Monday, December 5, 2016

Let's jump right in with both cleats!

Is there any more pleasant time of year to ride a bicycle than the autumn?

Probably, but whatever.

Nevertheless, yesterday I engaged in a bit of urban exploration (which perhaps you'll read about in a future Brooks blog, it's been awhile since my last one), after which I pointed my bicycle northward and scurried along the Hudson:

Keeping the Palisades on my left, the backyards of suburbia on my right, and my Brooks securely under my scranus, I pushed northward upon 32mm Paselas set to the optimal #whatpressuryourunning for the terrain, elevation, and atmospheric conditions:

When suddenly I came upon this arrangement of Osage oranges (I had to look that up), preternaturally stacked around the circumference of this old aqueduct vent:

"No human being would stack Osage oranges like this," I thought to myself, and immediately ascribed it to some supernatural being or folkloric creature:

After all, many regions have their own mythical beasts--the Pacific Northwest has Bigfoot, the Pine Barrens has the Jersey Devil, Cleveland has this guy--so it could very well have been the work of some local equivalent like Scraps, the Hellhound of Yonkers:

Or maybe it was Auðumbla, the primeval bovine of Norse mythology:

In case it's not clear what's going on in that painting, here's the description:

While Ymir suckles at the udder of Auðumbla, Búri is licked out of the ice in this 18th-century painting by Nicolai Abildgaard (1790)

Religion's a funny thing, and you've got to wonder why Jesus caught on but Ymir the Norse Bovine-Suckler didn't.

Speaking of bovines, my Brooks saddle's made from one, and it looks especially distinguished with an EH Works saddlebag tethered to it:

(Yes, in an emergency you can suckle your Brooks.)

That's called PRODUCT PLACEMENT, and it's what we semi-professional bloggers do around the holidays.  I'd be pretty happy to find an EH Works saddle bag or even a Brooks underneath my Festivus pole, Chrismas rock, or Ice Menorah, and I'm sure you know somebody who would the same, that's all I'm saying:

And this morning's ride was no less "epic," for I loaded up my WorkCycles with one of my spare human children and headed to the local library:

On the way there, we enjoyed a wildlife sighting on Helmet Mime Hill:

As I understand it, skunk are crepuscular, so I assume the fact it was out at mid-morning means either: A) it's rabid; B) it's doing the walk of shame; or C) both.

Regardless, it looked wet and pissed off, so it's a good thing my human child was wearing a helmet:


Anyway, we picked out a book, which my human child struggled to figure out:

(He's wondering why this primitive object doesn't automatically orient itself like the phone.)

But once he did it kept him occupied for the ride home:

Yeah, my kid's reading (well, looking at) a book on a bike.  Out-smug THAT, suckers!!!

Meanwhile, Citi Bike was supposed to destroy New York City or something, but now there's citywide demand for it, go figure:

“It is imperative that we turn Citi Bike fully into a public good and a resource for our lowest income communities,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat from northern Manhattan, said at a recent City Council hearing on the program’s future.

Citi Bike officials say the system might not extend to all five boroughs unless the city is willing to help pay for it, an idea that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is considering. For some elected city officials, the arrival of Citi Bike in Jersey City last year was yet another slight for their oft-neglected communities.

Seems to me giving the entire city access to Citi Bikes makes a lot more sense than that goofy streetcar he wants to build.  After all, there's clearly a lot of pent-up demand for cycling in New York City, which is liable to explode if they ever manage to pop the cork of imminent death;

Many New Yorkers across different races, incomes and genders are concerned about riding safely on harrowing city streets. Though traffic crashes remain a persistent problem, no Citi Bike riders have died in an accident since the system started in 2013. But overall cyclist deaths in the city are up this year. There were 17 deaths so far in 2016, compared with 14 during the same period last year, city officials said.

Unfortunately when the city does try to liberate New Yorkers from the specter of death a small, vocal minority decries it as a deliberate attempt to inconvenience the poor, unfortunate motorists:

Today’s gridlock is the result of an effort by the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations over more than a decade of redesigning streets and ramping up police efforts, the sources said.

“The traffic is being engineered,” a former top NYPD official told The Post, explaining a long-term plan that began under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and hasn’t slowed with Mayor de Blasio.

No, today's gridlock is the result of a bunch of fucking morons in leased Hyundais who think driving into Manhattan during rush hour is a good idea.

“The city streets are being engineered to create traffic congestion, to slow traffic down, to favor bikers and pedestrians,” the former official said.

I wish this were true.  If the city actually went forward with street design that was punitive to motorists we'd be about a thousand times better off.  Tolls on the East River bridges?  Speed and red light cameras?  Weight-activated tire spikes in the bike lanes?  Bring it on, baby!

Green Light includes pedestrian plazas and protected bike lanes that are still being completed under de Blasio, who has further snarled traffic with reduced speed limits, redesigned intersections and aggressive summons-writing as part of his Vision Zero initiative.

