Again with this shit, seriously?
Yes. Once again there I was, riding slowly on the right-hand side of of that same empty suburban bike path, when those three annoying words jabbed me from behind like an open safety pin in the small of the back. I jumped a bit in my saddle.
Only this time it was not a Fred who uttered the phrase; rather, it was a casually-attired gentleman riding an old ten speed. As he passed, I noticed his frame was badly out of alignment--so badly that his front wheel was about four or five inches to the right of his rear wheel. In fact, it appeared that this was causing his bike to pull to the right, so every few feet he had to correct for it and veer left again.
In a way this made me feel a bit better, because I suppose if you're constantly drifting right you really have no choice but to warn people. I also couldn't help wondering if perhaps a good wheel counterbalance kit might help address his bike's handling problems, though from the state of things I imagine it would take a metric fuckload of "tungsten slugs" to correct the tracking on that piece of crap.
Speaking of "On your left," I wonder how many times you'll get to hear it during the New York City Century, which takes place this Saturday:
(Always point out potholes and road hazards to your fellow riders.)
I may or may not do the Century, I still haven't decided, because as an urban sophisticate my life is more complex than you can possibly imagine. (That's another way of saying it depends how late I stay up watching TV the night before.) Either way, the organizers would like you to know that they've added a second start site in Brooklyn, because Brooklyn is the new Manhattan and all that:
You talked, We listened.
Back by popular demand, Transportation Alternatives has added a second start site for the September 10th Century Bike Tour. While you are more than welcome to start at our new site in Manhattan, Pier 97 at 57th Street on the West Side Highway, we do understand the draw of starting an hour later so close to home.
Bib pick up & day of registration: Bicycle Habitat in Prospect Heights, 560 Vanderbilt (between Dean and Bergen streets)
Start Times: 7am for the 100-mile Century, 8am for the 62-mile Metric Century
When I lived in Brooklyn people acted like it was the other side of the planet if they even deigned to come visit you("How will I know which direction to walk when I get off the subway?!?"), now it's the center of the universe and it gets its own Century start.
And in other passing etiquette-related news, the Team Sky bus almost flattened somebody:*
*[WARNING: Contains the sort of NSFW language you'd expect from someone who's nearly been killed by a busload of dopers.]
Wow! Makes this seem downright considerate in comparison:Team sky's bus almost taking me out, sorry about the language, but this needs to go viral for the safety of cyclists pic.twitter.com/nmojiJnoXf— Andy Rolfe (@AndyRolfe65) September 8, 2016
It's ironic that pro road cycling is the most motor vehicle-intensive sport on the planet, and that includes actual car racing. (Car racing is driving cars, bike racing is riding bikes fast while being followed by cars.) Sure, the football douches may tweet about wanting to kill us, but at least they play their dumb game inside giant fortresses which they travel to by airplane. Meanwhile, for some reason bike racing requires so many cars and trucks and buses and motorcycles that you can pretty much count on at least one rider getting run over at some point--and now it seems this extends to non-combatants as well.
Anyway, we can all relate to how infuriating it is when a driver nearly kills you just because they're in a big hurry, and perhaps the most infuriating thing about it is that you always suspect they're rushing for completely selfish reasons. Well, in this case you know they're rushing for completely selfish reasons, because it's a fucking bike racing team, and the only way bike racers could contribute less to society would be to skip the racing altogether and just stay home and masturbate. In fact staying home and wanking would probably be more of a contribution, since at least we'd be safe from team buses and cries of "On your left!"
Pending that, if you want to feel safe you could always try wearing one of those "smart helmets," and here's yet another one:
It's got all the features you've come to expect from a head-mounted Volvo, such as blind spot detection:
As well as all the features drivers will completely ignore, such as turn signals:
And let's not forget navigation, because apparently the next generation of helmet designers assume people have no idea how to get around in their own cities:
Yes, you need this helmet like a hole in the head--which it's also got:
Not convinced? Me neither. Nevertheless, there's a video:
I was particularly taken with the navigation feature, and I look forward to a future in which helmets guide riders around town by shining lights on their faces:
Just follow your nose.
Best of all, "you can also livestream your commute:"
Which you should never do. I mean sure, by all means you should feel free to record your commute just in case Team Sky's bus driver runs you over, but until that happens please spare the world your unedited adventures.
Anyway, based on my own experience with a "smart helmet" I remain skeptical. Indeed, I'm not sure why people keep adding all these silly features to helmets when the biggest problem with them is what they do to your hair:
Who needs a helmet with lights and cameras when you can just put them on your bike? But if someone invents a helmet that will comb your hair while you wear it (and in my case also cure baldness) then I think we'll finally have a winner on our hands.I wore my heme(n)t and look what happened!!! Who can I sue for my hair loss??? pic.twitter.com/od3S0ZLXZL— Bike Snob NYC (@bikesnobnyc) August 25, 2016