Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bikes: Still the Number One Problem Facing Humanity Today



(Gate for pedestrian access...TO HELL!!!)

Yesterday at about 11:30am a loser and complete douchebag woke up, breakfasted on sugar cereal and Mountain Dew, and then hooked up with his loser douchebag friend in order to ride their stupid farty dirt bikes on the nature trail in Van Cortlandt Park.  As they neared the golf course clubhouse, their piece of shit bikes sputtering like they probably do themselves when they try to form a complete sentence, they passed the World's Greatest Bike Blogger:


(I have no idea who took this or when, but it's awesome.)

A dashing figure clad in a cheap black windbreaker and a sweat-stained hat, the World's Greatest Bike Blogger was preparing to give an interview to a pair of UK filmmakers working on a documentary about New York City traffic violence.  Incensed by the douchebags and their sickening disregard for public safety and the law, the World's Greatest Bike Blogger shouted over the flatulent motors that he was going to call 911 and then banished them to Yonkers from whence (he assumed) they came.  To this, one of the douchebags replied by presenting his middle finger, and then off to Yonkers (he assumes) they went.

Sadly the cameras were not yet rolling so I cannot offer video of the event, but I did take a few snaps as I chided them, and here's one of the douchebags:


Yes, a real prickface if there ever was one, his bent and limp brake lever reflecting both his poor riding ability as well as his utter lack of potency:


Alas, ATVs and the like are a problem in New York City, and the NYPD is responding with the modern equivalent of a public execution:


The city's top cop is going medieval on the summertime scourge of “screwballs” driving reckless, high-speed motor bikes on the streets.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Sunday some 500 two-wheeled motorcycles, dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs seized by the police this year will be publicly destroyed sometime in the next week.

He went on to tee off on the folks who speed down crowded city streets in irritating flocks of the often-unmuffled machines.

I'm all in favor of this and would enjoy few things more than seeing the bikes of those riders I encountered destroyed, yet at the same time it's frustrating that when it comes to the drivers who are actually killing people on a daily basis the NYPD is generally happy to let them go.  Sure, ATVs are not street-legal, but strictly speaking neither are many of the cars currently plying the streets.  And I'm not talking about tinted windows and performance modifications either.  I'm talking about insurance fraud.  Lots of drivers in New York City illegally register their vehicles out-of-state, taking advantage of the much lower insurance premiums, or (in the case of states like New Hampshire and Virginia) lack of insurance requirements altogether.  And you know what happens when one of those uninsured drivers hits you?  Nothing.  The police are more than happy to let them go, and unless you're lucky enough to be driving a car too and have your own insurance policy to look to, you're basically fucked.

Bike lane opponents love to decry the loss of parking, but one can only imagine how much street space would be freed up if somebody made a concerted effort to crack down on illegally-registered cars.  Sadly this will never happen, presumably because the people who would be responsible for enforcing illegally-registered cars are the same people who are driving them.

Given this, I suppose it's easier to hold monster truck rally-style ATV smashings, and to remind cyclists to "Yeild to Peds:"


(Spotted by Samuel)

I guess those signs don't have spell-check.

And let's not forget that "bikes are a big problem," at least according to the new commander of the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side of Manhattan:



He wasted no time in getting right to the heart of a major concern for Upper East Side residents: “From what I understand, bikes are a big problem,” he said. “I think the 19th precinct is the only command in the city that writes and confiscates more bicycles than the 17th precinct. I think the officers here … are aggressively pursuing it. And my goal is to continue that.”

In a city where people are getting killed and maimed by drivers on a regular basis it's frankly revolting to hear someone from the NYPD not only call bikes a "big problem" but brag to a bunch of rich people about how they're confiscating more of them than the other guys in the slightly less wealthy precinct next-door.  Then again, I suppose he's under tremendous pressure from people like noted urban planning authority Woody Allen:


"None of the streets can accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way," Allen said, arguing that the DOT's plan to add bike lanes to Upper East Side crosstown streets is out of step with the community. "Every street has a good argument why it shouldn't have a lane."

