Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bike Lanes Are Only For [Insert Group You Don't Like Here]

A few months ago I mentioned the XShifter, a wholly unnecessary yet oddly compelling device which allows you to convert your mechanical drivetrain to an electronic one:



Of course the idea of taking your perfectly serviceable mechanical drivetrain and incorporating finite battery life into it is, on many levels, patently absurd.  Nevertheless, a true bike dork always appreciates a good kludge (even if "good kludge" is something of an oxymoron), and it seems to me that a wireless shifter that works with a multitude of mechanical derailleurs opens a veritable Pandora's box (or, if you prefer, Sheldon's toolbox) of kludge-tastic possibilities.  

Take this bike, for example, which won a coveted Kludgie award back in 2007:


What bike dork worth his* SPD sandals wouldn't want to see this beauty outfitted with some Xshifters in the tenth anniversary year of that auspicious occasion?

*(Yes, his.  Compulsive kludgery is a condition that disproportionately affects males.)

Anyway, for this reason alone I was ready to welcome the XShifter (and so apparently was the rest of bike-dorkdom because they raised a lot of money on Kickstarter), but now it seems that more such devices are on their way.  And while Xshifter's presentation did have a certain DIY sensibility, it's like watching an Apple keynote compared to this one:


At this rate, electronic bicycle shifting conversion kits are going to be hanging in little packages at Target right next to the sports ball inflator pins.

Still, this most recent one probably works better than the Modolo Morphos, which was the analog solution to drivetrain cross-compatibility:

Though to be honest I have no idea whether or not the Modolo Morphos actually works since I was always too afraid to try them.  Not only do they appear to have the ergonomics of a shelf bracket, but they also look like something a doctor might use in the process of performing a colonoscopy:

(On closeout at Nashbar, enter discount code BUTTSCOPE at checkout.)

Meanwhile, if you were waiting for the worlds of Trumpism and bike lane bashing to collide, your wait is finally at an end:


Ann Pfoser Darby, a long-time member of Queens Community Board 4, argued last night that 111th Street by Flushing Meadows Corona Park doesn’t need a protected bike lane because Donald Trump will deport “all the illegals.” City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland is now calling for Borough President Melinda Katz to remove Darby from the board.

Transportation Alternatives Queens organizer Juan Restrepo reports that at an update on the 111th Street project last night, Darby said, “Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.”

Wow.

A few things:

Firstly, if you're unfamiliar with how New York City works, what happens is the DOT identifies a street that needs safety improvements.  You know, because people are getting maimed and killed by cars.  Once they do, they draw up a plan, which they present to something called a "community board."  Often made up of longtime residents whose self-interests have grown so bloated and heavy over the years that they've collapsed on themselves and gone supernova, these xenophobes do all they can to preserve their free street parking and fight anything that might make their neighborhood safer or more attractive to anybody who's not a misanthropic shut-in.  And incredibly, instead of telling a bunch of people who don't know the first thing about street design to shut up, the DOT will keep changing the design and coming back to them like Maria Carey's interior decorator with a bunch of fabric samples.

Secondly, in this particular case, 111th Street runs along Flushing Meadows Park, which is the fourth-largest park in New York City.  It's home to the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Zoo (which is way better than you'd think), and the Unisphere, among other landmarks.  Frankly, the idea that a park of this size shouldn't have a bike lane near it is fucking obscene.  Indeed it's a gross failing of this city that most large parks are surrounded by busy streets and that people basically have to run for their lives to get into and out of them.  Every park should be surrounded by protected bike lanes, and it's crazy that they aren't.

Thirdly, people in New York City who hate bike lanes should decide once and for all which despicable group is using them: the soulless gentrifiers who are pricing out all those decent hardworking car owners, or the illegal immigrants who are stealing all those cushy high-paying food delivery jobs and thus don't deserve to ride in safety?  It's vexingly inconsistent, especially to those of us who don't really fit into either category yet still find ourselves in bike lanes and are laboring under the delusion that maybe they actually benefit most people.

Finally, perhaps Ann Pfoser Darby, long-time member of Queens Community Board 4, should go to work for the Trump administration.  Then instead of a wall she can try to convince him to build a one-way bike lane between 111th Street and Mexico.

