Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cross Is Coming, I Must Be Going

Well, it must be August because the #crossiscoming tweets are starting up again:


(Great shouldering technique on the run-up, Jesus!)

And yes, the Stations of the Cross were totally the basis for the sport of cyclocross, every cyclist and Bible scholar knows that.  Not only did you have Veronica with the crucial schmatta hand-up:


But there was also a shitload of heckling:


("You suck, Jesus!")

Anyway, all over America the Cross Freds are gathering in public parks for "cross clinics," annoying their fellow citizens trying to picnic as they practice the art of mounting their bicycles without smashing their genitals:


(Fortunately they're small so the odds are in my favor.)

They're also obsessing over #whatpressureyourunning, as well as over various tire tread patterns:


(SPOILER ALERT: They're all the same and you suck.)

Indeed, it was only a matter of time before cyclocross became the amateur bike racing discipline of choice, because no other discipline offers such a lopsided fussing-to-riding ratio.  Basically, it's an entire work week of dorking out on minutiae followed by six or seven hours of driving on the weekend, all just to ride your bike (usually badly) for forty-five minutes.

In other words it's a Fred's dream come true.

Speaking of riding bikes badly, a cyclist hit a pedestrian in Midtown and of course it made the news:


MIDTOWN — A cyclist slammed into a pedestrian in the middle of Seventh Avenue in Midtown Wednesday afternoon, according to witnesses and officials.

The man was crossing mid-block between 53rd and 52nd streets when the cyclist heading south down the avenue struck him at about 11:30 a.m., an FDNY spokesman and multiple witnesses said.

Fortunately the pedestrian's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, though naturally the police checked the cyclist's driver's license:

The pedestrian was taken to New York Hospital-Cornell and was expected to survive, the FDNY spokesman added.

The cyclist was uninjured and remained on the scene.

Police officers checked his driver's license and then allowed him to leave about a half hour after the collision. 

We all know you're allowed to hit whoever you want in New York City as long as you're driving a car, but in the absence of one it turns out showing the police you have a driver's license is the next best thing.

"Well, this will have to do, but just make sure you're driving a car next time," I imagine the officers chided the cyclist before finally sending him on his way.

Meanwhile, the New York City Department of Transporation is taking measures to protect pedestrians from left-turning drivers:


And it apparently took a cutesy video message to drive the message home to the commissioner:

Dear Polly Trottenberg - Urgent! Imminent Death from Maxwell Project on Vimeo.

"I get a lot of letters in this job, actually thousands of them and a lot of tweets and emails and other things, but I rarely get a 'Dear Polly Trottenberg' video made specially for me," Trottenberg said at a press conference this morning. "And he [Maxwell] really helped to underscore our message today, the danger of left turns."

Really, that's what did it for you?  Not the thousands of letters and tweets and emails?  Not the piles of dead bodies all over town or the kids getting run over on the sidewalk while waiting for the schoolbus or anything like that?

I mean I know that's not what you're really saying, but sheesh.

Anyway, let this be a lesson to all you children out there:


You don't sell the safety, you sell the sizzle.

But who will protect us from the cyclists?  After all, until another child makes another video we're all at the mercy of the two-wheeled menace.  Fortunately, a reader informs me that someone's got a solution.

What is it?

Make bike messengers ride cargo bikes, of course!


What you can do in your city is lobby for a bylaw to require bike couriers to use European-style “cargo-bikes” with a low platform between the rider and the front wheel. You can’t drive this kind of bike as if you were a pinball and the bumpers are the crosswalks, cars, sidewalks and pedestrians you encounter.

Yeah, maybe you can't, but I'll shred the fuck out of a cargo bike.

Plus, everybody knows the whole "killer bike messenger" thing is mostly just a media construct.  Firstly, bike messengers simply aren't that dangerous.  Secondly, there are like three of them left in North America and pretty much the whole industry is going the way of cobbling.  So even if they did want to kill us how effective could they possibly be?

Most of all, what would you rather get hit by: a fixie with six inch-wide handlebars, or a fucking bakfiets?

Given all this, it was no surprise to read the author's credentials:

Allan Bonner has consulted on major planning and public policy issues on five continents over 25 years.

I'm assuming "consulted on major planning and public policy issues" means "left many comments on Internet articles."

Lastly, speaking of public policy, via the Twitter I see that the United States Department of Transportation is in favor of helmet laws:


Improve walking and biking safety laws and regulations

Traffic laws such as reduced speed, failure to yield, passing, and helmet laws can be effective in improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.

Though the way it's worded they could easily mean helmet laws for pedestrians too.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

56 comments:

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus.