May I interject one statement at this juncture? And I don't mean to be didactic or facetious in any way, but shut the fuck up, Woody.


I don't think there's a single street in Manhattan that accommodates motor vehicle traffic "in a graceful way," so what the hell is he even talking about?  Even more vexingly, why is someone as notoriously private as Woody Allen publicly sounding off on the subject he probably knows the least about?  (Besides sleeping with women his own age, of course.)  If we want insight into having once been a great filmmaker, playing clarinet, or seducing our step-daughters we'll ask for it, otherwise please leave matters of life and death to the professionals--or, failing that, the Department of Transportation.

Speaking of people operating outside of the area of their expertise, check this out:



Basically this guy invented a revolutionary bagless vacuum sweeper attachment once:


So now he's going to revolutionize your bike with these:


Call me skeptical, but I'm always leery of any inventor who starts his bicycle-themed pitch like this:

"I was watching the Tour de France bicycle race when I got the idea..."

That's like saying "I was watching the debates on CNN when I decided I should run for President."

My favorite part of this video is the guy who demonstrates pedal installation and removal, because he sounds like he's describing the Kennedy assassination:



I also liked this convincing demonstration:


So basically it's the same as using a different gearing, or crank length, or one of those elliptical chainrings, or some combination thereof.

I'll wait until it comes in crabon.

Lastly, I'd like to remind you once again that this Saturday I'll be doing a group ride/presentation/book-signing thingy in Hoboken together with Von Hof Cycles and Little City Books:


If you're heading out that way, I'll be the person on the PATH train with a Brompton.

87 comments:

Roille Figners said...

I don't feel tardy...

Anonymous said...

here

Anonymous said...

Date-rapin' the podio

N/A said...

Shut the fuck up, Woody!

Spokey said...

pheew

top 5

trama said...

Cars are great and useful items, but we bend our lives around them and not the other way around. This is crap.

Smokestack said...

1. The moto riders are near as dumb as most all Woody Allen flicks, and as much as every police chief in NYC it seems.
2. That ain't a brake lever on the right. That's a clutch lever.
3. Commonly, they're bent to get more leverage, quickening the ability to bang out shifts.
4. I wouldn't expect a slick city slicker Bromptonite like yerself to know those last two things, but if I can help make you less foolish in the eyes of chuckleheads who agree with the motoriders' bird flipping, I am happy to help.

dnk said...

Snob, great post today. Woody should dump his stepdaughter for Dorothy Rabinowitz. Think of all the sweet love they could make.

Okay. Don't think about it.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Smokestack,

Right! Couldn't remember which was clutch and which was brake, has been a few years since I've ridden a motorcycle.

Had no idea about the bent for leverage thing though. Guess you really need to be able to rip through those nature trails in city parks.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

I thought motorbike clutches are on the left. Mine certainly is. Are dirt bikes backwards?

Chazu said...

Read it first. All of it.

trama said...

@smokestack
clutch ain't on the right, it is the front brake lever, hence "moto" style, whereupon idiots like me who ride motorcycles and bicycles rig their bikes accordingly.

Anonymous said...

"None of the streets can accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way" ~ said the whiny little bitch that never made a funny movie. STFU Woody

grog said...

Clutch left, front brake right; gear shift left foot, rear brake right foot. Shut the fuck up Woody Allen.

BikeSnobNYC said...

trama,

Wait, so I was right, it is the brake! That's what I thought in the first place. YOU'RE ALL CONFUSING ME!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Osymetric!

Kurt Jensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@smokestack Unless my motorcycle is an anomaly, the clutch is on the left and front brake is on the right. Also I have shorty levers so from some angles they also can look "bent" but they are not.

Bromptonaut said...

A question for your internet bookstore named after a river: I realise that the fleet of freighters needed to stock their warehouses with the bestselling bike maintenance book (ever) might not have made it across the Atlantic yet, but why do we also have to wait another three weeks before they are prepared to let us have some electrons over t'internet for the digital edition? The suspense is killing me!

Smokestack said...

Derp. Right hand front. But at least the bit about increasing leverage is right (did that to my MX & BMX when I was a younger lad). And the Woody/police chief bit too.

