Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bikes: They'll Never Catch On


(Spotted by a reader at Target.)

Good morning!

It's another hot day out there--so hot my Omata analog Fred gauge is melting:


One minute you're climbing, next minute your computer is draped over your handlebars like a damp crêpe.

Totally surreal.

Anyway, I'm once again scampering out for a ride before it gets too hot (which, judging from the amount of sweat I've already lost taking my elder human child to camp on the WorkCycles this morning, it already is) so you should probably brace yourself for another post later today which should be a good one because I'll be deep in the throes of dehydration by then:


(Me by this afternoon.)

In the meantime, the Tour de France is also heating up, and if you haven't been following it this should bring you thoroughly up to date:



"Pee-wee's Big Adventure" totally pioneered the high-cadence pedaling technique Lance Armstrong would later use as a flimsy excuse for his sudden preternatural climbing ability.

As for his erstwhile teammate Floyd Landis, he's still using the Twitter account of his weed business to troll the various sports governing bodies and anti-doping agencies:
Funny, though his most exquisitely crafted work of humor remains his autobiography:


Also, further to yesterday's post concerning eMTBs, I should clarify that my contempt for assisted bikes does not extend to commuting or other practical applications, where I believe they have the potential to encourage people to ride who otherwise wouldn't.  Even I, when schlepping my children o'er hill and dale, have occasionally (or more than occasionally) pined for a little bit of an electronic tailwind.  And when you consider that even I, a highly trained and staggeringly fit cyclist, have a hard time on these hills then you have to acknowledge that the chances of your average schmuck using a bike instead of an SUV to tote the brats around the neighborhood are virtually nil.

In light of all this, I read the following story with interest:


Yep, it turns out that if you take a bunch of sedentary schlubs and put them on eBikes they not only get fitter, but also have lots of fun:

Perhaps most important, the riders were healthier and more fit now, with significantly greater aerobic fitness, better blood sugar control, and, as a group, a trend toward less body fat.

They also reported finding the riding to “be a blast,” said William Byrnes, the study’s senior author and director of the university’s Applied Exercise Science Laboratory. “It’s exercise that is fun.”

Unfortunately, the article cites price as a prohibiting factor:

Electric bikes are unlikely to be a solution for everyone who is pressed for time or reluctant to exercise, though. The bikes are pricey, typically retailing for thousands of dollars.

Really?  You know what else is pricey and typically retails for thousands of dollars?

A FUCKING HYUNDAI:


Yet I never see articles about how normcore sedans for office drones are too expensive.

Of course, over in Holland they've got the opposite problem, and now the media would have you believe Dutch society is about to collapse under the weight of its own huge bicycles:


The Dutch have bicycles with crates in front of the handlebars, child seats behind the saddle – and even wheelbarrow-sized boxes for assorted bags, deliveries or infants.

But the multitude of ways of getting the best out of the humble bicycle are causing more and more problems. Almost 40 per cent of Dutch bikes have outgrown the standard size - and many are too big for standard cycling racks.

Uh-oh!  Not only that, but apparently cargo bike-riding mothers are "self-centred" and cargo bike-riding fathers are "not real men:"

In a country with more bicycles than people, the Dutch are already angered by cyclists who take up too much space. Women who load up their bicycles with children are already called “self-centred”; fathers who do the same are “not real men”.

“Before, there were a few exceptions like cargo bikes and tandem bikes that wouldn’t fit in the bike sheds. Now there are more smaller types that don’t fit, due to bags, crates and child seats,” said Otto van Boggelen, from CROW-Fietsberaad the organisation which has charted the growth of the Dutch bicycle.

Oh please, you Dutchies don't know the first thing about being "self-centred."  And you've especially got to love the idea of one bike-riding Dutchman taunting another for not being a "real man" when in America even the Dutchman doing the taunting doesn't qualify as a human being (much less a "man") to anybody behind the wheel of one of these:


Fifty grand, 16mpg in the city, and the size of a combination Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins franchise.

And the bikes in Holland are getting too big?

We should be so lucky.

