Friday, March 31, 2017

BSNYC Friday No Quiz Just Despair!

I wear many hats (not helmets) as a semi-professional bike blogger and world-tolerated authority on nothing in particular, one of which is the editor-in-chief, curator, and chef de cuisine of the Daily Bike Forecast:

Which, as I mentioned yesterday, received a nice little mention in what our toddler-in-chief calls the "Failing New York Times."  Anyway, some of the Times's failing commenters left the typical comments we've all come to expect from any mention of bikes in the mainstream press, and while it would be indecorous of me to reply to them in that august venue I'm inclined to reply to them here on my own blog where I have free reign to go "full douche."

Here are the comments first, with my replies below:

KL: It did, you putz.  Go call 1010 WINS and make them tell motorists to stop driving like assholes and killing people.  Once you've done that then come back and break my balls.

NYC Taxpayer: Even if were true there are well over 4 million people in Brooklyn and Manhattan, many of whom pay taxes (with certain exceptions such as Donald Trump), so seems pretty fair to me.  If one were as big a dipshit as you one could also argue that with a population of under 500,000 maintaining any sort of roads for Staten Islanders is also a waste.  But I wouldn't do that, since people who couldn't get it together to move all the way to Jersey deserve infrastructure too.

Thanks for singlehandedly bankrolling the city with your massive tax outlay though.

Peggy: And I would add: Stop driving cars on the sidewalks. Stay off paths in the Parks that are off-limits to cars -- for very good reasons: toddlers and the physically impaired, and dogs, like people, out for a walk.
Drivers who drive like maniacs, who drive on the sidewalks, who drive through red lights, who turn the corner (even on a green light) without looking at the cross walk, who drive on off-limits paths in the parks -- are a menace. And here's to the drivers who don't do those things -- but I would say your less-lawful fellow drivers are giving you all a bad name.

Also, shut up, Peggy.

Oh, there was also a supportive one:

Email is indeed always welcome, though they can also just fuck off if that's easier for them.

It certainly is for me.

It's amazing to consider how many people wake up early in the morning, perform their daily ablutions, pull up a comfy chair, and proceed to write the dumbest shit you've ever read.

Then again, I suppose that's what I do as a blogger.

Holy crap, I just blew my own mind.

Speaking of comments, I was dismayed to read this one on yesterday's post:

Aussie Arsehole said...

FYI, For the past week there has been a bicycle race across Australia, 5500kms from Perth to Sydney. And today - a fucking Australian motorist killed Mike Hall. A man who was an inspiration to many, a man who had ridden 10,000s of kms in endurance races around the world. And he dies on a fucking Australian road. A country with a well earned reputation as the worst place in the world to ride a bicycle. Will the fucking Australian police send his estate a few fucking $500 traffic fines - I'm sure they can find something - they do whenever I ride in that god forsaken country. 

RIP Mike Hall.

Here's more about Mike Hall:

Hall was a towering figure in the world of ultracycling, not just for his riding, but also for the events he organised – this year sees the fifth edition of the Transcontinental Race, which he founded in 2013 – and the inspiration and encouragement he gave to others.

He won the TransAm Race twice and the Tour Divide, and holds the records for completing both events in the shortest time. In 2012, he won the World Cycle Race in 91 days, 18 hours, faster than the then Guinness World Record for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle.

And about the Indian Pacific Wheel Race:

Which has now been cancelled.

And with the weekend coming we might as well keep it morbid and move on to the driver who killed five cyclists in Kalamazoo, who will now stand trial for second-degree murder:

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A motorist accused of killing five bicyclists and injuring four others in southwestern Michigan will stand trial on second-degree murder charges.

A Kalamazoo County Circuit judge has denied Charles Pickett Jr.’s motion to reverse an earlier ruling that allowed the murder charges.

The judge also denied Pickett’s efforts to suppress statements he made to police about the crash.

He should have committed his crime in New York City, because if he had he'd now be free on $15,000 bail:

According to the Post, Pelaez told police that his car had been stolen and that he wasn't driving the car during the hit-and-run. However, detectives saw Palaez driving his BMW on August 10, and also had cell phone records that showed he was near the scene of the fatal collision when it happened. The paper reported that Nin's relatives were upset that a judge set Palaez's bail at $15,000 (though the News reported the number at $25,000). "It’s ridiculous . . . It’s outrageous," Nin's uncle Alcides Urena told the paper.

So let's see:

--He "allegedly" (ahem) killed somebody with his car;
--He fled the scene;
--He lied to the police.

