See? Water Freds:
Crossing the lift bridge and alighting upon Manhattan I followed a bus festooned with Vision Zero propaganda:
That's Spanish for "Bus drivers should be allowed to run over small children without fear of arrest:"
Then I broke down the Brompton and defected to the Alpha train:
I passed the rest of the day as though in a dream:
It's depressing to consider that if they were making "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" today the studio probably wouldn't release it unless he was wearing a helmet:
Helmetless cycling is right up there with smoking when it comes to stuff you're not supposed to show people doing anymore.
Incidentally, by far the most common bike-related dream I have is that the bike race is about to start and I'm rushing to put on my bib shorts but I can't because I'm caught in the Lycra like it's a spider web or some sort of super-sticky goo:
If you've ever tried to put on your cycling attire while you're still wet from a shower then you are familiar with this frustrating sensation. In fact I'm surprised nobody's ever held a contest to see who can get "kitted up" while wet the fastest. They could do it right after the trackstanding event and right before the Brompton fold-off.
Anyway, in the evening I more or less reversed my commute. It was the usual fair-weather shitshow. You know, drivers blocking the protected bike lane even though there's parking available five feet over:
And food delivery professionals salmoning at high speed:
And idiots just hanging out in the bike lane with the car door open while they mash their stubby fingers against their fucking smartphones:
I like to imagine that, thanks to smartphones, the morons of the world are interconnected by a worldwide spoodge glob of stupidity just like the one ensnaring He-Man up there.
Speaking of food delivery professionals, while I'm mostly against salmoning (I did invent the term, after all), I tend to cut the food delivery people some slack. The truth is these people work hard, and there is a way to salmon without being obtrusive about it. So as long as they're not getting in anybody else's way I'm fine with it.
However, yesterday evening, one particular food delivery person took his salmoning too far. In fact he was coming right at me in the bike lane. For a moment I considered swerving out of his path. After all, I was on the diminutive Brompton, and he was on some sort of pizza delivery tank complete with a front rack aimed right at my clown bike's steering stalk:
But then I decided "No! I will stand my ground! No salmon shall oust me from the bike lane that is rightfully mine!"
And so I looked right at him unwaveringly, and even my ridiculous bicycle could not undermine the magnitude of my determination. At the very last moment the salmon swerved, and as I turned to watch him I noted with glee that he was forced to plant both feet on the street in order to regain his balance.
That's right, I'd very nearly felled him through sheer force of will.
Yes, for all the bike lanes and other cutesy amenities you've still got to ride furiously in New York City if you want to survive--though in New South Wales, Australia riding furiously will cost you $425:
I'm proud to report that between my fury and my lack of a helmet yesterday's ride would have cost me nearly one thousand of your Australian dollars, or "koala foreskins" as they're colloquially known.
By the way, it appears you can also incur a $106 fine for riding a bicycle "in incorrect position." To this end, police in New South Wales have been trained in the latest bike-fitting technique, and if your position is not set up for maximum efficiency and power transfer then you will be charged accordingly.
Meanwhile, yesterday a commenter mentioned Vancouver's planned bike share program, and here's the burning question:
Yes it will.
Nevertheless, instead of doing something sensible like getting rid of the stupid law, they've come up with some ridiculous disposable liner system that works like those ass gaskets you find in public restrooms:
As another major feature of the smart bikes, each bike will be equipped with a basket that holds a helmet, replacing the previous plan to store reusable helmets inside vending machines at each bike share
The company’s smart technology and helmet-in-basket design significantly reduces capital and operational costs given the system’s ability to allow for smaller bike stations and the elimination of any need for costly helmet vending machines and return receptacles, as previously proposed by Motivate.
Instead, each bike will be equipped with a basket that holds a helmet that will contain liners for people who will want to use it for hygiene purposes. The helmets, purposely designed by Bell Helmets for Vancouver’s bike share system, will be free for bike share users and maintenance crews will service the helmets on a daily basis.
Pathetic. These idiotic helmet workarounds just go to show how these laws serve no real purpose and are basically religious/superstitious in nature, no different from a ritualistic diet or refraining from performing arbitrary tasks on the the Sabbath--though I suppose "helmet service technician" does look good on your resume.
(By the way, when I was in Vancouver I didn't even realize they had a helmet law, and I did manage to ride for over seven minutes without being tackled by an officer of the law.)
In other bicycle safety news, Knog now has a Kickstarter for its interpretation of the bicycle bell:
It's called the "Oi:"
Which should not be confused with the "Oy:"
You saw that one coming.
If nothing else, we've clearly entered into a golden age of bicycle bell design, and I've still got that fancy Spurcycle bell on my bike:
Sure, everybody ignores it, but the delightful chime makes me feel better about the fact that they won't let me pass.
I also ring it whenever I encounter antisemitism:
Lastly, via a reader named Tim, here's a real beauty from the Portland Craigslist:
I'm assuming those are slingshots, which are a lot more effective than a bell when it comes to alerting people to your presence.