What a freaking pfoser.  The DOT should tell them to go pfuck themselves and build that bike lane already.


55 comments:

Ted K. said...

217. In earlier revolutions, leftists of the most power-hungry type, repeatedly, have first cooperated with non-leftist revolutionaries, as well as with leftists of a more libertarian inclination, and later have double- crossed them to seize power for themselves. Robespierre did this in the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks did it in the Russian Revolution, the communists did it in Spain in 1938 and Castro and his followers did it in Cuba. Given the past history of leftism, it would be utterly foolish for non-leftist revolutionaries today to collaborate with leftists.

wle said...

poe dee um
w l e

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

The real podium, suck it Ted!

Charles said...

In the top tennus....

boys on the hoods said...

Top 10!!

Anonymous said...

scrotium

Day Short Dollar Late said...

Good post today, Wildcat.

But that OCTOBER 2, 2007 post linked to, wow. That is comedy platinum.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus.

Jose said...

How many of us just realized we must be illegals? Thanks pfor the inphormation.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Tpotus Tfenus

dnk said...

Leftists of the most power-hungry type should pfinagle together, and seize the reigns of non-elected power from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Pfoser Darby.

Er. Thanks fake Ted, pfor the revolutionary language...

g. said...

I can't really come to terms with the fact that I have been sitting here, reading this blog, almost daily, for over ten fricking years?!

My mom was right, I will just waste my life...

dnk said...

g. @ 2:02 PM ---

It ain't all bad. You could be reading this:

In the heart of Rhode Island lies the small college town of MacAskill. Founded by mountain bikers who wanted a place to live their sport, it attracted cyclists both influential and infamous. Andrew Gamble was the most decorated pro cyclist in history until he lost it all in a brazen doping scandal.

Chazu said...

Ted's manifesto contains 232 paragraphs.

We should have this wrapped up prior to the end of the month.

N/A said...

Ann Pfoser Darby licks scranus, is what I heard from an unnamed source.

Anonymous said...

When the illegals leave, the fruit and vegetables will rot in the fields, the processed food shall remain undelivered, and the bike lanes will fill with tumbleweed.

Frickus Rungus said...

I'm probably really bad at internet research, but I think I found evidence that Ann pfoser's ancestors entered the US by crossing the Mexico border into Texas: linky. Does she have a grandparent named Anthony?

Anonymous said...

What if Babble posted a post and nobody came?

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

Kenny Banya said...

My favorite Ann Pfoser Darby anagram is Fry Panda Boners

Gold

Pist Off said...

It's unamerican notta drivacar! Or,
Only illegals would stoop to use a bicycle.
Pfoser is a shoo-in for Trump's NHTSA.

Grump said...

Snobby, you're going to get into trouble with Trumpites by thinking and saying that something out of an obvious Trumpite's mouth might be "Hogwash"........"Hogwash" is code for "Stupid F'n moronic sh!t"

Piss Pissedofferson said...

For a city that like to fancy itself to be the greatest city in the world and to be populated with sophisticated sophisticates, NYC sure does have more than its fair share of loudmouthed idiots.

Anonymous said...

Some of my favourite bike kludges, in loose chronological order:

Shimano MTB brake levers that doubled as shifters.

V-brakes that allowed you to run 700c rims in a mountain bike frame. (Thank you, Paul Components, maybe others)

Conversion rollers to run non-linear brake levers with V-brakes. (thanks Problem Solvers and probably others).

Low-gear conversion cogs for 10 speed cassettes, with or without the derailleur add-on extender bit. Be sure to throw away your front derailleur (and everything else on your drivetrain if it's worn, plus buy an extra cog and have terrible shifting). Yay one-by!

Internally routed dropper posts that are still routed on the outside of the bike, except for a hole in the seat tube.

And countless more!


wishiwasmerckx said...

Learned something today that has bothered me for a long time.

What is the difference between a chickpea and a garbanzo bean?

Trump doesn't pay for a Russian garbanzo bean on him.

JB said...

"...the DOT will keep changing the design and coming back to them like Maria Carey's interior decorator with a bunch of fabric samples."

this is good stuff

Frickus Rungus said...