Nah, doesn't seem like a flight risk to me.

But Patrick George of Jalopnik is right, cyclists really should have more of a sense of humor about this sort of thing.

That's not to say the police and the justice system won't come down hard on you in the name of #VisionZero, it's just that for that to happen you need to be riding a bike:

It was then that McLeish informed them that he had been following them for blocks and had seen them run four red lights. He returned to his car to finish up the paperwork, and that's when reality set in.

"At that point we realized that we'd gotten ticketed for four different red lights," Frey said. "We were kind of stunned."

As the couple would learn shortly, not only were they getting four tickets for running red lights, but because of rules meant to apply to drivers who commit repeat offenses within the course of 18 months, the fines would increase for each successive one. The first red light was to cost them $150 each. The second: $350. The last two: $900.

Many years ago I got dinged for rolling through two red lights at a pair of "T" intersections, and if I remember correctly it was "these ones," as we used to say:

It was a hell of a fine, and my boss at the time berated me when I told him I needed to go out to traffic court on Coney Island, though ultimately he allowed it.  (I was fortunate enough to have the kind of job where missing a day didn't also mean missing a day's pay.)  Alas, I didn't get anywhere with the judge, and ultimately had to fork over the money.

There's a naive part of me that thinks, instead of applying the same penalties to cyclists and drivers, there's probably a way to discourage cyclists from running red lights and to even penalize them for it in proportion to the danger this behavior actually represents.  (Which really isn't very much.)  But of course this would involve moving past the American approach to "equality" (fucking everybody equally hard no matter how big or how small) and treating different people and different situations in a way that actually makes sense.

In other words it'll never happen.


boys on the hoods said...

Early post. First

Steve B said...

Could it be? Top step?

Anonymous said...

Early today, Sonbby. Non-podium effort from me.

Rob said...

top 10! Where's my Chiron?

Anonymous said...

Top ten and I read it. SUCKERS!

Seattle lone wolf said...

We beat Ted. Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Just more reasons I don't want to live in NYC. Or any city for that matter.

Friggin a - the I'm not a robot with multiple tests. Trying to get rid of Ted with the challenges?

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob, the photo links to your books at the bottom of the right-hand column must be broken.

dancesonpedals said...

href="" Tell Jalopdik that the only safe way to 'Hit it with a car' is like this

dancesonpedals said...

Like this!!!

Steely Danzig said...

Despair indeed. I always hate myself for reading comments sections (this one excluded). This is also the only section in which I comment. The arrogance and ignorance commenters demonstrate really shakes my already wavering faith in humans. Check out the comments in Drunkcyclist about the guy who got beat up on the trail. "You and all cyclists deserve it, snowflake" is the gist of the trolls who flocked over there after it made the news. It is a drain of energy and too much of a commitment to negativity to get into "flame wars" with those mouth breathers
Fortunately, you are intelligent and articulate enough to counter the hysterical rantings of auto-slaves. It won't get through to them, but there may be reasonable people reading who will consider a different opinion.
I don't live in NYC, but I like to read your TA blog. It makes me realize how different the big city is from where I live. It is also an opportunity to introduce the oily smarmy awesomeness that is Cipo to the masses.
You are doing good work. Keep up the good fight.

Mike in Dallas said...

"Holy crap, I just blew my own mind."

That wasn't Gold Snobby. Freakin' Platinum!

And as for $4600 in tickets, when did NYC become Australia?

Chazu said...

What Steely D. said.

Hair Furor said...

Dear Snob,

Really loving both your blogs. You've been on fire this week! Thanks for the laughs!

Could I get more traffic info customized to the Trump Properties throughout the city though...?

S. Danzig said...

Also, PLEASE photo-shop nonplussed bibshorts guy into one of your TA photos.

Spokey said...

what a moment. 16th podium spot

Grump said...

I'm so glad that I live on the far edge of Suburbia. Only twice in the last 30 some years have I been pulled over for blowing thru a stop sign (which I treat as a yield sign). Neither time was I given an actual ticket......PS...Your helmet comment at the beginning of your post made me think that I've never crashed or injured myself when I've been riding by myself, so maybe you're not so nuts after all. I believe that you've said that you do wear a plastic hat when you ride your bendy bar bike with stretchy clothes.

janinedm said...

I'm not going to bet my tickets, am I? Oh well. When I do the math, a year of Subway rides costs over a thousand dollars, and I take fewer than 20 subway rides a year, so even when you add in the cost of the bikes I'll still come out ahead. But man, this set-up is corrupt. I'm going to end up paying more in fines than people who have killed children. The woman who sideswiped me last year didn't even get a warning.