I would give anything for a mayor with the balls and/or labia to tell these winy, entitled motorists to shut the fuck up.  If you can't figure out when it makes sense to use your car and when it doesn't then you deserve to sit in traffic.  Burn in "vehicular hell," suckers!

Still, Manhattan has become a vehicular hell where drivers suffer an average speed of 8.2 mph.

It's true, I miss the days when Manhattan was the first place you'd go to take a Sunday drive.

Among them was Braulio Cefea, who was stuck in a traffic jam on the Manhattan side of the Queens Midtown Tunnel Friday.

“This is a bad idea,” he said of Midtown’s intentional traffic snarls. “Bad, bad idea!”

Yeah, it was a bad idea.  Trying to take the Midtown Tunnel on a Friday, is he fucking nuts?!?  Too bad there's no other way to get from Manhattan to Queens, apart from numerous subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

Troy Johnson, 29, sitting in the same traffic jam, was furious at the insiders’ allegations of an effort by City Hall to clog traffic.

“If it’s true,” he said, “you are going to see some serious road rage!”

Right, because we don't have that already.


These are the same geniuses who go to Black Friday sales and wind up stabbing people.

Meanwhile, London's mayor's spending a shitload of money on cycling:

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has promised to spend £770m on cycling initiatives over the course of his term, saying he wants to make riding a bike the “safe and obvious” transport choice for all Londoners.

Following criticism that Khan has not been as bold as his predecessor, Boris Johnson, in committing to new bike routes, and amid increasing worries about air quality in London, Khan’s office has set out what is described as a hugely ambitious programme to boost cyclist numbers.

Wait, he's being criticized for not doing as much bike stuff as his predecessor?  This is exactly the opposite of New York, where our mayor gets criticized for continuing his predecessor's bike projects.

Wish we had that problem.

And there's even good news in New South Wales, where they've scrapped the mandatory ID for cyclists thing:

NSW residents will not be required to carry identification while riding a bike, after another about-turn by the Baird government.

The government had said cyclists could face a $106 fine for failing to carry identification from March.

This "alternative solution struck the right balance between safety and convenience," Mr Gay said.

Good day for cyclists, bad day for greyhounds and sharks:

Dropping the identification requirement is the latest in a string of policy backflips by the Baird government. Others include reversing its ban on greyhound racing, and agreeing to shark nets on the NSW north coast.

I sure hope those greyhounds wear helmets.


wishiwasmerckx said...


Anonymous said...


wle said...

friday - the speed of sound

today - the sound of speed



N/A said...

32mm Paselas are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking them up.

Anonymous said...


Watch and Camera Guy said...

Top ten!

boys on the hoods said...

Top Ten!!

Chazu said...

Top Tentacle

leroy said...

My dog turned to me and asked "Orange you glad I didn't sing 'Osage, can you see'...."

He's just so weird sometimes.

Pedant said...

"More people want bikes, no bikes"


Pedant said...

Oh, I see you've removed it. Alas, self-editing is a dangerous game.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

12th Scrani, now to read!

Freddy Murcks said...

At the risk of being labeled a sexist (Ah fuck it. Who the fuck am I kidding? I am a sexist and I love to objectify women.), I have really been enjoying the young lady in the Walz Caps ad that runs next to this here blog. She possesses a mix of insouciance and beautiful, round breasts that makes me happy.

janinedm said...

In 1872, NYC traffic was described thus, "Carriages, wagons, carts, omnibuses, and trucks are packed together in the most helpless confusion." Traffic was bad in NYC before DiBlasio's parents were born.

Buffalo Bill said...

One possible reason for the relative success of heyzeus vs ymir might have been that, while the norse had berserkers and were good sailors, the romans had a fucking army.

Fred Fredriksen said...

Freddy Murcks,
I agree, she is beautiful.

Dan Rather said...

American will put up with anything as long as it doesn't block traffic.

Anonymous said...

You know how to make me feel like a lousy parent, Snobby. OK, so your human child is just so special and smart by reading a real book whilst on the back of your non-carbon emitting steed, while mine sits in his car seat made for landing on Mars whilst playing with some crazy sounding beeping toy.

Unknown said...

Snob: bad link on the "The real reason for New York City's traffic nightmare" story. You wanted

BikeSnobNYC said...


Or did I?

--Wildcat Etc.

NHcycler said...

These mythical tales must be the original fables planted by the Russian equivalents of today's "false news" mills.

I mean, how could even the typical illiterate medieval peasant, believing in evil forest spirits or spells cast by witches, could ever be talked into believing in stuff like that?

Maybe I'm just being naive.

Apropos of nothing, WCRM really showed that dog who's boss!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

"No human being would stack Osage oranges like this,"

What is the proper protocol for stacking Osange oranges around an aqueduct vent?

Anonymous said...

Horse Apples!

They hurt when they are thrown at you too.

Anonymous said...

Avg Vehicular speed = 8.2mph.

Is that before or after they add the OIL-SQUIRT 9000?!

BamaPhred said...

