Monday, November 21, 2016

Why, it's Monday already?!?

Once again, I apologize for last Friday's extreme tardiness, though let the record show I did post so I am technically not in breach of contract.

My contract, by the way, is with Satan, and I can only assume he smote me on Friday in order to punish me for leaving my post and fucking off for a ride:



I'm like the Flying Dutchman of bike blogs, consigned to complain about cycling-related matters for all eternity.

As for the nature of my (thankfully) short-lived malady, I can only conclude that I managed to dehydrate the fuck out of myself, which is something I must admit have pulled off in the past.  I'm not very good about drinking water as I go about my day, so when I headed out on my impromptu ride Friday my fluids were probably already pretty low, and the unseasonably warm temperatures coupled with a morning of "riding furiously" after a fairly sedentary week probably put me unwittingly into the danger zone.  So by the time I got home I was probably out of water and electrolytes and my system started short-circuiting, which is why you should always carry a bottle of Brawndo:


In other words, I made the sort of mistake the typical Fred or Frederica learns not to after the first month of his or her Bicycling subscription.

Then again, cycling is a lot like drinking: no matter how much experience you may have every so often you go at it with too much enthusiasm and too little prep and you wind up moaning under the covers.

Nevertheless, I'm pleased to report I was back in action in relatively short order and even managed to get out on the Milwaukee yesterday afternoon:


I admit I'm a sucker for blustery fall days.  The foliage is transitioning from vibrant to drab, the cold gusts are trying to wrest control of your front wheel from you, and climbing requires some finesse lest you lose your footing on wet leaves.  One needs a sober, sure-footed bicycle for the road rides of fall and winter, and so it is this time of year when the Milwaukee takes its turn at the front.

Speaking of Milwaukee, I've become an avowed fan of the whole 27.5+ wheel thing, and now they're offering one called the "Gravy:"

This sucks because I totally want one now.

Just imagine how severely I could dehydrate myself on the trails behind the mall with that bad boy.




And by "paying the price" I of course mean "succeeding in their goal of culling those pesky cyclists:"

The number of people cycling in central Sydney is lower than it was two years ago – with some advocates blaming the drop on the policies of the Baird government.

Until about a year ago, the state government had a target of doubling the number of trips made in Sydney by bicycle.

But the government scrapped that target last September – and, in the meantime, cycling rates have remained below where they were in 2013 and 2014.

Yes, it turns out that when you remove bike lanes and fine the shit out of people they're less inclined to ride for some reason:

Separate RMS figures, meanwhile, appear to show a drop in cycling numbers around February and March this year in some places across the city. During that period, heavy increases in fines for cycling offences came into effect. However the government disputes there has been a significant drop in cycling rates since March, and the overall figures for 2016 are slightly higher than the previous year.

Indeed, my little jaunt on the Milwaukee yesterday afternoon would have cost me AU$850:

In March, fines for cycling offences increased significantly. Riding without a helmet attracts a $319 fine, running a red light attracts a $425 fine, and not having a bell carries a $106 fine.

That's "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai" money right there.

Even Cadel Evans won't ride his bike in Sydney:


"I'm not intimidated to ride in many places but Sydney is one of them," he said. 

While the narrowness of streets, volume of traffic, poor cycling infrastructure and distance from the CBD to good riding areas were factors, Evans said there was just too little respect on the roads.

"This could apply to many places in Australia but in Sydney the traffic is concentrated because the population is concentrated [so] that lack of respect and sometimes aggression is concentrated," he said. 

Though he made sure not to blame the poor innocent drivers:

The former champion cyclist, who still rides most days for love of the sport, said he was far from being anti-car. He described himself as "a car guy" who has a V8 SS Commodore as well as classic and sports cars.

"I'm not accusing drivers," he said. "I'm saying road users in general so it's bikes getting angry at cars, cars getting angry at bikes, trucks getting angry at cars and vice versa.  A little bit of respect would go a long way."

Anyone who'll logged the kind of miles Cadel Evans has knows damn well it's all the drivers' fault, but you can't really blame him for lying since he's got his GM partnership to think about:


Then again, Cadel Evans was always rather prickly, so he could easily be accounting for most of Australia's cyclist-generated aggression himself.  Plus, as a head-butting enthusiast and an Australian, he understands more than most the importance of wearing a helmet:


Speaking of helmets, as I briefly mentioned yesterday that disposable paper bike share helmet has won the International Sucks-Like-A-Dyson Design Award or whatever it's called:



And apparently they would go for $5 a pop:

Shiffer envisions her single-use helmets being sold in vending machines near bike-share stations; they would likely go for $5.

Yeah, right.

