Good morning! Feeling good? Well, you won't be for long, because here's something that's going to depress the hell out of you:
The victim, a 33-year-old man, was riding on Sixth Avenue at Sterling Place when he was hit at around 8 a.m., according to the Daily News. Police had not released the victim’s name as of early this afternoon.
The truck was an 18-wheeler. Sixth Avenue at Sterling Place is a narrow neighborhood street. It’s not a truck route, but big rig drivers are a problem there.
Trucks longer than 55 feet are allowed on New York City streets with a permit, but only if the load is “non-divisible,” such as construction beams. A trailer carrying boxed or other loose cargo, like the one involved in this crash, would not be permitted on surface streets if the total truck length exceeds 55 feet.
Okay, so a cyclist has been killed by a trucker driving an 18-wheeler on a residential street where such massive vehicles are, for obvious reasons, not allowed. In any sort of enlightened society law enforcement might acknowledge some sort of cause and effect at work here, but this is the NYPD we're talking about, so instead they move quickly to blame the victim:
Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek and reader Eric McClure were at the scene and spoke with police and witnesses. Naparstek said precinct cops were telling passersby that the victim was purposefully holding the side of the truck, as if to hitch a ride. But that also describes what a cyclist might do when passed by a large truck on a narrow street and is desperately trying to avoid being run over.
Yes, that's right, reflexively attempting to defend yourself against the 80,000lb vehicle bearing down at you now qualifies as "skitching."
Hey, they couldn't blame the cyclist for salmoning or running the light, so I guess this was the best they could come up with.
By the way, here's the type of bicycle the victim was riding, which I happen to know because I saw a picture of it:
So picture this: it's a beautiful spring morning. You're riding around Park Slope, Brooklyn on a residential street at 8am. On a Linus. Suddenly a big rig appears, its engine roaring, so naturally you're first thought is FUCK IT, I'M GONNA SKITCH OFF THIS THING!!!
Yeah, I don't think so.
Anyway, presumably even the NYPD realized this was somewhat implausible, so when they made their formal press announcement they revised it thusly:
In other words, instead of skitching, the victim apparently decided to ride right into the truck's rear wheel.
But that didn't ring quite true either, so the NYPD revised it yet again and invoked the Power Of The Wind, which they must have figured would strike exactly the right note of beguiling, ethereal mystery:
Setting aside for a moment the sheer absurdity of this explanation (they might as well have said the victim had been killed by a Sharknado), for this to be even remotely true the truck would have to have been traveling at Interstate highway speed, which even the assholes who drive around Brooklyn would be hard-pressed to pull off on 6th Avenue in an 18-wheeler. (Sure, regular car no problem, just not a big rig.)
At this point when the NYPD arrives at the scene of a fatal crash involving a pedestrian or a cyclist I'd rather they just nod, turn to the bystanders, and say "Fuck the victim and fuck you." I mean this is pretty much what they're doing anyway, and at least being honest about it is less insulting to our intelligence.
In the meantime, if anyone ever asks you whatever happened to Vision Zero, just tell them it was sucked away by "something like a wind force."
Moving on to someplace where they actually give a shit, here's a Kickstarter for a new generation of Dutch bicycle:
Which is made out of stamped aluminum:
At around US$1,200 for the singlespeed version this seems a bit dear, especially since you don't get the sort of smugness accessories you've come to accept from the Dutch, such as fenders, kiddie seats, and a rack to carry your clogs:
And not for nothing, but if you're looking to go Dutch you can get a WorkCycles Fr8 for the price of the rolling automotive body panel:
defensive explanation of the price for no additional cost:
Why are WorkCycles bikes so expensive?
Now that’s quite an accusation. WorkCycles bikes are actually not expensive for what they are. They simply cost what they have to cost. We insist upon delivering an “absolutely good enough” level of function and quality that often costs considerably more than the “not quite good enough” that other manufacturers are content with. These costs are cumulative. An example is the paintwork of the Fr8, a bike built to endure the harshest conditions. Bikes from most other manufacturers are simply coated with a layer or two of wet paint or powder-coat over bare metal. The Fr8 is first zinc-phosphate treated, then painted on both the inside and outside with anodically applied KTL antirust primer, and then coated with a very tough powdercoat. No factory in Asia will finish bikes this way meaning that these bicycles must be finished and assembled in Europe, unlike most bicycles that are manufactured completely in China or Taiwan.
So there you go.
Lastly, some Danish designers would like to welcome you to HEL:
That's HEL as in "helmet" and not the place where you have to ride a hybrid bike with under-inflated tires for all eternity. Here's the pitch:
"Riding your bike is easy and eco-friendly transportation, but you also want to be safe and look your best at the same time."
Not according to the NYPD.
"Whether you're stopping or a coffee break..."
Yes, always wear your helmet while stopping for coffee.
"...working hard at your job..."
Please note that "working hard at your job" in that part of the world means occasionally pouring coffee for smiling customers in between bouts of paid paternal leave.
"...or if you're simply planning to be blazing through the city."
"Blazing through the city?" 420 was yesterday, lady.
"Underneath its clean looks it has a range of technical features, like the easy-to-use magnetic buckle, that also takes away the fear of catching a little skin."
I admit those magnetic buckles are nifty, but it's worth noting that some people love catching a little skin:
But the HEL is more than just a foam hat for prudish stoners. It also has a special proprietary "Scandinavian fit:"
"Our Scandinavian fit is a bit more oblong..."
Naturally I consulted a popular Internet search engine to learn more, and it didn't take long before things got disturbing:
This distinction was repeated by Charles Morris in his book The Aryan Race (1888), which argued that the original Aryans could be identified by their blond hair and other Nordic features, such as dolichocephaly (long skull). The argument was given extra impetus by the French anthropologist Vacher de Lapouge in his book L’Aryen, in which he argued that the "dolichocephalic-blond" peoples were natural leaders, destined to rule over more brachycephalic (short-skulled) peoples.
Well now that's awkward.
I tried to forget what I'd just read and watch the rest of the video, but it was hopelessly tainted for me now and I grew increasingly paranoid:
"The helmet comes in a variety of colors with both single and two-colored styles."
Sure, they look nice and all, but how do I know that pattern doesn't spell out "We Will Rise Above The Short-Skulled Once Again" in Danish runes?
The view from the rear was also unsettling:
"The neck dial adjuster is easy to use and makes sure your helmet is always in place."
If you think of those air holes as eyes it looks like she's feeding treats to a cartoon duck.
Still, assuming your head is the right shape, the designers of HEL want to be your friend:
"At Linn, we care about design, and we care about you."
But who even needs a helmet designed to snugly fit your oblong Scandinavian skull when you have miles and miles of beautiful bike highway?
I'm looking forward to the video for the short-skulled version...once they Dane to release it.