB on February 12, 2016 at 8:06 AM

rabbit ears? we were so poor we couldn't afford rabbits.

but remember the test patterns? when regular broadcast ended at 11? i remember pulling the back off the tv and using those to adjust the yoke around the neck of the crt etc.

1904 Cadardi said...

Too much Bieber on the current Hot 100. Way too much Bieber!

Not that my grad 100 was much better:
Madonna, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Nu Shooz (had to YouTube this one and was completely lost until the synths kicked in. It was crap then and it's crap now, but damn if it isn't catchy).

@JLRB
With over-the-air high-def digital rabbit ears made a comeback.

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