Anonymous said...

1) Smokestack brings forth a Chamois-Juice-like certainty about totally wrong shit.

2) It's almost like people on the internet don't know what the fuck they're talking about.

Roille Figners said...

You look a little like Louis CK there, Snobz.

Joe said...

Much like OptiGrabs...down the road knee problems or some such. Fred still wears his OptiGrabs. https://youtu.be/qaz2hxZLycY

Spokey said...


anon at 12:56

re number 2). absolutely. i know that whenever i'm on the internet i have no idea what the fuck-o i'm talking about. and it is absolutely unrelated to the fact that off the internet i have no fuck-o-ing idea what i'm talking about.

but as i don't know what i'm talking about, i must be wrong which means that i do know what i'm talking about. which means i don't know what i'm talking about.

gawd. where's teddy k when i needs him.

Grump said...

Did you yell..."Dad Gum it, you kids......Get off my lawn"??

janinedm said...

@Roille Figners Louis CK is very funny and we all love him, but if I were Snob I'd ban you for saying that. Also, now i have to find a new thing to say when I defend the fact that I only exclusively use Brooks saddles on my bikes. I used to say "the butt wants what it wants." In Woody's defense, bike lanes are his natural enemy. First, he doesn't need younger men in better shape parading their shapely calves in his (and his child bride's) face.

Spokey said...

i might add that i have four vacuum cleaners in my house right now (if i count the little dirt devil) and non have anything like that monstrosity he patented. they all have bags. also know for certain princess and peaches don't have any. i don't think sluggo cleans so he may not own a vacuum cleaner. but i'll keep looking for someone with that ubiquitous invention.

i also think that i would never get used to those krankups. seems like it would ruin any attempt and smooth pedaling. but i have noticed my ups guy is kind of krank(y) lately so maybe there is something to this two holed elipse with a bolt in one end.

Spokey said...


mr janinedm

i wouldn't say child bride anymore. i'd say more middle age now. they're heading for their 20th wedding anniversary next year. but i still won't watch his movies.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I palp bags in my sweepers also. Well, except for the shop vac.

Scranus.

Tom Dalton said...

The krank-ups guy really is a genius. Take an idea that has already been brought to market, present it as novel, prey on the fact that the investor will just assume it's patentable because he's never seen it before, and watch the dollars roll in. There tri-dorks were using something like this maybe 15-20 years ago.

janinedm said...

@spokey Abuse experts say that victim's development is often arrested at the time of their abuse, so she remains a child bride to me...

Hoghopper said...

Those pedophiles get all the breaks.

Did I do that? said...

Also be very skeptical of any Kickstartupper that begins with, "the bike has hardly changed in 100 years" and, "this will revutionize...."

Okay, maybe not exact quotations but you get the point.

I doubt Dorothy R. Could stomach Woody the pedo Allen.

Bryan said...

Crankups guy just reinvented the Biopace chainrings. Imagine how cranky he would be if he realized there were already chainrings shaped to do the exact same thing. I too liked the detailed instructions for taking the pedals on and off.
Anyway, excellent FattyCast yesterday. Wouldn't mind a semi regular 90 minute long podcast featuring you!

Anonymous said...

Bending a motorcycle lever "to get more leverage" is almost as big of an engineering fail as those Qfuckers.

Anonymous said...

There's no good place for dirtbags on dirt bikes in the area. Now they're probably lost. In Yonkers. Woody may have lost his voice of irreverence and youth, but he knows how to sing for his supper to his target audience. He just gets nervous and complains about things he fears and doesn't understand. On a brighter note, I just ordered the new book and an extra special limited edition bsnyc cap from Walz. I hope to be wearing it on the aqueduct in the near future. The cap, not the book.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...May I interject, without being facetious: FUCK WOODY ALLEN!

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...


Well said all round Snobby!

A friend of mine who's name is the same as the moniker for weight weenie wanna be go fast bikecycle guys took a few pictures of a kid/guy/noisemaker getting pretty abused by the PO-lice for riding his chainsaw sounding buzz bike around Union Square with the rest of his homies/possy/crew/duudlebros. I guess they was makin a zample of him.