Some guy from upstate said...

Traffic laws exist to prevent road users from wreaking too much havoc. Logically, the fines should be proportional to the amount of havoc that can be wreaked. A reasonable measure for the capability to cause damage is kinetic energy, KE = 0.5*M*V**2 (note the use of ANSI standard FORTRAN syntax, because I am a computer retro-grouch). So, if the fine for running a red light at 30 mph in a 4000 lb car is $200, the fine for running a red light at 15 mph on a 170 lb bike/rider combo should be (cue Kraftwerk "I'm the operator of my pocket calculator") $2.13. Seems about right to me.

PS: I got stopped by an Albany County Sheriff's Deputy for going through a red light at a completely empty intersection (traffic signals telling nonexistent cars to go or stop is not an unusual thing here in the hinterlands). I got a big lecture about how "cyclists think they can do whatever they want" but no ticket.

Knüt Fredriksson said...

I got a $150 ticket for running through a four way stop a little over a year ago. I have been a lot more consistent about coming to a full stop at all intersections since then. It seems to drive people crazy and cause a lot of confusion. Especially when someone is waving you through and determined to wait even when there are other people at the intersection who are frothing at the mouth to go first.

Plutarco said...


You are a Cycling National Treasure--keep up the good work and whatever you do DO NOT go to Austrailia.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...damn sad news today. I'm still hung over from an outing last night and this news drags one's soul down. Mike Hall is a legend...
...Years and years ago when I was dating an Australian lady, I promised her that I would cycle with her from one side of Australia to the other. I like to keep my promises, but this one is going to stay a dream... until maybe they decide to do something about their asinine laws.

Anonymous said...

Huh - I got I ticket for riding through a red light in Cambridge MA. I was all righteously indignant until I saw the fine was $25 and then I thought "oh, that's fair."

N/A said...

I ride a unicycle, so I should only have to pay half as much as you damn bicyclists!

McFly said...

Mike Hall was featured in the Netflix documentary Inspired To Ride. It's a pretty good show about an impromptu Race from West to East Coast. Damn I hate to hear that.

Anonymous said...

awful news about mike hall, saw a pretty interesting documentary featuring him on the trans-am race. I used to want to visit Australia.

boys on the hoods said...

Up here in America's toque a lot of the local law enforcement and municipalities have fallen in love with photo radar for vehicle speed and red light control (really just a cash cow). Knew of a case where they had set up 2 photo speed traps too close together and a driver got 2 consecutive tickets for the same speed at both. He went to court over it and the judge threw the second ticket out as there was no opportunity for the first ticket to correct the behaviour. Ticketing should be corrective not punitive. You would think the same should apply to the bicycle situation.

Anonymous said...

have gotten a few $100+ tickets in NYC. last was passing Drumf tower just after the election where the cross street was block. so I assumed it was okay to roll through slowly since no cross traffic. One of New York's fattest thought otherwise. talking about insult to injury. fuck trump by the way. That bitch got 10% of the vote in his home town to Hillary's 90%. also got a ticket in central park, where I slowed down to like 5MPH looked both ways and rolled slowly through. There are over 40 traffic lights on the 6 mile loop around the park, no one is going to stop at all of those. also it is a fucking park. If you want to make it safe, stop 100% of the fucking car traffic once and for all. Basically the NYPD taxing cyclists and it has absolutely nothing to do with safety as you can see when the fucking worthless fucking traffic cops watch cars roll through dead red lights during mid-town rush hour and do fuck-all. And you do not have to be a fucking physicist to understand that there is a massive fucking difference between a 20lb bike traveling at 10-15mph and a fucking 2,000 car going 30-40mph. It's a fucking idiotic comparison. cars kill fucking thousands of people a year, bikes almost none, unless they are hit by a fucking car. I feel a little better now. thanks

Hee Haw the Barista's not so philosophical grandpa said...

Meh ... people are assholes.

Joe said...

I thought it was caps not hats????

Anonymous said...

We get up and read Bike Snob's forecast first thing every morning in a vain attempt to route around police harassment.

Another Day Another Dollar said...

"the American approach to "equality" (fucking everybody equally hard no matter how big or how small)"

"how big" - Mr. Big gets off in the US of A. Just look at our tax code, thanks to the Carried Interest provision billionaire financial traders (aka the uber wealthy political donor class) pay taxes at half the rate of the middle class. Nothing to see here, move on, go about your business.