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!

Steve B said...

Top of po-dee-um?

Alina said...

Podioooo!

Grump said...

Jesus would still be alive today if he has used a carbon cross.

Anonymous said...

I'm still thinking about how you can't spell Wednesday without ween

Anonymous said...

@Grump, and less pressure on the nine inch nails.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Glady the cross-eyed bear! Scranus

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Denis Zvekic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Fredriksen said...

The cross analysis was freaking hilarious. Don't forget skinsuits. Freds love to buy more specialized kit, too. Jesus #whatlumberyourunning? Pedestrian was crossing mid-block.

Craig Richards said...

Car accidentally Hits Pedestrian

Vs.

Cyclist Slams Into Pedestrian

dancesonpedals said...

You can't spell Thursday without Hurts Day.

D. A. Yurts said...

You can't spell Thursday without me, either.

crosspalms said...

Glad the pedestrian's OK. Not that it might have helped him any -- looks like a wide, busy, one-way street -- but the crosswalk is not that far away. I see people in Chicago cross mid-block all the time, and "mid-block" is sometimes only 10 or 20 feet from a crosswalk. Another thing I see here a lot is signs on flexible posts in the middle of crosswalks saying "state law -- stop for pedestrians in crosswalk." And most of those signs have been run over more than once.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Craig Richards, you forgot something - "Car accidentally hits jaywalking pedestrian."

The study released yesterday said pedestrians are 3 times more likely to be hit by a car making a left turn vs. a car making a right turn. And 3 rights make a left. Coincidence? I think not!

Now, what are a pedestrian's chances if it is an off-duty cop driving a police van while on her cell phone and making that left turn?

Sax Huret said...

When Longinus pierced Jesus' side that was analogous to giving up on going tubeless, right?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Crosspalms out here in suburbia those flexi state law stop for pedestrian signs in the middle of the road need to have the 3 feet law for passing cyclists added to them. At least 80% of drivers coming up on a cyclist as both approach one of these signs will nail the gas to pass the cyclist right as both try to pass that sign, the drivers are incapable of waiting 1.037 seconds longer to pass the cyclist!

janinedm said...

In NYC, crossing midblock is something of an art form. And, especially in Manhattan, it's a pedestrian/subway town so anyone who is not prepared for jaywalking should point their car west and keep going (bridges & tunnels optional).

wle said...

why was it a "cyclist" that hit the ped?

it's never a "driver", always a "car" that caused the ''accident''..

wle

bad boy of the north said...

Geez,a bunch of left turning drivers.that's it!i'm voting for trump,not.

Anonymous said...

You got the historic details wrong. The Passion was an uphill bicycle race, not a cyclocross race as we know it today:
http://www.bikereader.com/contributors/misc/passion.html

N/A said...

@ Craig Richards: that caught my eye, too.
Funny how cars never "slam" into anything. Those are just accidents.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

Come to mama Alan Boner!

Anonymous said...

My office is on that block were the pedestrian got in the way of the cyclist. that's a pretty busy street and downhill so you can get some decent speed. Peds routinely cross against the light in the area but usually not across the avenues but the less busy streets. I usually have to dodge peds on a daily basis, they look at me and cross right in front of me against the light anyway. Something they definitely don't do with cars. I think the assumption is that bikes have to yield to them even if they are walking against the light. fucking idiots.

Holy Roller said...

Jesus rode wholly Ghost bikes.

N/A said...

Jesus got water hand-ups, but he sorted that shit out, don't worry.

Sax Huret said...

INRI had nothing to do with Jesus' titles of monarchy; it was actually an observation that he ran 2x in the front.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Dear Anonymous 2:07pm. 2 shay. Just primed me extra for the following rant...

WHAT THE FUCK IS IT WITH PEDESTRIANS (WALKERS/JOGGERS) WHO SEEM ENTITLED TO JUST STROLL ACROSS THE STREET AGAINST THE LIGHT WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING???????
WHERE'S THAT SHIT COMING FROM?

This morning heading up Madison Ave at about 27th Street some fat turdzilla meanders out a car width from the parked cars against the light. With ample lead time I am ringing the brass Crane bell and yelling YO !!
As I go by at 20 something mph I hear him say "Idiot". And, without any lag I scream back Red Light Asshole!
What will satisfy these dumb fucks!!!!!


**************************************************************************

I was so happy with the ride across the 59th St Bridge the other day I did it again, and didn't stop for pictures. I'm suprised how little it actually adds to my ride time.

**************************************************************************

Want to get Trump out of the running? Have him ride a bike on the sidewalk. That will seal the deal ...

vsk

Craig Richards said...

