Wednesday, August 3, 2016

You can't spell "Wednesday" without "Deaden" or "Weens." Think about it.

Firstly, I guess I'm going to be on the radio in Portland today to talk about bike etiquette:


I don't know anything about this station, but from what I can tell their programming slate leans heavily towards bikes, cannabis, and reggae, so there you go.

Secondly, remember when Australia's chief cultural exports were: 1) rock groups with lots of members; and 2) fish-out-of-water comedies?  Well, sadly those days are long gone.  Now, it's a steady stream of dismal cycling news, and the latest dispatch involves a guy whose iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike:


An Australian man is asking Apple to warn the public about the dangers of mobile phone batteries after his iPhone 6 caught fire, leaving him with severe burns.

Gareth Clear, a 36-year-old management consultant from Sydney, told local papers the phone caught fire when he fell off his bicycle.

He posted pictures of his injury on Twitter.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

Horrifyingly, the blast occurred mere inches from his scranus, and the victim described it thusly:

"I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket... and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain in my top right leg," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I could see it melting through my shorts. I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus."

Wow.  Melting shorts?  Black discharge?  The smell of phosphorus?

That sounds exactly like Satan ejaculating.


("Hey, do you smell phosphorus?")

Meanwhile, Apple have asked him for more information:

"Apple got back in contact with me saying that it looked serious and asking for more information so they could support me and replace the phone," he said.

Once he provides that information they'll almost certainly determine the explosion was due entirely to his use of an unapproved aftermarket phone case and that both skin and phone replacement are his responsibility.

Still, won't somebody think of the children?  And the skiers?  And the runners?

"Imagine if that was a young child, banging a phone against a table or someone skiing or running and the phone explodes?"

This strikes me as an odd series of concerns, because when I think of nightmarish scenarios that could befall innocent victims I have to say skiers are pretty much the last group of people on my mind:


Speaking of Portland (which I was earlier), I recently learned from reading BikePortland that streetcar tracks are taking out Toronto's cyclists at an alarming rate:


In the city with North America’s largest streetcar system, on-street rails almost rival automobiles as a factor in collisions that injure people on bikes.

That’s one major finding in the first academic study in North America dedicated specifically to the danger of streetcar tracks to people biking.

A situation the study suggests may be due at least in part to overdependence on Fred bikes with skinny tires:

• 54 percent of the bike types “commonly sold” in Toronto bike shops have tires narrower than the 34.5 mm flangeways in that city’s streetcar tracks. (Portland’s flangeways are 44.45 mm, Bower said. Based on Teschke’s data, the overwhelming majority of common bike types likely have tires narrower than flangeways here.)

Though I would caution policymakers not to draw any conclusions without first funding an additional study on what tire pressure the victims were running at the time of these incidents.  Such a study would involve removing all warning signs such as these:


And then simply lying in wait by troublesome sections of track while armed with a pressure gauge:



Then once that study's complete in about 2027 or so, after millions of dollars have been spent, the city will reach its final conclusion, which will be to replace those signs.

Done and done.

Of course, here in New York City streetcar tracks are the one indignity we're spared, but that may change if this Brooklyn Queens Connector actually happens:


Sure, it may change the Great Hipster Silk Route into the Great Hipster Death Trap, but the real estate developers love it so that's all that matters.

In the meantime, we're getting a new police commissioner, and evidence suggests he has actually ridden a bicycle:


The 33-year officer was born and bred in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and when he’s not wearing the badge, he’s often on two wheels — cruising on his bicycle or motorcycle.

“O’Neill is a Harley motorcycle enthusiast,” a police source said. “I know when he was in [the Fugitive Enforcement Division] he would cruise upstate on his Harley.”

An avid athlete, he’s a fan of ice and roller hockey, sometimes playing three games in a single day, law-enforcement sources said.

When his son went on a 9,000-mile bike ride, O’Neill cycled 1,000 miles down the West Coast with him, a source said.

Wow, those are some impressive credentials--or "FRED-entials," if you prefer--but I'll withhold judgment until I've actually seen the bicycle.

84 comments:

Ted K. said...

157. Assuming that industrial society survives, it is likely that technology will eventually acquire something approaching complete control over human behavior. It has been established beyond any rational doubt that human thought and behavior have a largely biological basis. As experimenters have demonstrated, feelings such as hunger, pleasure, anger and fear can be turned on and off by electrical stimulation of appropriate parts of the brain. Memories can be destroyed by damaging parts of the brain or they can be brought to the surface by electrical stimulation. Hallucinations can be induced or moods changed by drugs. There may or may not be an immaterial human soul, but if there is one it clearly is less powerful that the biological mechanisms of human behavior. For if that were not the case then researchers would not be able so easily to manipulate human feelings and behavior with drugs and electrical currents.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Vision Zoro

BamaPhred said...

Fuck Ted K

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Got a ticket after copper chased me with sirens whaling a little while ago... cited Vision Zero to protect pedestrians from cyclists. Said he'd never done this before because he spends his time chasing cars.

-That was the funniest joke... I think he was testing his material on me for his next stand up gig.

wle said...

9000 miles on a - wait was that bicycle or motorcycle...?

wle

Freddy Murcks said...

Perhaps Torontans need to be told that crossing the streetcar tracks with your tire parallel (or roughly parallel) to the tracks is a sure recipe for falling on your face. Stupid Canadians.

Moby Dick said...

"...sirens whaling..."

????????????????????????????????

spaceyace said...

Women's podium!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...yes, whaling... he had Shamoo on the roof his car.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top Tentanus, didn't want to hog the podium 2 days in a row. PS, Scranus!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Serial Retrogrouch, what was your alleged offense which warranted police whaling?

Stand said...

Flange specific bicycles is the new frontier of marketing.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Mr. Oblivious, it was running a red light. I actually technically didn't hit the red light. Some Fred went in front of me really fast through the red, cop car turned sirens on just as I was going through the intersection and the light turned green... but they felt compelled to stop both of us. When cop asked me what I had done wrong, I told him that I honestly didn't know.

...They actually chased the other guy as he picked up speed... he probably thought the cops were chasing a car through the bike lane and wanted to speed up to allow them to pass.

Sax Huret said...

It always cracks me up when I read Fred news (sorry Snob but I don't trust you to be my exclusive Fred filter) and they talk about the industry "moving towards larger tires" and they mean 700C x 25mm or even, gasp, 700C x 28mm if it's a disc bike. Now if you'll excuse me I have to spend 30 minutes faffing with a centerpull adjustment.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Find a flangeway and get the f*ck in it.

Seattle lone wolf said...

Fat bike sales in Toronto should skyrocket.

N/A said...

Portland's streetcars run a fat flangeway?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

I'll be listening at 2/11!

Comment deleted said...

Came here to make a flangeway joke, but you guys are too fast. CAT 6'ed again.

Back to work here at Continental Flange...

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Gonna run you into a flangewaaayyiee.

Top twenny, best showing in a long time!

Manofstraw said...

Heheheh...'flangeway'

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps Torontans need to be told that crossing the streetcar tracks with your tire parallel (or roughly parallel) to the tracks is a sure recipe for falling on your face. Stupid Canadians."

Most Torontonians learn that somewhere around halfway through their first ride in the city. But it doesn't help you much when you're cruising along minding your own business and you suddenly encounter a construction zone that takes up the entire right side of the street and forces you either right on top of the streetcar tracks or into oncoming traffic.

dancesonpedals said...

You can't spell Alec Guinness, without genuine class.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Just who curated those flangeways anyways? I postulate that the technology already exists to have those flangeways covered except when the weight of the train car wheels push the covers down as the train moves on that section of rail.

And you can't spell Genuine Class with Alec Baldwin, so there's that.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Serial Retrogrouch, did you get a ticket or just a warning? (you did nothing wrong but still, that's what cops do sometimes!)

Anonymous said...

Now all the cities are asking "what flangeway you running"

Serial Retrogrouch said...

--$190 ticket... but like Snob says, gotta divide that by the number of red lights you run, and it comes out to pittance.

Drive Train said...

Most flangeway accidents are caused by the bike tracking improperly.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

"They" put these new protected bike lanes on Jay Street near Metro Tech Center. That means Wheelchair Pace. Too many occasions for bike lane incursions from collegiate I-pod zombies (the smuggiest kind) and too many opportunities from right door people and car service people kamikaziing into the sidewalk. Especially when I'm bombing (managing to go faster than 15 mph down the hill).
Well, I guess you always had to slow down over there anyway.

This morning I stopped for a light as a cop car was there in the same block as Metro Tech. 5 guys (not the burger people) sped past. I just sat there until the light turned green.

Yesterday afternoon I felt like taking an excursion, a little meandonuring, so I took the Queensboro / 59th Street / Ed Koch bridge off the island ... to the other island. Felt a little funny to see a sign for Queens Boulevard just as I got to the other side. Felt far away. The 18 mile ride wasn't too long feeling after work, but I was taking an imperial fuchtonload of pixxes. Got to the Brooklyn Barge Bar/restaurant at about sunset. Awesome skyline views. The weather was just perfect. The traffic / bikeability was not too bad either. I should work that route into my riding more often. And ride without taking so many damn pictures.

I was just there that streetcar picture was taken. No computer added virtual streetcar however.
On 1st and 2nd avenue Brooklyn we have vestigial railroad tracks from when Brooklyn actually made stuff. They are great for obtaining pinch flats.

vsk

McFly said...

Flangeway sounds sexual. Especially one that accepts something 45 mm wide. That's roughly 1 3/4 inches.....enough to make any Canadian spill her maple syrup.

N/A said...

Yo' streetcars' flangeway is so wide, cyclists gotta' run fatter tires!

Most Hesitant Couch Potato said...

I suddenly have the urge to go for a ride on a bicycle

Generallu Uneven and Unimpressive Results said...

Australian dude needs to shave his legs - that way the burn could have treated more easily and faster. A while ago, at a party I was sitting next to a fire pit and some hyper ten year-old threw his flaming marsh-mellows on a stick - they landed right on my bent knee. Yowsa - but the skin was easier to treat because I am of the shaved cyclist species.

Ya ever know......

Noah Behnke said...

Thank you so much! I listened to the Bike Show streaming... Was really nice to hear the voices of the long dead Vincent Price and America's girl next door Zooey Deschanel and their hard hitting interview style

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

You sound like a teenage boy, now I am curious if you shag like one.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Yeah I was thinking "New Girl" as that lady led the discussion on Kboo-boo.

The article said the Australian guy had his phone in his pocket yet the burn mark is on his leg like he had it under his lycra pant leg. Was he wearing cargo shorts? If, he should know the Wall St. Journal has decreed cargo shorts are so 1990's!

babble on said...

Geez what a stellar few days you've had going on here, Mr Wildcatrockmandoodlestein... Republicanwobblycopsonbikes, multiplegirlyorgasms and even (yes the US has finally gone well and truly stark raving mad can this honeslty be the next first lady?) nakedmrsTrumplesbianpics!! Yeowza. Teach me to take a midsummer's night or two holiday from mobile data and BSNYC. Stoopid Canadain. Never. Again.

Devotedly yours, etc etc..

Anonymous said...

Cargo car go

Dooth said...

Bikes, cannabis and reggae...enjoyed the KBONG, er, KBOO interview.
Great hill climbing weather today: Yonkers Ave, McClean Ave and 233rd St.

1904 Cadardi said...

Over on TrolleySnob they're selling All You Haters Suck My Flangeway t-shirts. Is that cashing in or selling out?

bieks said...

Bruce (aka Gareth) has a point - people empathize far more with skiers than cyclists. Although when one breaks their neck running into a tree, the obligatory helment statement is inserted into the story.

I keep my phone in my pannier. Safety first and here's hoping for a new set of Ortliebs from Apple (well, maybe from my employer since they own the phone).

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Snob, sir
Again, the Austrailan featured in this post is helmetless. You said in a previous post ALL Australians would be depicted wearing a helmet.
Unless he is wearing one of those helmets that looks like a beenie, in which case I think this deserves a special remark.
R.

Aussie Guy With Nothing Better to Do said...

Hey I crashed my bike - look at my ass!

Gordon Roth said...

Today is Weens, and I will ride where there are no flangeways.

bieks said...

I've listened to The Bike Show on KBOO and as far as I can tell, Jack Thurston has nothing to do with the american version.

Anonymous said...

Bike snob, as a 25 year member of KBOO...you are correct in your assessment!

Anonymous said...

Streetcar-track-specific bike = plus-size city bike?

Bike industry: are you listening?

Anonymous said...

Sandy Weed

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Melania is Recumbabe?


vsk

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does O’Neill look way older than 33??

dancesonpedals said...

That iPhone burn guy has one hell of a cyclist tan.

wishiwasmerckx said...

You know what I value in a woman above all else?

A bulbous pudendum and a fet flangeway.

wishiwasmerckx said...

...make that fat flangeway.

spaceyace said...

@Generallu Uneven and Unimpressive Results: futhermore, this answers the age-old question of whether one should shave to only just above the tan line, or all the way up to the scranus.

Generallu Uneven and Unimpressive Results said...

@spaceyace: No doubt - all the way up - worst road rash ever (for me) has been above the tan line and through the destroyed and ripped up bib shorts.

Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia said...

@MobyDick /sirens/ whaling ??????????

?????????????????????

Damn mythological cops

crosspalms said...

anon 4:02
I thought the same thing till I re-read it. 33 years on the force...

leroy said...

Dear Mr. serialretrogrouch -- If someone asked me what I've done wrong, we'd have to pull up chairs and break for snacks every couple of hours.

Frickus Rungus said...

Here in my neck of the woods they draw a big swerve in the bike lane lines so that you cross the flangeways at an anti-parallel angle. like this...

Ze Cherman said...

Hey Snobbie what's with the absent healmenths on Ozzie skulls depicted on yer blog?

Rail On said...

I have no fear of flangeways because I ride a track bike.

Bobert said...

But bikesnobnyc what if it is a fixie?!? What then, I say. What then?

bad boy from the north said...

dooth@247p,McClean(????)Avenue.They way I remember it....McLean.I was raised,haven't grown up,yet,just off it..right by the Governor Thomas E.Dewey Thruway.Clean?Nope.It's never been and never will.
By the by.....how many bars are on mclean,now?back in the day,there were maybe five from south broadway to Bronx river and Webster and nerid.I probably am exaggerating a bit on the amount,but I wouldn't be too far off.

JLRB said...

My worst encounter of the flangeway kind was in New Orleans in the rain after cocktails - I went down and my bride followed 10 seconds later

bad boy of the north said...

meant it's as in it has.....damn....firing my editor,again.

bad boy OF the north said...

from?where did the f*ck did that come from?

bad boy of the north said...

oh,now an extra did,huh?okay...run silent for the night.

bad boy of the north said...

okay,one more,maybe two.serial retrogrouch,sorry to hear about the ticket.babs,welcome home.

Anonymous said...

The Dead Weens. Is that a band or a cycling team?

Dooth said...

bad boy...you're good. Rory Dolan's is the only one where I've had the pint of Guinness.

Dooth said...

There's also Durty Nelly's. McDurty Ave.

McFly said...

No flangeways in rural TN I know of. Did get on an unkempt trail in LBL yesterday. Two words. SEED TICKS.

Persia said...

We got more tram tracks in Melbourne than anyone in the world. They'll get ya when they are wet (shiny metal, meet rubber) and they'll get ya if ya cross at an acute angle. But mostly there's room to keep away from them and they are no biggie.

babble on said...

Cheers. Besides. Who could stay away? Y'gotta love this place.
:)

WryGuy said...

Great post by Ted K that predicts the algorithmic run society we are becoming.

I also suspect that 9000/1000 mile "bike" ride was a motorbike ride.

I wouldn't expect a former motorbike cop to kind to cyclists. The motocops where I live positively delight in harassing, abusing and just plain running us cyclists down like dogs in the road. Then again, I live in Sydney, Australia.

bad boy of the north said...

Dooth,i've been to both.i remember when before rory dolan's was rory dolan's,there was business there that used to make wooden garage doors.and next door was an atlantic and pacific supermarket.a and p..back in the day,dontcha know.

Anonymous said...

There's something about a train

dancesonpedals said...

The sirens were whaling? I thought they sang on the rocks and waited for the sailors to crash into them.

Dave Matthews obviously does not ride a bike said...

crash into me

JLRB said...

If the iPhone was wearing a helment when it exploded, would the burns have been better or worse?

DeWayne Stark said...

Learned my lesson (twice) crossing old unused railroad tracks that curved across the highway. The harbor where I live and ride is full of old tracks that have been partially paved over. One crash was because I was not paying attention to the road and looking out at the boats and the other was while crossing multiple tracks carrying too much speed. There is also a trolley line here but all the crossings are marked and at 90 degrees.

Chazu said...

Red Caboose!

Anonymous said...

Why the hell are we still steampunking our city streets with track? Self-driving hyper-loops are now the preferred form of travel topside.

iain said...

Flangeways Here We Come....wasn;t that a Smiths song or album? Or am I hallucinating?