Clutch on the left, brake on the right, ... unless it's UK ?? Oh crap...

Makes you wanna keep a stash of caltrops.

vsk

CommieCanuck said...

This just in.. they opened up Prince's (or, O(+>) vault and found some music shit, but more importantly, a bunch of purple BMX bikes and, "Bike Helmet — Union Cycliste Internationale-approved competition level Motocross bicycle helmet, painted matte purple with the inscription “2 Fast, 2 Furious” on back in sparkling gold letters."

You can't make this shit up .

And, perhaps Woody would like bike lanes if they could accommodate small girls on tricycles that he could marry. Yeah, fuck him, and his recent sucky movies.

CommieCanuck said...

The biek healment for O(+> was ironic, since he never wore a motorcycle helment.

Roille Figners said...

Hey I'm just the messenger!

Vernal Magina said...

Anybody know a good sublet in Brooklyn?

Joe said...

Snob, I think it's important to point out that the most dangerous elements of those bikers terrorizing the quiet pedestrian streets is in fact Bratton's NYPD.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Undercover-NYPD-Cop-Sentenced-Biker-Melee-SUV-Driver-Assault-Manhattan-320800231.html

bcstractor said...

All the stupid Crankups do is lower ground clearance and effectively raise your saddle. Complete BS. They just offset the pedal axis down.

Anonymous said...

So, what's the Q-factor when you add Crankups? About four inches wider? Dumb.

Winky said...

Ironman triathlete Paula Newby Fraser used devices like crank-ups for many years. They're not new at all.

Winky said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Newby-Fraser#/media/File:Paula_Newby-Fraser_Encinitas_1991_Photo_by_Patty_Mooney2.jpg

You can see the crank-up-like things here...

Anonymous said...

That photo was taken in Chicago, at On the Route bikeshop.

This, That, Etc said...

Burn all 500 in a Bonfire of the Vanities, 2016 style.

"Sleeping with women his own age". At his age he probably snores like an idling Harley Davidson.

Is there a calculation to figure out what PSI to run when using Crank-ups?

Spokey said...


coveted 50 podi

Sometimes I draw a Line said...

Who else have you personally banned?

Woody "shut the fuck up" Allen
Tom " " Cruise
Michael Jackson - I turn to another station if one of his songs comes on radio.

Devon for Woody, nah, to old for him said...

Before Joe left for Alaska, Devon and Joe did crank-ups all the time. Now Devon's on her own looking for a replacement crank-uper.

Epicyclist said...

If I bolt krank-ups to my krank-ups, does my mechanical advantage increase by double, or is it squared? Increased q-factor be damned!

dem_bieks! said...

Clutch is on the left for motobikes, people. Twisting a throttle and working the clutch with the same hand is unworkable.

What you see occasionally on mountain bieks are the front/rear brake levers swapped to emulate a motorcycle.

Regular guy said...

Right/left, brake/clutch, who cares. I bought a slightly used 29er from a flatulent-bike rider and the hydraulic dick breaks were set up right/front left/back. I didn't even notice it until I had ridden the bike a few times.

Krankup dude, that ain't nothin' new. Shimano had the "dyna drive" back in the early 80's, which I remember were favorites for early Tri-dorks. Just about the same thing only more graceful, as Mr. Allen would say.

read about it here

I guess they liked them because they could wear running shoes instead of cleats, so T-dorks wouldn't have to suffer the embarrassment of failing to unclip. I used to train once a week with a Tri-dork woman who was trying to ride with early clipless pedals and would fall over at every other stoplight.

N/A said...

I don't want to shock anybody, here, but the clutch is on the left side fer the motorbiekcycles. I know this hadn't occurred to anybody else in the comments previous to this. You're welcome.

Dooth said...

Graceful bike lanes? Ok, I've had enough! Time to rumble.

JuanOffhue said...

I’ve got your Q-factorright here.

JLRB said...

When I was young I tried to enjoy a Woody Allen movie but failed.

Self-indulgent...

How would any element of a city street be graceful? Maybe a ribbon of pave rolling across country hills could be called graceful, but a city street?