Nice one, Snob

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

If the average vehicle speed is 8.2 mph in Manhattan, does that include all the parked cars doing zero mph and the cars exceeding the speed limit on the Harlem River Drive, FDR Drive and Henry Hudson Parkway?

If Mayor De-Blasé-OH has such a Vision Zero hard on why can't he send a couple of cops over to the registered owner of the car that ran down Dulce Canton? He said last week the NYPD is going to put its CrimeStat MegaData to work to target enforcement. The same NYPD that can't tell what any precinct has in seized property from civil forfeitures (i.e. legally stolen property) or what the NYPD has in total property from civil forfeitures because they have a manual system.

1904 Cadardi said...

B. Bill

Also, the jeebus toting missionaries brought a hell full of fire and brimstone which your average arctic circle dwelling Scandinavian probably thought sounded nice. "Wait, you're saying I get to spend eternity warm and toasty and not picking ice out of my beard even if I'm bad? Where do I sign?"

Anonymous said...

NYC: and just keep driving there. What's the old saying about insanity being when you do the same thing over and over expecting a different result? This is like those idiots who circle the parking lot for 15 minutes to find a close spot while they could've walked from a distant spot in 5 minutes and then bitch because there isn't enough parking.

Jim Rome said...

If you've ever been to a dog track, your life didn't turn out as planned.

CommieCanuck said...

My local Hamilton, Ontario, municipal government, also known locally as "fucking idiots", are trying to implement bicycle licences to help pay for bike lanes, because they feel cyclists should have some "skin in the game" (WTF?). These senior citizen SUV enthusiasts apparently revealed that home owners who bike to work do not have to pay any municipal taxes, and so, I openly support this licence so that I may receive my tax compensation for not wearing out local roads or taking up parking spaces.
The same brain trust is also opposing any mass transit construction, which they don't have to pay for, which they approved 5 years ago.
Proof you don't need a Trump to be this stupid, and moving here won't get you away from angry, senile baby boomers.

CommieCanuck said...

I mean, how could even the typical illiterate medieval peasant, believing in evil forest spirits or spells cast by witches, could ever be talked into believing in stuff like that?

As opposed to a 28 year old man who shot up a Washington Pizza parlor to investigate a Reddit story about a Hilary Clinton sex abuse ring? (Who's your Papa John?!)

Drock said...

We had some friends with a crab apple tree over their hot tub, every fall they'd sit in there with bike helmets on so when they fell off the tree they didn't get injured.
I don't know what to say about all that traffic just glad I live in a place where it ain't so jammed packed. It should be tought in schools however that killing the car in cities will only improve the quality of life.

dancesonpedals said...

Meh. The average vehicular speed in Manhattan has always been slow. People don't move here for convenience. They leave convenience so they can wake up in the city that never sleeps.

Frickus Rungus said...


Your spare human child must have a super strong kung-fu grip to be able to hold a full size picture book while riding over pot-filled-holes in the street. Or did you have to stop about a dozen times to pick up the book off the street?

Dooth said...

What a strange freaking coincidence...the Osage oranges arrangement pays tribute to Ymir the Norse Bovine-Suckler.

Vehicle said...

Planners estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 less vehicles would enter Manhattan if the new Tappan Z Bridge had a Metro North rail link. But Gov. C aka "the real estate developer's check is in the hip pocket & Moreland Commission, what commission?" decided it would cost to much. In other words the Gov is saying "sit in traffic suckers, and be sure and hit that horn over and over and over again, because that always makes a difference."

Some guy from upstate said...

Were you anywhere near Chappaqua? The mystery Osage orange stacking could be the work of the elusive Hillary:

Green not Orange said...

The Clinton's stack up GREENbacks. 100 million+ and counting. Wall Street speech "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your Denarius at zero percent, and don't forget to bury the loan..."

Do You Believe in Magic said...

"I mean, how could even the typical illiterate medieval peasant, believing in evil forest spirits or spells cast by witches, could ever be talked into believing in stuff like that?"

Today's equivalent believed the hog wash spun out by The Man in the High Manhattan Castle. "Been sitting here for 20 years waiting for my job to come back from Mexico, and it's a comin back Ma." (Advice, better hope it comes back before the wall & fence & topiary hedge, seals the border tighter than a butt crack after doing a century)

Some guy from upstate said...

Sorry ...

Milk from a Steer said...

Sure is one strange looking Texas Longhorn Steer in that painting.

Ancient Norse Rite said...

Finding an arrangement of oranges, in a ring around a stone Phallus Symbol, is obviously the location of a Democratic Party Ritual Site. They only use Osage Oranges, or slices of pizza, it's a dead giveaway. (Reddit, please copy today's post and disseminate to millions.)

Shuf said...

I consider all "Vision Zero" campaigns to be equivalent to attempts to outlaw farting. It ain't going to happen.

JLRB said...

Growing up we called Osage oranges monkey brains - were you performing helmet tests again?

Hedge apples said...

Flap Doodle said...

Hey, Bike Snob!

Way to go, keeping the Chris in Chrismas, BikeSnob!

Red-winy or white-winy motorists?

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