Car accidentally Hits Pedestrian

Vs.

Cyclist Slams Into Pedestrian

Hee Haw the Barista said...

"I'm assuming "consulted on major planning and public policy issues" means "left many comments on Internet articles.""

What ... now you say I can't pad my resume?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...I saw a fat bike trike today on the river bike path. It looked like he had been doing cross on it because it had a lot of dirt stuck to it.

LovinLife said...

Did you notice the bike in the picture with the hurt pedestrian? It's one of those - NO BRAKES fixies - this would change the story somewhat methinks.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I'd have me a fat bike trike if I had logging roads around where I live.

Dooth said...

In the big bad apple, it's the old "pedestrians have the right of way" no matter where they ped. That's why I stop at red lights, stop signs, and beautiful women.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...OK, I understand pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users (I know because I'm often a pedestrian when I'm not a cyclist), but I come down 7th Ave at least twice a week from Central Park to Chelsea... and by the time I come into my office, I'm usually shaking and practically hyperventilating from adrenaline because of all the goddamn pedestrian trying to cross the avenue against the light and almost running into me on the bike. I get at least half a dozen close calls that way because the minute one sheep crosses because there's no wave of cars, every other sheep follows, usually with their eyes locked on their phone screens.

...the problem is, if you travel down 7th Ave often, you know that the 'green wave' is your friend because you can go at the speed of cars (almost), which helps you in not being hit by the hundreds of cars turning left and right at each intersection. So you find yourself going fast, then suddenly, there are dozen of people in your way when they shouldn't be.

...I'm not an adrenaline junky... but I will not slow down for Jesus even if he's doing the stations of the cross.

...I think I'll make a cutesy video starring a fourth grader cuz I got editing chops... and I'll send it to the commissioner.

...only problem is, how can I make it seem like a fourth grader can mash it down 7th Ave?

Dooth said...

With Penn Station nearby, 7th ave,south of 42nd St, is a pedestrian freak out. And it's down grade from Central Park South, so it's a natural woo hoo speedway. Proceed with caution.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Serial Retrogrouch, find yourself a suitable fourth grader and get yourself a green screen, problem solved!

leroy said...

Sad that pedestrian was hit. The crackdown on cyclists in mid-Town should start shortly and last a week or two. No one will be safer.

Somehow, despite my dog's encouragement, I just don't feel like all things being equal, things are all that equal.

(I should add that, for all I know, the driver of the vehicle in my dog's photo scrupulously follows all traffic rules and is unfailingly courteous.)

Bryan said...

Helmets for pedestrians and cyclists! Fuck it, I'm wearing a Pith. I can ride the fuck outta my old Raleigh Sports. I've even gotten a good aero tuck on it.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

... Lieutenant, done, and done. Gotta come up with a snazzy name for the vid too. Kid called his The Corner Of Death. I can't call mine The Highway Of Death... Bush and friends already penned that one.

JLRB said...

Cross Scranus

Frickus Rungus said...

Suggested alternative headline:

Cyclist unable to stop before colliding with a person who shouldn't have been in the street.

I think that sounds about right...

Freddy Murcks said...

I became soooo much happier when I decided to stop wasting my time and money on 'cross and decided to spend my weekends mountain biking instead. Mountain biking is fun. Riding around a city park with a bunch of aggressive uber freds is not fun. Plus, I can buy beer with the money that I would have spent of entry fees.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

You cant spell Bike Snob without skin bone.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

You cant spell Bike Snob without skin bone.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Serial Retrogrouch, here's your title - "All 7th Avenue Traffic Dodgers Go to Heaven." (With apologies to Leroy's dog!)

David G said...

It's not a spoiler *alert* if the spoiler is right next to it.

McFly said...

I would go to a CX with Pauline Prevot on the start grid. G**gle her. Just do it.

Arizona redneck said...

Dood!

Anonymous said...

oui oui I am pure

New Age Biker said...

I saw a fellow laden with bike wheels, probably stolen (Vancouver, Downtown Eastside), fall over his handle bars today because his buddy, riding ahead of him, stopped for a light and he did not. His head smacked into the sidewalk with the sound of a wet coconut and his reversed baseball cap did little to lessen the impact. I just said, "Holy Shit!" and rode on because I didn't really give a fuck, and don't like the sight of blood.

New Age Biker said...

On my return trip from Urban Fare, where I bought some fresh kale, I saw that there was no emergency vehicles at the accident site, so I guess he must have wobbled off with just a minor concussion.

New Age Biker said...

What a shitty day. The kale turned out to be bitter.

Wet coconut said...

OW!

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