48 comments:

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Podium again?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Scranus!!!

Sargent Scranus said...

Podiooooooo!

N/A said...

I guess as long as afternoon scranular conditions are unfavorable, we can look forward to two-a-days?

Thank Lob for global warming!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Fake Ted K waiting for the afternoon edition?

Ted K. said...

148. Other techniques strike deeper than the foregoing. Education is no longer a simple affair of paddling a kid’s behind when he doesn’t know his lessons and patting him on the head when he does know them. It is becoming a scientific technique for controlling the child’s development. Sylvan Learning Centers, for example, have had great success in motivating children to study, and psychological techniques are also used with more or less success in many conventional schools. “Parenting” techniques that are taught to parents are designed to make children accept fundamental values of the system and behave in ways that the system finds desirable. “Mental health” programs, “intervention” techniques, psychotherapy and so forth are ostensibly designed to benefit individuals, but in practice they usually serve as methods for inducing individuals to think and behave as the system requires. (There is no contradiction here; an individual whose attitudes or behavior bring him into conflict with the system is up against a force that is too powerful for him to conquer or escape from, hence he is likely to suffer from stress, frustration, defeat. His path will be much easier if he thinks and behaves as the system requires. In that sense the system is acting for the benefit of the individual when it brainwashes him into conformity.) Child abuse in its gross and obvious forms is disapproved in most if not all cultures. Tormenting a child for a trivial reason or no reason at all is something that appalls almost everyone. But many psychologists interpret the concept of abuse much more broadly. Is spanking, when used as part of a rational and consistent system of discipline, a form of abuse? The question will ultimately be decided by whether or not spanking tends to produce behavior that makes a person fit in well with the existing system of society. In practice, the word “abuse” tends to be interpreted to include any method of child-rearing that produces behavior inconvenient for the system. Thus, when they go beyond the prevention of obvious, senseless cruelty, programs for preventing “child abuse” are directed toward the control of human behavior on behalf of the system.

Anonymous said...

Seventh. Just like Lance's TDF wins. Yeah me.

leroy said...

I don't mean to brag, but my dog gave me a good price on a magical safety device for the Manhattan Bridge. He threw in free installation.

I'm not trading him the Oi bell I ordered on kickstarter tho'.

McFly said...

It's hot enough to melt clocks.

Grump said...

Snobby, don't forget that "regular" bikes also run in the multi-thousands of hard earned American dollars. Just last weekend, I rode alongside a $12,000 bike. (I have to say that this bike was owned by a bike shop owner, but there are many people who have large amounts of "spare cash", who think nothing of buying something like that)

Kraig said...

@Grump

Really, a 12 000 $ bike? Personally, I've found the marginal gains in stiffness units to not be worth it beyond a 9 000 - 9 500$ bike. I mean, unless it has the seat tube, seat post, seat scranus integrated carbon nanotube insert, then you can really feel the difference.

Jon Webb said...

Why are you posting so much? Isn't it twice as much work? Your morning post is good enough. Or the afternoon one. Don't exert yourself, you have a lot on your plate.

dancesonpedals said...

Is it me, or is it easy to mix up Lance and Louis Armstrong?

CommieCanuck said...

The Chevy Tahoe is great, the large wheels and plush suspension just ride over cracked carbon like a chubby kid on a waterslide, and the excellent sound insulation muffles most of the painful screaming. Plus the 23 cup holders come in XXXL and a nice option in the in-dash deep fryer, for fully autonomous bacon.

$12,000 bikes...that's fucking Walmart to Dentists around me, "sorry Mr. Canuck, you're child is going to need Dura-Ace...er...orthodontia, yeah, that's it, orthodontia".

Blog Drafter said...

Lol, you are my sole connection to pop culture, or whatever passes for it today: normcore. Never heard of it before just now, "norm core sedans". Ha, good one. Enjoy your ride.

CommieCanuck said...

Is it me, or is it easy to mix up Lance and Louis Armstrong?

I always mix up Lance Armstrong with Neil Armstrong or Billy Joe Armstrong.
Louis Armstrong was the guy in Green Day?