Not only does it only cover the pointy end of your head, but it also looks like something they'd make you wear if you worked in a restaurant kitchen:



Or else something Martha Stewart would teach you how to make in order to liven up Thanksgiving:


I'm pretty sure the true Bike Share Freds (oh, they're out there, I see them doing laps in Central Park) will continue to carry their own helmets, and the rest of civilized society will rather astutely continue just hopping on and not giving a fuck.

Though I do think that if the inventor were to repurpose the design and market it as a one-use-only suspension chamois for gravel racing she'd have a real hit on her hands:

Lastly, remember XShifter?  Well it turns out it opens up the possibility of voice-shifting:



That does sound great for handcycles, but I really hope this feature also catches on with the upright Freds too so we can shout, "Faster, faster, faster!" at them on the climbs and watch them upshift themselves stationary.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium!

Wrench Monkey said...

Efff this S. I'm outta here.

hellbelly said...

Podium?

Two Claws said...

Two Claws Up!

Anonymous said...

Looking forlornly at the podium.

Fourhourerection said...

Po-diddly?

James said...

Top ten..

Fourhourerection said...

Settling for top ten...

N/A said...

Happy Monday, peeps!

N/A said...

Glad you're are sufficiently re-hydrated enough to make a timely post, Wildcat.



I've found the trick to staying hydrated is to drink at least one(1) twenty ounce (20 oz) bottle of sports drink stuff at lease every other hour. Since we all know that those taste horrible, I've found the following combinations to improve their palatability: Lemon-lime/ Tequila, "Blue" flavor/ Rum, Cherry/ Bourbon, and almost any other flavor/ Gin. Since I have a nearly constant stream of piss, I can only conclude that I've been able to completely saturate the tissues of my body. Science!

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Up there.

vsk

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were a Pinterest enthusiast, Snobby.

Drock said...

It's amazing how almost ever part of motoring make the user pissed, hate high pump $$, hate registration fees, hate other driver, hate road conditions, hate enforcement, hate it all but wake up every morning and do it again. Madness

ken e. said...

zzzz... my favourite numbers are all taken! happy monday y'all!

leroy said...

Some drink to forget, some forget to drink. Either way, we all fall down.

In other news, my dog informs me that Kanye's tour cancellation means the Barclay's Center is available for New Years.

Probably too late for a monster truck rally tho'.

JLRB said...

Stay furious, my friend

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of woosies

bieks said...

Apparently you can't scare an Aussie into wearing a helmet so fine the shit outta them.

dem_bieks! said...

What is solved with the 27.5+ wheel thing? Is it a giant tire on a 650b wheel?

I'm going to lose Fredpoints if I don't know!

le Correcteur said...

Top twenty. Jeans on a Pinarello!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I had to drive to South Jersey on Saturday. Taking the GSP, after leaving the hellhole driving in Staten Island is, I had to go over the Driscoll Bridge. Every time I go over the Driscoll Bridge, I an embarrassed. For those who don't know. The Driscoll is about 25 lanes of traffic over an large steep incline, with two other local routes, Rte 1 and 35 (or 36) adjacent) It's just an immense span of tail lights and headlights as far as you can see. Literally thousands of cars all going....someplace. I always hate being a part of that crowd.

Bryan said...

jeebus, over $100 for not having a bell?

Frickus Rungus said...

I like to track my hydration using a journal and a handy maple syrup grading kit. I keep track of volume, frequency and color whenever nature calls... #whatgradeareyoupeeing

P. Bateman said...

not gonna lie, i'd run over my own mother for a holden comodore SS.

also, completed unrelated...but if anyone is in the mood for a very surreal and not safe for work Shrek related story....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHQM8P8m3BM

Anonymous said...

Can you put 27.5 wheels on a 29er bike?

Anonymous said...

Single use Paper helmets, 5$ a pop. I can't dispose of Lincolns like they are 2-ply.

Makes wonder if some rides will have to be determined to be paper-helmet-worthy.

Too bad they aren't made of sponge.

BUY AMERICAN MADE ANVILS said...

Love seeing the old industrial plant in the background of the photo (Smokestack America!). The Donald will be reopening that anvil plant, $30.00+ per hour plus lots of bennies. Buy American made anvils, the Anvil Maker's job you keep from being hammered away might be yours.

What Ya Get IS What It's Worth to You said...

The election is now old news, no longer anywhere near the top of the "Trending" list. It's back to celebs making raunchy music videos, walking out of concerts, etc. And the celeb news gets millions of clicks more than the election news did because Americans are smart folks, they know what is important.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, once re-hydrated you'll be throwing up after reading this gibberish...

http://www.executivestyle.com.au/bianchis-new-xr4-bike-is-lean-mean-and-not-for-the-faint-of-heart-gstrcs

Incredibly, no mention of what tire pressure to ride with!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:57pm,

"Regular"-width 27.5? Don't see why not though it seems pointless and like it might create ground clearance issues and stuff like that.