The Big "O" didn't try to do anything about it and you can bet your ass The Donald won't either.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Janine "The woman who sideswiped me last year didn't even get a warning."

I'll guarantee that if she had clipped a dog, on a leash, there would have been hell to pay for running over fido.

Spokey said...

loezzz (i think that is the holy lob form of jeez)

Holy crap, I just blew my own mind.

that has to even harder than to "go fuck yourself". mayhaps it's my arthritis but i can't imagine ever being that agile.

Anonymous said...

What has gone unsaid is that the cop, if he hand any interest in the safety of citizens, should have pulled over the cyclist after they ran the first stop light. Instead, he let them go on and endanger themselves and other on the streets by letting them roll through 3 more so he could rack up more points and fines.

Very Slim Pickens said...

A Governors Highway Safety Association report shows pedestrian deaths at their highest in more than four decades, now exceeding the number of persons killed in car accidents.

"California, New York, Florida and Texas had 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2016, according to the report."

Anonymous said...

You know about as much about politics as a eunich knows about orgasms. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Pro tip - the only way to get your traffic ticket fine and or points reduced in traffic court is to hire a defense attorney who is friends with the prosecutor and/or judge. And by the way, pay said defense attorney more than the fine would be. And justice for all, as they say.

Very Slim Pickens, I think it is the growth rate in pedestrian deaths exceeding the growth rate in car "accidents." About 6,000 pedestrian deaths and about 40,000 car accident deaths, but the growth rate in pedestrian deaths was 11% and traffic deaths only 6%. Still a shit ton more deaths than there should be. Distracted walking and driving, and walking and driving under the influences were both big contributors to these deaths. What bike commuter hasn't had an oblivious pedestrian step into their path, with eyes glued on a cellphone, who didn't have the right of way and didn't bother to look if anyone was coming?

Captcha wanted me to select all the images with cars, ironic, huh?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:23pm,

Did the Twump joke huwt your feewings?

--Wildcat Etc.

FR8 said...

You may indeed write shit but at least you are trying to make a business out of it.

Fred Mercury said...

anon 4:23-
You ain't one of them snowflakes are ye? Trump Sucks, get over it. It must hurt to see that not everybody is buying his bullshit. Rube.

Olle Nilsson said...

Mike Hall was a legend and yet he seemed like the rare breed of bike racer that would also be a cool guy to hang out with. I'm so torn about whether it was caused by his lack of sleep or the lack of respect from drivers. He tweeted about cars passing too close but I also seem to recall he said he was hallucinating from lack of sleep. Still, knowing won't bring him back. RIP Mike Hall.

S. Danzig said...

"you know as much about politics as a eunuch does orgasms." Not bad. I used to know a sleazy salesman who would insult by saying "he couldn't sell pussy in a lumber camp."

Merlin said...

I am an American living in Aus for 10 years now. The close pass is an Aussie bogan specialty. Its why some states have a 1 meter pass law.

leroy said...

Ride safe all!

In keeping with today's police safety theme, my dog asked me to link to Officer McGruff's finest moment and a follow up what's he up to nowadays news item.

You know, even my dog can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Just give the Ozzies (and the Yanks, too) one day a year without red lights--and also unlimited beer, bongs, and bullets. That ought to thin out the wankers.

A Eunuch said...

Well, son, I hate to break it to ya, but he's been faking it all along. He really can't love anyone but himself, you see, and you don't talk dirty enough about his money.

Also, if I may, when you're in line to be "Anonymous 4:20" don't blow it by pondering your barb for three long minutes.

Anonymous said...

@Merlin Yep and one of those states is South Australia, where Eion Marshall was hit by a motorist and forced to withdraw from the India Pacific Wheel Race - the same race Mike Hall was riding. The laws don't stop the close passes and bogans. The police are bogans themselves and don't enforce the law even with video evidence. Hitting cyclists seems to be a (lack of) cultural thing.

Unknown said...

Snobman, upon reading your first couple of lines: surely that must count as three hats, not one?

Anonymous said...

Wikiquote quote of the day:

All of us, if we are of reflective habit, like and admire men

whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a

candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of

sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact

that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of

comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking

is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what

they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark

with the pack or count himself lost. … All the odds are on the man who

is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can

most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The

Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is

perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul

of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious

day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last,

and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

--H. L. Mencken

Strayin said...