CommieCanuck said...

When I read TedK., for some reason, I picture a middle-aged balding man in a filthy tank top cleaning a sniper rifle...but that's just me.

N/A said...

$12k for a bike is nuts. If you got it, though, what the hell. I'll still ride with you. On my Schwinn.

Bryan said...

Hot as fuck down here, too. Though we've been getting great storms in the afternoon that drops temps from 101 down into the lower to mid 80s. I'm liking the post, ride, post format.

N/A said...

The pre-ride post, post-post ride, then post-ride post format?

N/A said...

The logistics of this blog are mind-boggling!

Tacx Collector said...

Is a Chevy Tahoe laterally stiff yet vertically compliant? Or do I need to upgrade to the Cadillac Escalade to float over the tarmac?

DIY Clinical Study said...

"Perhaps most important, the riders were healthier and more fit now, with significantly greater aerobic fitness, better blood sugar control, and, as a group, a trend toward less body fat."

Perhaps even more important is how your sexual appetite pedals up to beyond category, your libido turning into a shark in a feeding frenzy. In other words it turns you into a sexual predator, but in a good way. After hours in the saddle I'm ready to jump into the shower with the wife for some scrub-a-dub-dub...

Very Slim Pickens said...

CC: "The Chevy Tahoe is great, the large wheels and plush suspension just ride over cracked carbon like a chubby kid on a waterslide, and the excellent sound insulation muffles most of the painful screaming. Plus the 23 cup holders come in XXXL and a nice option in the in-dash deep fryer, for fully autonomous bacon."

You forgot the melted butter dispenser that comes both with the front and back seat popcorn makers.

dem_bieks! said...

Yep, it turns out that if you take a bunch of sedentary schlubs and put them on eBikes they not only get fitter, but also have lots of fun:

That article is more advertising disguised as news.

I frequently ride a route with a couple of e-bikers. They pedal up and then hit the switch and just coast along. It's not riding a bicyle as much as it's riding an electric motorcycle.

I'm not opposed to getting more people out on electric motorcycles at all. I think they are great for that. Just don't call it bicycling.

dem_bieks said...

We're really in the early 'moped' phase of these electric motorcycles. So much hope!

The sooner they look like a Vespa, the more they will sell.

wishiwasmerckx said...

So France has a new sprint contender named Bryan Coquard. It is pronounced "Kuh-car," but Phil insists on calling him "Ca-ca," which makes me chuckle. The English swallow final "r's," as in the "Jag-u-ah" commercial, so sometimes Phil tries to overcompensate, and ends up calling him "Cock-hard" instead.

Doesn't take much to amuse me, I guess...

FR8 said...

As much as I love the "manual" version of the FR8, I curse every time I have to climb up from the Hudson River at 83rd or 96th while lugging large child and trailer.

Anonymous said...

"I frequently ride a route with a couple of e-bikers. They pedal up and then hit the switch and just coast along. It's not riding a bicycle as much as it's riding an electric motorcycle."

The Euro e-Bikes are set up so you have to pedal to get the motor to work. You can set a switch to have the motor provide 10%, 20% up to 50% of the pedaling input.

The China made electric bikes are like mopeds; the motor goes on with a button or twist "throttle", no pedaling required.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to like Jens Voights' TDF commenting. Once you get over his beaky accent he actually brings some good perspective to the the normal crew.

MPG said...

"16mpg in the city" Yeah, right. In testing lab, running on a bench. Real driving drops that to at least 12, and in stop and go rush hour, as they like to say in Mafia movies "fuhgeddaboudit"

Definition 'Forget about it’ is like if you agree with someone, you know, like Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass, ‘forget about it.’ But then, if you disagree, like a Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? ‘Forget about it!’ You know? But then, it’s also like if something’s the greatest thing in the world, like mingia those peppers, ‘forget about it.’ But it’s also like saying ‘Go to hell!’ too. Like, you know, like ‘Hey Paulie, you got a one inch pecker?’ and Paulie says ‘Forget about it!’ Sometimes it just means, ‘forget about it.’

dancesonpedals said...

