I'm sorry I'm missing it too, because apparently our police commissioner graced them with his presence in order to tell everybody that Vision Zero isn't possible:
That's the spirit.At #VisionZero2016 - @CommissBratton says vision zero not possible - @NYC_SafeStreets @transalt disagree— Caroline Samponaro (@carolinesampo) March 10, 2016
Of course, if he really thinks Vision Zero is impossible then why bother with all those bicycle crackdowns? You know, the ones that are for our own safety:
Sure, nothing makes you feel loved like an NYPD tackle-n-ticket, though if they really cared about us they'd also fine us $425 for trackstanding like in Sydney:
Because we all know how dangerous trackstanding can be:We're informed 2 cyclists were booked today $425 for "track standing" waiting for signal @ Centennial Pk, Sydney. Are we feeling safer yet?— Australian Cyclists (@icycleivote) March 9, 2016
I'd say there's a good chance clipless pedals will be illegal in New South Wales by this time next year.
I also missed Janette Sadik-Khan and David Byrne at Barnes and Noble last night, both of whom stunned the crowd by arriving in a stretch Hummer limousine after swinging by the Sbarro in Times Square:
"It's not mine, it's a rental," explained Byrne, who does not own a car.
After the event, New York City's livable streets advocacy elite partied the rest of the night away in the 9th Avenue protected bike lane while ensconced the anonymity of the Hummer's lavish interior:
"Do you know who I am!?!," an intoxicated Sadikh-Khan was heard to scream at one point after an angry cyclist pounded on the Hummer's hood. "I built this bike lane!"
Then they made Vines of themselves ghost-riding Citi Bikes into the Hudson.
Speaking of cyclists and safety, even the pros fall victim to reckless drivers, as the impressively-named Stig Broeckx recently demonstrated at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne:
This is merely the latest example of press and support vehicles taking out riders, and Jonathan Vaughters (whose erstwhile sideburns have now joined forces in the form of a beard) recently addressed the issue:
Then perhaps the answer is to reduce the number of vehicles? So whose interest do we diminish? If the TV motorcycles and media cars are removed, then the race will fade to obscurity and no longer be able to meet costs of production. If the judges are removed, the race will devolve into a “Mad Max” version of cycling. If the team cars are removed, the riders will have no support for their efforts. The solutions aren't clear.
It seems pretty obvious to me the answer is the "Mad Max" scenario, because that would be awesome, but surprisingly Vaughters instead says pro cycling should emulate the NFL:
Solutions to these issues? Simple. Align the business interests so everyone decides what is best together, in advance, and live by those decisions. Maybe racing in the snow makes sense if everyone has brought snow tires and heavy parkas to begin with? Maybe the business benefits outweigh the negatives if done in a safe way? Maybe fewer cars and less officiating and media makes sense? Maybe not?
Risks and rewards must be chosen by all parties. But since the teams and riders aren't part of the business of producing a race — many race organizers view riders and teams as nuisances, frankly — interests aren’t shared. Riders have to rely on decision-making from people who are highly invested in the business of producing a race. And that decision-making will reflect what is best for the race organizer. Not the teams and athletes.
How does aligning business interests look? Just like any major-league sport: The teams and the events are one and the same. The NFL, and all its franchise teams, run the Super Bowl, benefit from the Super Bowl, and also carry the risks and liabilities of the Super Bowl. There is no "Super Bowl organizer" running a completely separate business from the teams competing in the Super Bowl and making decisions that the teams know nothing about.
Which, ironically (or not), is pretty much what his arch-nemesis Lance Armstrong thinks as well:
“We talked earlier about the anti-doping whereabouts system … I do think there has to be a period, if it’s in the race, there has to be a nighttime period … you just can’t go and wake somebody up. Say you have 10 favourites at the Tour de France. It’s the night before a big mountain stage, and one guy gets woken up? I mean, if you’re going to wake up all 10, maybe that’s different. But if one of them gets woken up, and nine get to sleep through the night, and the one guy that got woken up is a really shitty sleeper, he didn’t go back to bed … his Tour is over. I don’t agree with that.
“That idea is where a union is needed. There has to be someone who stands up and says, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.’ Travis might want to do that, or WADA, or the UCI, but these riders, as a whole, as a union, have to say ‘no.’ Just like any other sport. Look at the NFL. Look at Major League Baseball. ‘Uh uh. We get it, you want clean sport. We like that ideal. We’ll do what we can. But we’re not going to do that. And, by the way, we’re not going to do a lot of other things, either. We’re not going to ride on shitty, dangerous circuits and risk our lives. There are all these things in place that we’re not going to do.’
So basically what they're saying is the sport needs to run its own races and accept a certain amount of doping--which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense, though you'll still have the problem of errant dogs:
Yes, dogs and bikes don't always mix well, though that doesn't stop people from trying. Consider this advice a reader recently forwarded me:
Biking with Dogs
First, wearing the right apparel is important for both dogs and humans. If biking late at night to avoid NYC traffic, hot asphalt and heatstroke, dogs should wear flashing lights, slip collars and short leather leashes. Flexi-leads and chain leashes are not recommended as they could lead to an accident or injure someone seriously in a crash. You should wear light colored clothing, a reflective vest and helmet.
What, no helmet for the dog!?!
New York City biking presents some challenges. First, oil slicks on the street. In NYC, our bike lanes are on the left, so we suggest holding the leash in the left hand and having a really good brake mounted for right hand use, but the dogs have to contend with car doors from cars parking to the left of the bike lane, which could injure the rider or the dog.
I should mention at this point that the reader who forwarded me this apparently received it via a triathlon group, and the only bigger disaster in the making I can think of than a triathlete riding while holding a dog leash is a Donald Trump presidency.
In addition to watching out for car doors, you can train your dog to run right alongside of your bike, not in front of or lagging behind. Dogs can run faster than you can bike and if they get out ahead could easily pull you over. Let them lag behind and cross over to the right and they could spin the biker around like a top. Other dangers include wildlife, which distract the dogs and may cause them to bolt. In NYC, dogs can easily be distracted by rats or intimidated by police horses. Our orthopedic surgeons recommend you wait until a dog is about a year old to bike them. Heavy exercise in young dogs may lead to orthopedic issues in adulthood.
Or, you know, just LEAVE THE DOG AT HOME and bring the it to the dog run after your ride, but I suppose that doesn't evoke the timeless bond between human and canine:
(Before the advent of the mass-produced cycling helmet, riders wore dogs for protection.)
Lastly, while we're on the subject of timeless themes, here's an interesting treatise on #whatpressureyourunning:
It's worth a read, though all you really need to know is this:
Even simpler, here is a summary in two sentences:
--Ride the tire pressure that feels good to you.
--When in doubt, let out some air.
It’s really that simple!
It really is.
By the way, Jan Heine has written quite a bit about wide 650b tires, and they're now officially being embraced by the Fred set:
Now that we've been liberated from the constraints of rim brake caliper positioning I guess we'll be seeing some serious wheel size fluctuations.
That's certainly not a bad thing, but I'd wait at least 10 years for it all to settle down.