I think people do 27.5+ on 29er with success though, if they have the frame clearance, as wheel diameters are closer.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I have not bought a new mountain bike since the 1990's. Why are so many of the new bikes single chainring set ups? Kids these days ...

HivemindX said...

So the bike share in my city costs €20 a year to be a member and zero for each trip so long as it is under 30 minutes. When my regular commuter bike was broken I used the bike share to get to work every day and out of maybe 80 trips I only kept it over 30 minutes once, which cost me 50c.

If I had to wear a helmet for some reason, like it was icy or super windy or there was a move to cut cycling numbers by making it a legal requirement, then with the super handy single use paper helmets at only a fiver a go I'd just have used one of the three helmets I own but rarely use for commuting. If I was a person that wanted to get across town at lunch time or use the bikes for the occasional trip to an alcohol imbibing opportunity those fivers are going to add up very, very quickly. For a given trip (costing zero) it is infinitely more expensive! If I was to use one just five times a year it would double my total expenditure on the scheme. I guess it makes the cost of the scheme seem a lot cheaper (people complained when the fee was increase to €20 a year) and it also makes the dream of helmet ownership seem like a sound financial bet. Still, it seems like each time someones has an unplanned need to use a bike or forgets their helmet this is a significant extra cost. That doesn't need to happen that often for the costs to increase ridiculously.

I didn't both reading...but why are they single use anyway? I assume they don't just melt in the rain right? That would mean you'd have to stop every 15 minutes to re-helmet for safety. Why can't you leave a paper helmet in your desk or bag just in case? This is assuming they actually have more than a placebo affect on safety, and that's compared to a regular helmet so the bar isn't exactly high.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:06pm,

Wide-range cassettes give you all the gear ratios you need so you don't require the extra stuff up front (rings, derailleur, shifter, etc.), and clutch-type derailleurs eliminate chain slap so it all runs quiet and you don't lose the chain. I suppose more chainring clearance for riding over logs, blah blah blah, is also a benefit, but seems to me the main one is that it's tidy and reliable. Plus between the dropper post remotes and the front suspension remotes and the Garmin and so forth handlebar real estate is increasingly scarce for the Mountain Weenies so doing away with a shifter helps.

--Wildcat Etc.

wishiwasmerckx said...

If I have to wear a paper helmet, I'm going to Burger King and getting one of those gold paper crowns to wear. Heck, they give those away for free!

Anonymous said...

Now I know why my sister and husband sold their bikes before returning to live in Oz. No way am I going to go halfway round the world to visit them in a F****** facist country where they have open season on cyclists. Bunch of morons descended from sheep stealers and worse...

Kort

Persia said...

Hey Kort, it seems a bit harsh of you to refuse to visit your husband, but I'll confess the news that you aren't going to visit doesn't greatly trouble me.

Note that the ongoing stupidness in Sydney/New South Wales is not replicated in Melbourne, where cycling is growing apace.

And lay off Cadel, he's the only guy in living memory who won the Tour without being on the juice.

D Hicks said...

"short-lived malady". Had one of those myself once upon time, but eventually she moved on. I kept telling her, "how can I miss you when you won't go away".

Anonymous said...

Brawndo's got what plants need!

Big Tires and Dirt said...

Leroy 203. Barclay's has been booked for the night of Jan 20th for a Monster Truck's Celebrate Trump Spectacular. No word yet as to if "The Don" himself will attend to roll out a symbolic first chrome wheel.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the single chain ring explanation - I guess it might also reduce missed shifts if you only have one shifter to use.

Anon from 606

Dead Ringer said...

Over $100 fine for no sound emitting device on your bike?! Sounds like the perpetrator has won the no bell piece prize.

Fuck you Duncan Gay said...

In NSW riding a bicycle dangerously is a $425 fine. What you may well ask constitutes riding a bicycle dangerously? Well it is entirely at the discretion of the police and they've charged 100s of people for completely nonsense reasons - track stand anyone?

As the NSW govt says:-

"In some instances, there are even serious risks to drivers, who are unlikely to be injured in crashes with bicycle riders but could have to live with the stress and emotional impact of being in a serious or even fatal crash with a bicycle rider through no fault of their own (e.g. a rider does not stop at a red light.)"

Yeah it's usually the cyclists fault when they get smashed to shit and then the poor innocent precious petal of a driver has to live with it. Go and get fucked you bloody obnoxious dickhead politicians with your made up self serving drivel.

The King of Park Slope said...

