DESPITE the threat of the massive new fines for running red lights, not wearing helmets and riding dangerously, The Daily Telegraph witnessed cyclists continuing to flout the road rules today.
Ben Ackerley, who recently moved to Sydney from the United States, became possibly the first rider to be booked under the new fine regime.
And here he is, making the universal gesture for "How fucking stupid is this country?"
A police Highway Patrol officer on a motorcycle pulled Mr Ackerley over and hit him with the new $319 fine – up from just $71.
Even worse, on top of all that he was fined an additional $200 for the bow tie.
So what kind of reckless cycling was this insouciantly cravatted miscreant engaged in when the police saved society from him by apprehending him?
“I’d just picked the bike up from the bike shop after getting it fixed,” he said.
“It got wrecked in an accident with a taxi on Market St about three weeks ago. I knew about the no helmet laws but I was just riding about a mile and a half home.
Okay. Here's a guy who's recently moved to the other side of the planet, which can't have been easy in itself. He's also got a tough job where they make him wear a goddamn bow tie for chrissakes. Then some asshole hits him with a taxicab. And after all that he's finally bringing his bike home from the shop when Officer Yahoo You-Can't-Be-Serious slaps a $319 fine on him.
What a stupid, stupid law. No truly great city makes you wear a plastic hat in order to ride a bike, only the second-rate ones like Seattle and Vancouver. Helmeted society cannot flourish. Way to consign yourself to mediocrity. And what the hell is their obsession with helmets anyway? Is it because their most famous landmark kinda looks like one?
Yes, it really does look like a racing helmet that's broken in a crash, which makes Australia the massive tridork who's shouting "IT SAVED MY LIFE AND NOW YOU HAVE TO WEAR ONE TOO!!!" ever since.
Anyway, not only is our "patient zero" an American, but he's also a former New Yorker:
“I’ve just come from living in New York City. The cops there have got better things to do than worry about this sort of stuff.”
That is emphatically untrue. The NYPD loves to ticket cyclists--and also to harass, insult, and threaten them for good measure. If anything he shouldn't feel too bad about paying the fine, because if he lived in New York City without ever getting a bullshit cycling ticket then he's still way ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, other cyclists continued to terrorize the streets of New South Wales and terrify honest, law-abiding citizens with their slightly annoying though essentially benign behavior:
While the vast majority of cyclists kept to the left lane, some riders weaved among the traffic, coming less than a metre from vehicles moving slowly through the rush hour traffic.
At the intersections with Flinders, Crown and Riley streets, a number of cyclists pushed to the front of the traffic queues stopped at red lights, leading to some distance issues between cars and bikes when the lights turned green.
It's called "shoaling."
As annoying as shoaling is, it's nowhere near as bothersome as seeing someone using 30 words to explain the concept when there's a perfectly good term for it thanks to the world's greatest bike blogger.
Speaking of annoying behavior, London commuters were recently terrorized by a filthy Mountain Fred:
There’s usually not much room for bicycles on London’s packed trains but one cyclist found a very unorthodox way of storing his pedal-powered vehicle.
He raised a few eyebrows after using several seats on the London-bound train to store his muddy bike.
And here he is, the front rotor of his bicycle gouging the upholstery, and the collar of his fleece pullover turned up in a rebuke to his fellow passengers:
("Fuck yo couch.")
As for those passengers, while "enraged" might be too strong a word, they were emphatically "tickled" by his loutish behavior:
She said that most were “tickled by his utter lack of courtesy” but added that nobody on board the train told him to move the bike, despite other passengers having to stand in the carriage.
I suspect there may even have been a passive-aggressive "harrumph" or two, but if so nobody's talking.
Of course the truly passive-aggressive move would have been to politely ask the Mountain Fred if he's ever considered a folding bike, like this one made of crabon and being held by a man in a turtleneck:
I'm assuming he's either the inventor or else Janosz Poha from "Ghostbusters II:"
Here's how it works:
a button under the handlebar pulls the two hinge points to disconnect the bike into two parts, enabling it to resize for carrying in tight spaces. a 200 watt electric motor together with a battery pack can help push the user at least an additional 15 kilometers. using bluetooth connectivity, the foldable bike communicates vitals such as speed, battery status and navigation via an app to a smartphone.
Plus, you can use it as an accordion:
Or, if he'd prefer a full-size folding bike, he could always invest in the FUBi:
We first met the FUBi back in 2013. Sadly it didn't get funded, but this more boring new video should change all that--especially this scene in which the rider rubs his crotch all over the top tube:
Yes, they're clearly focussing on the fixie market this time around, and the FUBi has the exhilarating stance and elegant silhouette of a folding beach chair:
It can also contort itself around poles like an exotic dancer working toward that college degree:
And you can even stick it in the trunk of your mother's Volvo, which is yet another trait it shares in common with an exotic dancer:
Best of all, it's always ready to throw down at the velodrome:
Or whatever that place is.
Lastly, here's Lucas Brunelle riding on a thawing river:
Now that's just crazy.
Wonder what pressure he's running.