I want a sniper gun that can be disguised as a walking stick.

A Rooster In France said...

Wish I Was Eddie @ 12:13 "So France has a new sprint contender named Bryan Coquard. It is pronounced "Kuh-car," but Phil insists on calling him "Ca-ca," which makes me chuckle. The English swallow final "r's," as in the "Jag-u-ah" commercial, so sometimes Phil tries to overcompensate, and ends up calling him "Cock-hard" instead."

Can't wait to hear Phil yelling "Cock-hard is going to finish..."

dem_bieks! said...

The Euro e-Bikes are set up so you have to pedal to get the motor to work.

American logic states: why do I need to pedal if the thing has a motor? Why is this motor so weak I have to pedal?

Reinventing the moped and pretending it's going to sell this time is pretty funny though.

Fnarf said...

I recently bought an e-bike for commuting and it has changed my life. As a result, I no longer limit myself to home-work-home, like I did with my old "proper" bike, and spend as much time as possible exploring my city, which is full of steep hills. I no longer hate those hills; I devour them. And yes, I am pedaling hard the whole time. I just need a little boost -- in part because the fucking thing weighs sixty pounds. It's as ugly as a bike-share bike, too, but I don't give a shit. Big baskets on the rear, I can throw any old thing back there and not care at all. I brought a case of wine home the other day. This is my "new car" that I've been meaning to buy but now no longer need to.

If you want to judge me, go ahead, but I'm having a better time than you. And probably riding more.

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob,
You need to go back, read the research you think you understand about helmets, and think again. The reliable research shows they prevent deaths `and reduce and prevent injuries.
The "study" that led to your misguided beliefs wasn't performed to even basic standards of science and was the product an anti-helmet activist... and is based on the attitudes of motorists in the city who have the time to see a cyclist in a helmet and think, oh, they're safe in that thing.
It doesn't even faintly apply on lightly-trafficked rural and suburban roads where most of us ride. And the source alone makes it useless.
It's like Trump doing a study on whether Hillary should be president.
Your attitude about helmets is senseless and it's gonna get someone killed, if you haven't already.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:41pm,

1) The post you're commenting on doesn't mention helmets once;

2) My "attitude about helmets' is what's "gonna get someone killed"...? Not the negligent or outright hostile drivers who are killing them??? How fucking dare you.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

...you know, you might as well say encouraging people to ride bikes is gonna get someone killed.

I'd kick your ass right off this blog if I could.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

CommieCanuck said...

You forgot the melted butter dispenser that comes both with the front and back seat popcorn makers.

I also forgot OnStar one button legal advice access for the "accident" caused by the cyclist, and the teflon paint coating, blood and skin tissue just hose right off.
It also comes with a bike rack.

CommieCanuck said...

The reliable research shows they prevent deaths `and reduce and prevent injuries.
Reliable = the research that agrees with my opinion.
Saying helmets prevent deaths is like saying ugly people prevent rape.

Your attitude about helmets is senseless and it's gonna get someone killed, if you haven't already.

--Sent from my iPhone "Text n' Drive" app.

David G said...

dancesonpedals 11:16am:

Louis would have been more likely to shop at Floyd Landis's, if that helps.

Neil Davis said...

LOL. My '70s era Fuji custom (all shimano hardware, single speed) was right around $400 to build :-p I tow my daughter to school in my Allen trailer ($97 on eBay) up some steep hills. $12k for a bike is so far out of my reality I'm still processing the ramifications of what that might be like.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

Gortex said...

It's raining right now in Vancouver. It rained yesterday in Vancouver. I think it's going to rain tomorrow in Vancouver. I bet Babble is wet right now.

Anonymous said...

Still kicking myself for not asking you to ironically sign my Floyd Landis book when you were in Seattle the first time pedalling your first book. I had it in my bag and everything! D'oh!!

Doc Sarvis said...

Pussy

Shammie Jewse said...

Haw!

Andrew Martin said...

You didn't do your proper research on SUV prices. A Cadillac Escalade properly optioned does clear 6 figures!!