JLRB said...

And Roille - Thanks for starting us off with a Spicolli quote! Or wait, was that David Lee Roth? Or was it both?

trama said...

I will say that motorbicycles have nasty little habitses involving the swapping right/left sides for rear brake pedal and shift lever, and to top it off the friggin downshift up with toe or downshift down with toe swaparoo eegads. I drove a British POS around for a few in India, and it was also the opposite side of the road going on, (the wrong side) and it was all backwards from my Japanese POS motirbikle back home in USA. About the only constant you have in this idiotic world is the right hand front brake setup.

Didn't know Woody was still alive.

N/A said...

I wonder if Woody thinks that biek lanes bring to mind a visual cacophony that if you look there long enough it will induce a dizzying type of vertigo?

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

'What a graceful and elegantly executed bike lane' said no one ever.

janinedm said...

Funnily enough, Woody Allen had an interview out today where he said this, I like cities like New York, where I can walk out of my house and I'm right in the middle of everything and there's noise and traffic and we get gray, cloudy days and snow. And he also said this And then somehow or another I catch up with the tabloids. My driver has them when I'm sitting in the car. You see, city streets are for idling cars.

P. Bateman said...

to the left...to the left...to the right....to the right...

now dip baby dip

Zapruder film...or the 69 Boyz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs7f3ssuEjA

Gideon said...

Mr. Snob

I'm in a bad mood today and your righteous indignation is really making me feel warm on the inside. Could be the chinese lunch special, but probably not.

- Nada Robot

P. Bateman said...

I've bent my lever so i can bang out shifts.

Dooth said...

A scene from Woody's cinema verité: Oh, it's so nice and comfy to be chauffeured around the city, but damn those disgraceful bike lanes JUST RUINING EVERYTHING! Oh no! There's Mia! Soon Yi, duck!

leroy said...

I think I agree with my dog this time.

Southold police chief Martin Flatus said...

Clint McPhereson, a man after my own heart.

BamaPhred said...

Nah, I never gave anyone the finger when I was a teenage prick face doing exactly what I wanted to do,

Captain Oblivious said...

Now y'all may think I'm a scrooge, but I've never given anyone a finger. I thought I needed all ten. Now if anyone wants to give me a finger, I'd appreciate it. A few extra and I might actually be able to adjust my brakes properly.

Roille Figners said...

FINALLY Woody Allen weighs in on bieking issues! He has been silent too long!

Just kidding, FUCK WOODY ALLEN! Nebbishy fucko!

Anonymous said...

*URGENT*

Snob,

Have you ever considered calling your fans "snob-gobblers"?

Walter Sobchak said...

Well, Captain Oblivious, can't give you a finger, " but you want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish. These fucking amateurs..."

Captain Oblivious said...


Walter

got an arm for that toe? I think I'm going to need one or two of those too (or is it to or two or tue?).

McFly said...

If George designed a vacuum cleaner attachment that "is probably in my home" then why is he having to build the Krankups in his son's garage?

What did he spend the royalties on? Whores? Cocaine?

bad boy traveling said...

Just another rainy day in dc.can't wait to get home in ny to more rain.oh well.

Spokey said...

and for once i'm up at the crack of dawn and no regents yet to fail

yeah, rain. forget what sitting on a biek-sickle is like.

bad boy traveling said...

Say hi to dawn for me.

Spokey said...


dawn wants to say hi, but is busy

bad boy traveling said...

Yep...went there.

bad boy traveling said...

Film at 11.

JLRB said...

You get the finger you deserve

N/A said...

I think the boys were simply recognizing Wildcat's book being #1.

Anonymous said...

crankups....to many issues in the mechanical longevity department. Biometrics of this add-on are daunting due to the increased width. Nice to hear the old guy has a sharp mind

Jofus Braylor said...

Did nobody else notice krank-dude using a cone wrench on his pedal? Also, how are you going to remove that pedal after a few months of mechanical precession have stuck them together like horny to a sinner? Now we need two wrenches to swap from the gravel grinding pedals to the fire roading pedals?