Help me Lob... I've discovered online anagram generators.

Did you know that "wildcat rock machine" can be used to spell "linear cock width cam"?

Clint Eastwood said...

Old West action

Spiro Agnew said...

Grow a penis

Osama bin Laden said...

A bad man (no lies)

Monica Lewinsky said...

Nice silky woman

Elvis Aaron Presley said...

Seen alive? Sorry, pal!

dancesonpedals said...

The online anagram machine ruined Reince Preibus' life.

William Shakespeare said...

I am a weakish speller

Chairman Mao said...

I am on a march

Margaret Thatcher said...

That great charmer

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson said...

Select odd words, laughing

Dooth said...

The narrator of the second electric shifter video sounds like he's in Witness Protection. Shady shifter shill.

Some guy from upstate said...

I want analog electronic controllers for the friction shifters on my Takara. With a dial like an old UHF tuning knob. Where the numbers kind of vaguely line up with the channel. That would be so cool.

Anonymous said...

I want redundant saddle-mounted electronic steering via an old Atari joystick so I can ride no hands. My hemmeroid can push the orange button to switch between analog and electronic mode.

Duck and Cover said...

Those shifters would be rendered inoperable by an electromagnetic bomb.

Doc Sarvis said...

Illegals? We're two wheeled niggers menacing the white women...

Die free said...

1987? Holy cow that's some stretch. Has she been an idiot all 30 years or is it a recent ailment?

Come to think of it, Snobby didn't you live in Queens at some point? Maybe she was a neighbor you pissed off... And now she hates bikes

Persia said...

There's a new book idea for you, Senor Snob - all the excuses not to do bike stuff you've ever heard. Might need to bring it out in 2 volumes.

Serving suggestion folks: what's the most moronic argument against bike infrastructure you've ever come across (real ones please).

I'll kick it off with this real life letter to the local paper: "With Fairfield/Alphington in the top 10 most burgled suburbs in Melbourne, is the building of the bike path through Willsmere Park going to provide a burglar commuter highway right into our homes?"

dancesonpedals said...

I just rode one of the groovy new lazerlight Citi bikes. Very distracting.

dancesonpedals said...

bugger

JLRB said...

Build that lane
Build That lane
Build that
Lane
Etc

fourhourerection said...

Pandora's box,or Sheldon's tool box. Which Sheldon? Brown or cooper?

leroy said...

Well I say Ms. Darby is probably suffering brain freeze from over-quick consumption of lemon ice from The Lemon Ice King of Corona (west side of the park at 108th St and 52nd Ave.)

My dog says she's just a dumb fucking bigot who wouldn't know lemon ice from frozen pee.

Sometimes, he's a little judgmental.

But we both agree The Lemon Ice King of Corona has the best lemon ice in NYC (and is definitely worth a visit).

I'm not sure how we're going to test his theory concerning Ms. Darby's indiscriminate discriminating palate, but he assures me he has frozen pee and a plan.

Well of course I'm in. Anything for science.

ubercurmudgeon said...

“Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.”

...but there will be ZiL lanes between Russian embassies and most major US government agency buildings.

babble on said...

Oooooooh, somebody's anonyastute@2:28, aren't they? Thing is, that UN Affiliate agency asked me to write a piece they could use in several international publications, and I figured I'd just write it and give it to them to do with as they would like, but they asked me to please publish it on my blog before they sent it off. Dunno why, and I wasn't impressed with the photographs they chose to attach to the article, either, but as it's all for a good cause, who am I to argue???

I do, however, have some photographs which are far more worthy of examination, and I was planning to put them up there today, along with a coupla words...

Anonymous said...

Fry Panda Boners
pFpTW!

JohnP said...

That x-shifter sounds like the death throes of your helper monkey Vito. You would be laughed off the bike path.

Anonymous said...

Modolo Morphos are crap for shifting, but for me, have awesome ergonomics. I love how my thumb and hand fit on there like a glove. I've never had a better brake lever fit so good. The stupid shift levers came off, but I don't care. I use them for the brake levers and run bar end shifters. They fit my hand that well.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Anon 2:38 Ms Babble is an intelligent articulate young woman. I greatly appreciate her well thought out observations.