Monday, May 16, 2016

On Your Left! It's Bike to Work Week.

Good morning.

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:


(Via Joel)

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:


(Via Geoff)

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.

Nicely done.

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.

58 comments:

N/A said...

Morning!

N/A said...

Wait a minute... let me get this straight: You can ride a bike to... work? Do I have that correct?

Atherton said...

Podioooooo

Anonymous said...

Holy Scrotium

cdinvb said...

Too hot. I'm going to stay inside and carbo stoke on apple fritters and coffee.

N/A said...

The Crapstarter thing for the flying ebike is hilarious.
"...it will require a lot of technology", OK cool, take my money bro!

"...everything will be reviewed to make this affordable for almost everyone, end price should not be more than double of a normal e-bike", uh, I don't want to fly in anything cost-shopped down to the lowest bidder.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Thickth! Scranus

Bryan Bracy said...

Top ten>...

ken e. said...

as some might say, "scranus!"

BamaPhred said...

I already loathe the flying e-bike, and really I shouldn't even care.

bad boy of the north said...

a mirror world reminds me of the old movie.."journey to the farside of the sun".spoiler alert....it doesn't end well.

leroy said...

Politely asked driver on Upper West Side yesterday to stop looking at her phone because she almost side swiped me. Seriously, politely.

It may have worked. She acknowledged my concern without advising me to perform any anatomically impossible acts upon myself. No yelling was involved and no one's blood pressure was raised.

Rode in this morning up Park Avenue because it's just too windy to ride up either of the Rivers. No cabs tried to run me over, no buses cut me off, no pedestrians darted in front of me, and not one NYPD officer gave me the fish eye. Weird. Really, really weird.

And now the NY Times is interviewing a professional bike blogger. It's like I've fallen into the maw of some parallel universe.

I wonder if dogs talk in this universe. Or if they just text.

dnk said...

Just stopped by to noisily brag in a foul-mouthed manner about my bedroom exploits.

Hey....maybe ChamoisJuice has moved to Brisbane? He hasn't been around here for a while.

dnk said...

@leroy: sadly though, in front of NYU Langone the NYPD have turned off the "YEILD TO PEDS" sign.

theEel said...

weed.

Biker Trash said...

It is always "Ditch work and go Biking Day", maybe for a few years on a vagabond, escapist, hobo bike tour......

DB said...

I have today off, the Polar Vortex has moved off to the East, I'm going for a ride.

DB said...

My Wife's wedding anniversary is tomorrow so I'm headed downtown later to find an appropriate gift for putting up with me for 42 years. (We got married out of 8th grade) I'll be looking for the Leroy's Dog line of cards to find that special sentiment and hopefully the Walz cap/Snob book combo will arrive today that I can wrap up for her.

N/A said...

It is always "bike to work and get inna' ditch Day".

Anonymous said...

Drove to work and IDGAF! You better bet your rosy asses I'm riding to the pub this evening though.

Freddy Murcks said...

Hey - Did you hear that doctors have successfully completed the first penis transplant. So instead of continually worrying over his micropenis and taking out his resultant aggression by railing against cyclists, it's possible that Lifelong New Yorker may someday be able to wile his hours away fondling a new, more voluminous penis. Ain't science great?

Anonymous said...

A drone and a bicycle, possibly the most hated conveyance in the history of transportation.

Freddy Murcks said...

I rode my bike to work today. Not because it was Bike to Work week, but because I wanted to. However, I did almost get t-boned by a car. It was totally my fault because I am one of those hated cyclists who routinely runs stop lights (on shitty, rarely busy side streets).

dcee604 said...

I drove my vehicle to work today, but I have a bike inside of it. Does that count?

Spokey said...


screw bike to work week. maybe i'll bike somwhere but i'll be damned* if i'll be bieking to werk.






* i found that i'd be damned if i go to work, double damned if i biek there when i received a vision from lob.

Spokey said...


i find it hilarious that biekey-copter has a total of $5.70 from 3 backers. and who was the cheap-shit who only forked over $1.70 rather than the more reasonable $2.

Alfred J Nag said...

Will helmets be mandatory for drone cyclists?

Roille Figners said...

The "Bicycle Snake" pic looked more like a rendering to me, and sure enough, it's not even built yet. Deceptive statements of when ("morning rush hour") and where ("here in Copenhagen") while conveniently omitting easy clue words like "someday."

P. Bateman said...

i bikeded to work. it was a grueling 6 blocks.

odd that the council members would be concerned about XXX bedroom stories yet would request to have their signs ERECTED.

CommieCanuck said...

It's all that talk about scranuses, recumbabes, Mario Cipollini. We know who is really to blame.
Do a word cloud on BSNYC text: scranus, lubrication, oils, pumping, fat tires, bib shorts, oversized bottom brackets, dick brakes. Keep it down, you horny bastards.

NHcycler said...

Roille Figners said...

"The "Bicycle Snake" pic looked more like a rendering to me, and sure enough, it's not even built yet."

