It's officially Bike to Work Week, so if you're lucky enough to be among the roughly %.08 of Americans who A) have a bike; and 2) have a job, this is your chance to shine!
That's right, as counterintuitive as it may seem you really can use that two-wheeled vehicle with the pedals as a means of transport, and to that end the New York Times spoke to some dumb bike blogger about it:
Eben Weiss, the author of the blog Bike Snob NYC, offered some advice for the city: Institute a Drive to Work Week.
“That way, people can see how wildly impractical it is to drive to work compared to biking.”
Smug remarks aside, he said, “Riding in the city is freedom from traffic, timetables and transit delays.”
Oh, I'm so clever--but did I actually say "biking?"
Oy. I've become everything I once despised.
Anyway, I was pleased to see the aforementioned piece is already attracting the usual brand of insightful bike-related commentary:
Lifelong New Yorker
Bloomberg never should have started the CitiBike program without first impressing on would-be cyclists that the traffic laws apply to them too. They blow red lights, go against traffic and - on the fancy bike lanes on Queens Blvd. - completely ignore the helpful arrow on the ground and still go against traffic. Way too many of them are an ignorant and/or arrogant menace. I know this from daily experience and, I was knocked down by one while I was crossing in the crosswalk with the light in my favor.
Instead of complaining about cyclists, Lifelong New Yorker and Full-Time Imbecile should realize that he (or she, but let's just say "he") is a statistical anomaly in that he has not yet been killed by a driver on Queens Boulevard.
Meanwhile, via the aforementioned article, apparently the NYPD is observing Bike To Work Week with a "targeted initiative" to protect cyclists:
“This targeted initiative will make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes and safe conditions as more and more people take to the streets,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.
Hey, this sounds great in theory, but why do I suspect that as this directive makes its way down the chain of command it will go from "make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes" to "ticket cyclists for not riding in bike lanes"?
Officers from all 77 city precincts will be directed to focus on drivers who are committing traffic violations that endanger bicyclists. In addition, NYPD traffic enforcement agents will focus on parking violations most associated with bicycle accidents, like parking in a bike lane, double parking or parking in a No Standing zone.
Yep, there's that "A" word again. Are they really "bicycle accidents" if they're caused by drivers putting their cars where they don't belong? After all, when I step on one of my kids' Legos, I don't consider that a "dad accident." I call it a deliberate attack on the authority and physical well-being of the paterfamilias, and you'd better believe I punish them accordingly.
Speaking of bike lanes and police, here's a member of the latter driving into a San Francisco cyclist as he rides his bicycle in an extremely awkwardly-situated example of the former:
Yesterday was not a pleasant Bike To Work Day for not one but two downtown cyclists.
Hoodline reader Tim Doyle, 48, was struck by a police car at 5:45pm while riding southbound on Second at Mission—in the street's recently installed bike lane.
A video of the collision that surfaced on YouTube today shows the SFPD vehicle pull into the right-hand turn lane behind another vehicle at the Second and Mission intersection. The squad car then pulled to the left into the bike lane and struck Doyle, throwing him and the bike to the ground.
Though this being San Francisco, I suspect this may all be part of an elaborate viral marketing campaign:
The video above was published on YouTube by Nexar, which recently-launched a free iPhone dashcam app for vehicles. With the company's mission to "rid the world of car accidents" and help drivers "stay protected on the road and avoid getting into tough spots," the dashcam begins recording as soon as the driver suddenly hits the brake, or initiates the app with a tap or voice command.
Thank you Silicon Valley for your ceaseless efforts on the part of motorists everywhere.
As for that awkwardly-placed bike lane, to find worse you'd have to travel all the way to Brisbane, Australia, where they just installed this:
Seems to me the island should be buffering the bike lane and not the other way around. Maybe installing bike lanes in mirror image is an Australian thing, like how their toilets flush backwards. By the way, here's some background on the above bike lane via the reader who forwarded it:
A couple of years a go Danish university student Rebekka Meyer, studying at University of Queensland was riding her bike to uni on Annerley Road when she stopped at the traffic lights. When the lights turned green she was run over by a truck, killing her.
There was a Coroners inquiry into the accident and one of the recommendations was for separate infrastructure.
Today Brisbane City Council created this in the area where the accident occurred.
By the way, as you may recall from this very blog, Brisbane is the same place where residents are tormented by Freds discussing their sexual exploits:
FOUL-mouthed cyclists bragging about their bedroom exploits have sparked so many complaints from fed-up residents a councillor wants "keep quiet" signs erected along a popular cycling route.
Once again, it's important to note that Freds have nonexistent sex lives and the extent of their "bedroom exploits" is the pre-ride application of chamois cream, so this is clearly a group of people with some delicate sensibilities indeed.
Anyway, as Bike to Work Week in the auto-centric Anglophonic countries devolves into the inevitable shitshow, Copenhagen would like to remind you that their city is a cycling paradise:
Well la-di-da, good for you.
I'd happily emigrate there as a refugee from automotive tyranny, but apparently they don't look too kindly on asylum-seekers, so I guess I'm just screwed.
Of course, thanks to Kickstarter our problems will soon be over, because someone's working on a flying e-bike (though sadly there's no accompanying video):
I'll be adding safety features to the flying e-bike as well as a height meter, safety features will include something to stabilize, a backup battery that keeps it in the air if anything fails (which shouldn't be possible if everything goes according to plan). Price tag of this project is estimated on 50k as it will require a lot of technology, when the final product is available and tested properly for safety, everything will be reviewed to make this affordable for almost everyone, end price should not be more than double of a normal e-bike.
For the people that do not have any idea of what i have in mind, i am planning to make a combination of a bycicle and a drone/helicopter
I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong.