It's funny because it's funny.@bikesnobnyc For your consideration: How to an anti-bike commentary https://t.co/1EylFxmqTT pic.twitter.com/rg2aH1Thrb— Luke Seemann (@bikesarefun) September 9, 2016
Speaking of the politics of bikes and cities and bikes in cities, I rode mine through the city yesterday evening to go to a pre-NYC Century soirée where Transportation Alternatives were giving away copies of my books to registrants:
Night fell as I sucked down vodka and soda after vodka and soda:
Yet the pile of free books remained undiminished:
I choose not to take it as an affront to my literary prowess; rather, I put forth that in such swank surroundings people look askance at anything that's free. Had they priced the book at $100 I bet that table would have been empty faster than you can say "Gimme another vodka soda."
Of course after a night of rubbing elbows with the smugness set it's hard not to reflect on the state of our city's streets, and to put it succinctly things ain't too good out there. I mean sure, the guy who ran over a 6 year-old, checked his car for damage, and then drove away did turn himself in, but apparently it took him two (2) tries before the surrender took:
Mino's attorney Christopher Wright told the judge that his client understands the seriousness of the charges because he turned himself into the police not once, but twice.
"Last Monday, we went to the 66th Precinct but there was a murder in the area and they were too busy to process him that day," said Wright who requested a lower bail.
And sure, it's entirely likely the lawyer representing the hit-and-run driver is a lying sleazeball, but it's just as likely that this particular statement is completely true.
But while the NYPD could probably be doing more to keep 6 year-olds safe from shitty drivers, they're going above and beyond when it comes to keeping presidential candidates safe from bicyclists:
For four and a half hours last night, NYPD shut off bike access to the Hudson River Greenway between 44th Street and 55th Street, a major bike transportation artery used by several thousand people each day.
The greenway closure was billed as a “safety/security measure” for the televised Clinton/Trump Q & A with Matt Lauer held on the USS Intrepid. But there was no NYPD detour imposed on motorists using the adjacent West Side Highway, where people remained free to pilot large vehicles with substantial carrying capacity at high speeds.
If you're unfamiliar with New York City, the Hudson River Greenway is like one of the most important bike routes in the whole city, and the Interpid is a giant fucking battleship. What did the NYPD think, that some tridork is going to whip a C02 canister at "The Donald?" It's hard to see how routing all these riders onto the friggin' West Side Highway (where you'd pretty much never ride a bike unless you were making one of those stupid MASH videos) is anything but a gigantic "fuck you"--especially when you consider that motor vehicle traffic continued unimpeded.
Because, you know, nobody's ever used a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon:
And it's not like you can fit a shitload of exploding stuff in them or anything like that.
You know, if I wasn't such an optimist, I'd say this whole "Vision Zero" thing is a load of crap. Indeed, more cyclists have been killed in NYC so far this year than in all of 2015. This is why on September 15th there's going to be a "call to action" ride on 5th Avenue in Manhattan to get the Mayor off his ass and out of his SUV:
WHAT: Mass Bike Ride to Demand Safe Passage for Cyclists and Pedestrians
WHERE: Riders gather at E. 59th St and Fifth Ave and finish at Washington Square Park
WHEN: Thursday, September 15, Riders meet at 6pm and depart at 6:30
WHO: Transportation Alternatives, Families For Safe Streets, Right of Way, Black Girls Do Bike, Kidical Mass BK, WE Bike NYC, Recycle-A-Bicycle, 5BBC, Bike New York, Time's Up, CHEKPEDS, the NYC Mechanical Gardens Bike Coop, Get Women Cycling, the New York Bicycle Messenger Foundation, the Century Road Club Association, the New York Cycle Club and Bicycle Habitat.
Here's the Facebook link if you prefer your political statements to be run through the Zuckerberg filter.
So there you go.
Moving on, road bikes with excessive headset play is clearly the not new trend for 2017:
And hyperbole, of course, is timeless:
Since its launch, back in 2004, the Roubaix has been one of Specialized’s most important bikes. In fact, you could argue that it has been one of the most significant bikes this century, the originator of the whole ‘endurance road bike’ idea that has also given us Trek’s Domane and the Cannondale Synapse, among many, many others.
Sure. You could argue that, but you'd be absolutely crazy to do so. Granted, we're only sixteen years into the 21st century, but which do you think has been more significant during that time? The advent of bike share, or yet another plastic Fred bike? Even the much-derided (by me) Bianchi Pista has had like ten times the impact on cycling than the Roubaix, in that it was probably the first bike of thousands and thousands of new cyclists. And then you had this baby:
In comparison to all of these the Roubaix is a blip, a footnote, a single strand in the crabon layup of the metaphorical Fred chariot that is cycling.
I mean sure, the Roubaix is absolutely the most fiercely-protected bicycle model name of this century, but that's something else.
But who am I to judge? (I mean I'm right, that's just something you say.) Take a look at the video before you agree with me:
Hey, I'm not saying the suspension doesn't work, I'm just saying who the hell cares whether it does or not?
You'll never ride the race after which it is named, because the fact is you suck.
The best part of a new marketing gimmick though is when the company behind it finally admits that the previous marketing gimmick they'd been pushing for years was total BS:
The new Roubaix takes plenty of the construction lessons learned from the past; perhaps the biggest shock with the new bike is the lack of Zertz. The elastomer inserts that defined the Roubaix are no more, replaced by a mix of clever carbon construction and an innovative piece of front-end suspension.
YOU MEAN THE ZERTZ DIDN'T WORK???
I can't believe those tiny pieces of plastic inside the bigger pieces of plastic comprising the bicycle that rolls on pneumatic tires weren't totally informing the bike's ride characteristics.
Come on, you know it was bullshit when Specialized lets someone else use the name:
But I don't blame Specialized for selling a suspension road bike. They have to. Like disc brakes, the entire future of selling Freds new bikes depends on it. That's why we already have this:
And remember this?
Trust me, they're all hoping that you don't--even though this is basically the same thing, only freshened up for the 21st century with tattooed beardbros and she-bros:
That song is so fucking horrible it made me punch my cat in the face.
Hey, don't blame me, blame the bike with the integrated penis pump in the headtube:
Still needs a dropper post though.
Hey, all these bike companies better be careful: how are they going to keep working the gravel trend if the bikes get so plush we can't tell what you're riding on anymore?