Copenhagen's Cykelslangen opened back in July of 2014. There's another bike/pedestrian bridge closer to the main harbor that's been having completion problems, but not this one!

Charles Helm said...

ET come home.

JLRB said...

On who's left?

Billy said...

I started off BTWW strong by getting buzzed for the first time in a long while (a few months?) in an intersection. Followed by a moralistic lecture from the buzzing driver on the importance of signaling, and how they signal when they ride their bike. My obvious fear, anger, and answer of "then you know how much you just scared me" bounced right off their impenetrable shield of "I am a good person and could never do a bad thing".

Way to completely lose your moral authority to impart any kind of lesson by using your car as a weapon, and just how the hell are you supposed to signal a right-turn into a left-turn lane anyway? I rode in the smack middle of the road to signal "don't pass me, wait your turn".

I should start reporting this kind of thing to the police and the DMV, not that they care.

jonathan said...

Aussies have nothing on Canadians when it comes to noisily, if inadvertently, bragging about sexual exploits.

Winnipeg police sorry for 'X-rated' chopper talk overheard by public

bieks said...

Snob, congratulations on working biking into your vocabulary.

Now let's work on pronunciation: BIKEEN.

Personally, I will strike the word altimeter from my vocabulary in favour of height meter. Awesomesauce.

bieks said...

Flying bike guy's got a good understanding of cost overruns. Estimate is €50k so he's asking for €150k.

Roille Figners said...

I like how "height meter" gets such prominent mention, like it's a technical problem of the same magnitude and priority as "flying e-bike."

Comment deleted said...

Comments section in SFGate about the question-mark-turning cop clipping the bicyclist: predominantly happy that a bicyclist got clipped.

Ain't no mystery where Trump is getting his support.

Anonymous said...


I vote for that as Stupid Comment of the Day

Joe said...

I want to meet the three people who have pledged a combined $5.70 to the flying bike.

Comment deleted said...

Anonymous, voting for stupid is the problem.

JLRB said...

Bike to work week? I want a bike to chill day

Roille Figners said...

STUPID IS ALWAYS THE MAJORITY! STUPID CAN'T LOSE! STUPID WILL NEVER DIE! I'M WITH STUPID!

David G said...

Today's NYPD announcement reminded me it had been too long since I visited the Cops in Bike Lanes tumblr.
http://copsinbikelanes.tumblr.com
Today's cynicism workout: done!

Dooth said...

News Update: NYPD launches rocket to destroy city's bicyclists.

wishiwasmerckx said...

David G: 57 freaking pages of NYPD cop cars parked in bike lanes.

Unbelievable!

Zen Master said...

I'm so angry my fucking Campi shit is so fucking expensive to replace, that every fucking week is work to bike week.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of purposefully impossible kickstarter campaigns!

JLRB said...

F
I
F
T
Y

lick my fender

Robert Light said...

As a Brisbanite, I'm torn. On the one hand I'm always glad to see my little old home town getting international recognition. On the other hand, not when it's to be mocked about the fact that we can't even build a bike lane.

Ps. I still have my official letter from the Brisbane City Council that tells me that it is impossible for them to build protected bike lanes on one particular city street because it contains bus stops. If they build bike lanes, they would have to remove the bus stops because it is impossible to have both.

dop said...

those bike lanes with police cars look copstipated.

Glenn Ammons said...

What's so awkward about the placement of that San Francisco bike lane? Madison, Wisconsin has many miles of very similar lanes, and they're way better than the typical NYC placement, which puts the bike lane on the wrong side of the turn lanes. So if you're trying to ride straight through an intersection, you have to worry about drivers turning across your path, and the drivers have to somehow look straight ahead for pedestrians in the intersection and simultaneously scan for cyclists coming up from behind them. In reality they don't do both, so the best tactic is to merge into the turn lane so you can pass the cars where God intended you to ride in the first place. Be sure to watch for cops while doing this because it is no doubt illegal.

If you don't believe me, try riding up 8th Ave across 31st St (right by Penn Station) at, say, four in the afternoon. Or try a thought experiment: imagine that they put a straight-through lane for cars to the left of the left-turn lane. That wouldn't work for cars, and it doesn't work for bikes, either.

The only downside of the Madison and San Francisco placement is that drivers have to look for cyclists when crossing the bike lane. But that's just the general requirement to look before switching lanes --- it's nothing special.

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livingjetlag said...

That Brisbane bike lane is fulfilling the exact purpose for which it was designed: it's protecting innocent pedestrians from the deadly scourge of cyclists. This is how they should do it in NYC, where the script is always the same: "Oh, we can't have a bike lane here, the children and elderly who currently safely wander around in the road will be KILLED!!" Fine then, we'll put orange barrels and jersey barriers between the evil cyclists and wholesome American pedestrians. Have fun trying to jaywalk now, morons.

Numan G. Ayano─člu said...

thank
cool article

Pugsleymike said...

Clearly the cop was intentionally trying to kill the cyclist in the bike lane. His right blinker said one thing, but his murderous heart said otherwise...

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