Should you really be making Idiocracy jokes at a time like this?

Grump said...

Speaking of Brawndo, did you ever see that Brawndo commercial that Donald Trump did, a few years ago???? I believe that he said that it's one of the tings that you can but a Starbucks.

Catching up on tweets said...

Did Einstein really say that?

crosspalsm said...

When the Starbucks barista used to ask Einstein for his name, he said "you can call me Al."

Persia said...

As noted in The Guardian:

"There is however another way to keep cyclists safe. It’s to get them off our roads, footpaths and cycle lanes entirely. This can perhaps be achieved through enacting legislation that penalises cyclists with massive fines for minor traffic infringements such as not wearing a helmet or cycling without a bell attached to the handlebars.

Governments can also rip up existing infrastructure and force cyclists on to traffic-clogged roads. They can allow the police force to target minor infringements by cyclists, rather than focus on motorists who speed, text while driving or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In short, a government can create an environment where the cyclist is seen as an unwanted guest on our roads, rather than as a husband, wife, mother, daughter, son commuting to work or school.

To the best of my knowledge, this bold experiment is only occurring in one place on earth: New South Wales.

....what the figures also don’t show is the damage this legislation is doing to Sydney’s reputation as a welcoming destination for tourists. Will the steady tide of young foreign backpackers choose more bicycle-friendly cities such as Brisbane or Melbourne in which to spend their hard-earned cash?"

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/22/fewer-people-are-cycling-in-sydney-the-nsw-government-must-be-pleased

Told you so.

Helmet wearing car drafter said...

I don't know why Snobby thinks the Australia government are fascists.? Doesn't every government make their population comply with the laws? http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/more-than-133-million-of-fines-have-been-issued-to-cyclists-since-new-penalties-were-introduced/news-story/37ce0ea0bdc2083a0e7beaeeb93d53fc

I'm riding dangerously said...

@Helmet wearing car drafter - if the govt makes laws which criminalise normal behaviour then everyone becomes a criminal - do you see a problem here?

@Persia - Bicycle friendly cities like Brisbane or Melbourne? What the fuck? The only bicycle friendly city in Australia is Darwin. You should get out more often and see what a real bicycle friendly city is like, for example, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam or even would you believe NYC?

The Brisbane and Melbourne bike share schemes are resounding failures for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Baird and Gay are sub-human pond scum and deserve to burn for enacting this crap. They knew full well from the time of the first attempt at passing bicycle registration to the successful passing of the penalty increases and subsequent police blitzes that the results would be fewer people cycling and sold their monstrosity via the media under the guise of safety. That's what Gay meant in all those interviews - cyclists would be safer because they wouldn't be cycling. Surely, there's a court somewhere in the world they can be dragged through for this.

Sorry to rant and restate the obvious - too angry to write anything more coherent.

Casino Mike said...

Cyclist writing angrily? Pretty sure there is a law in NSW for that.

JLRB said...

Trump election has been very educational - until now I thought Alt-Right was a keyboard command

JLRB said...

#AYFASCISTSSMB

STG said...

BikeSnob,

I talked to Isis Shiffer a few years ago, I'm also a Pratt graduate. She's actually a very squared-away chick, and not at all a "cycling outsider." She has hand built some really impressive steel bikes. She expressed frustration at most designer's total ignorance of the bike as a functional and beautiful object - IE, "a regular bike is ugly and boring, and a custom hand-made stainless steel is just a regular bike. Ew, spoked wheels." She built some cool bike rack concepts in school and hung some of her custom frames from it, only a handful of people could tell that the bikes were part of her work.

I feel like this project evolved out of an environment where students and professors are obsessed with "innovation at all costs" which results in every bike concept having hubless wheels or being an ergonomic nightmare. There's not a lot of appreciation for functional and practical cycling products.

So, 1, she's actually got some legit bike chops (not like Budnitz). 2, she's got some serious technical chops by building a paper helmet that passes the impact tests, unlike those stupid wooden helmet people. So maybe lets not cast shade on her.

Sean Gordon
Industrial Designer

Persia said...

@I'm riding dangerously - the article in the Guardian stated that Melbourne was more bike friendly than Sydney, which it clearly is. We have a lot more to do, but have made a start - the main street in Melbourne is restricted to trams, bikes and peds, for example. Our government is not rabidly anti-cyclist like that of NSW.

I agree that the bike share scheme has been a flop. Whoopee chook.

I have cycled in Copenhagen and Berlin and obviously Melbourne is not in the same league, cycling-wise, but it's certainly better than Sydney.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Sean Gordon,

I think what the helmet represents (as stated in her original video) is terrible. Do I have to like it because she built a nice bike?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

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