I was a Dot Watcher of the Indi Pac from the start. Saw many vids on Social media especially of the front runners. Felt like i got to know Mike Hall, Sarah Hammond and Kristof as the race went on. Looked at the tracker yesterday and noticed Mike was inactive. Quickly found out that the race had been cancelled and Mike had been killed. One of the others on the ship had been following the race but not as close as i. Couldn't even tell the other bloke. Had to write on a piece of paper.

Charlie said...

Hi, serious question: what program do you use to edit images? (i.e. add your trademark green arrows, etc.)

Drock said...

Read it, so sad all the news here. I'm going riding, running a red and giving the finger to an Audi, makes me just like them and I don't care. Can't beat them so time to join em

Anonymous said...

To wildcat douchenozzle @ 4:58-

Sir, you cut me deeply with your rapier wit. Truly, you have elevated prose to a high art. You are an inspiration to us all, and shall be our guiding light forever.

But seriously, I don't come here for political insight (such as you may feebly attempt to offer) any more than I would go to Doctor Charles Krauthammer, say, or William F. Buckley for news of the bikeular variety. Stick with what you know, though even that knowledge seems at times to be quite meager.

And just so you know, l'orange wasn't my choice either. But he is the president, and as they say, "A wise man flying on an airplane will root for the piolet."

Even when the jug-eared Kenyan was occupying the public housing at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, I hoped that he would not disgrace my nation too badly. So much for that, but thankfully those days are behind us now.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:31pm,

Don't come here then.

--Wildcat Etc.

Sky Piolet said...

A vote for the Orange Buffoon is a demerit point for one's iq.

Anonymous said...

@bikeslob 4:33

Same time tomorrow? See you then.

Small Hand Luke said...

Trump maltweets all who oppose him!

I just don't get it said...

What kind of a jackass, comes to this (free) BLOG, goes to the Comments, and criticizes the author? WTF? Get a life? (Somewhere else.)

Putin on the Ritz said...

Anon 4:31 Disgrace the nation? Yeah, like appointing his daughter to his cabinet. And son in law. And not disclosing tax returns because (you're a sucker for thinking otherwise) he's hiding his debt to Russia. Obama governed with class and integrity, but you can't see because that you're a right wing media brainwashed fool. Now go lift some weights. Grunt for me sissy.

Anonymous said...

Didn't JFK appoint his brother Attorney General? But that's different.

A wise eunuch/piolet said...

"Don't feed the trolls."

Anonymous said...

...but still a loser every day.

dancesonpedals said...

JFK was a shitty president, too.

thegock said...


dop said...

Bicycling Serendipity/Westchester History:

On a ride through the hills of ossining and chappaqua, I turned down campfire road, just off Rt 100 near the taconic....I've lived here 17 years and hadn't gone that way before...on a tight turn on a steep hill there was a driveway marked "private club, members only". The property was surrounded by a chainlink fence with barbed wire. The gate consisted of a counterweighted section of chainlink that rose straight up on pullies to let cars underneath. I could hear shotgun fire nearby.

Some google research revealed it was the Campfire Club, founded in the 1890's. Teddy Roosevelt joined in 1902. Other members included Dave Abercrombie & Ezra Fitch, along with all those guys who founded the Boy Scouts.

leroy said...

Dear Anon @ 4:31pm -

No hard feelings. My dog says if you stand real still he'll show you how you can help Mr. Trump by finding those leakers he's been nattering about.

Eric Burdon said...

I spelled it Sky Pilot..

Spokey said...

just a couple pints (oops i mean points)

ducky has appointed nether his son-in-law nor his daughter to a cabinet post.

yes kennedy appointed his brother (and that resulted in some new laws later on) but remember that 60+ senators agreed with him. pretty likely at least one of yours.

dop is correct though. both are / were shitty presidents although in all fairness, it might be a bit early to judge ducky.

as for anon back at 4:23 and various responses. i was more entertained by that thread than by ted. although i typically don't agree with snobbie's (apparent) politics his political snark is as entertaining as his bieksickle snark. and he does give some to all sides.

so keep 'em coming snobster

Spokey said...


could you ask your dog to go easy on we old guys with our leaking issues. i mean really, it's embarrassing enough without some mutt bloggin about it.

JLRB said...

Spokey - I get your being patient with "Ducky" - while there is a chance he may turn out to be effective as President in the long run (and we all hope so at some level) he has proven to be as full of shit as I thought he would be and he is making some really stupid mistakes. Still munching on popcorn and watching the show (and using the Duck as a learning tool for my offspring).

Spokey said...


i'm not sure i'd advocate using ducky as a model for the progeny. even as a bad model. ya never know what evil twist the offspring will take from your guidance.