Monday, July 31, 2017

This Just In: A Brief Leaf Of Abscess

Good afternoon!

While I generally endeavor to give at least some advanced notice in the event of my leave-taking form this blog, the high shit-to-fan ratio* with which I'm currently dealing requires said notice to be a bit more abrupt.

*[If the surface area of the fan is considerably larger than the volume of shit this results in a wider splatter area.  The exception is the Dyson, in which case the shit merely passes through the fan unless its volume exceeds the fan's diameter.]

The short version is that after today I won't be updating this blog until Monday, August 7th, at which point I will resume regular updates.

However, the above notwithstanding, assuming my next Outside column comes out before then I'll be sure to duck back in here and let you know.

Also, do keep in mind that during this week I will continue to update the Bike Forecast, so at the very least you'll have the company of my more smug alter-ego for the duration of the week.

Speaking of my Outside column, my most recent is about the virtues of flat pedals, which as a recovering Fred I've only relatively recently come to appreciate:


Anyway, it recently came to my attention that it's caused a little bit of a stir over at Reddit, and I've been finding the ensuing commentary to be a source of considerable amusement:

This author is such an asshole. Stop telling people what to do. If people want to use flat pedals good for them, they are great for commuting. If I want to use clipless pedals who cares? I can stop worrying about if my foot is in the right place.
Ugh, I hate people like this, they are no better than the people they decry in the article.

That was pretty much the entire point of the article.

And finally, speaking of smugness, my own credentials in that area aren't exactly unimpeachable.  This is because I do continue to register a motor vehicle in my name, which of course THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK.  I'll spare you my rationale for this, but suffice to say my relationship to my car is a lot like my relationship to clipless pedals: it comes in handy but it's also a pain in the ass, and I'm getting closer and closer to abandoning it completely.

In any case, it so happens that THE CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK is currently in the shop.  (It's getting a sweet Transportation Alternatives-themed full body wrap.)  Ordinarily I'd hardly miss the thing, since I live in New York City and have access to all manner of public transit, not to mention car services and Ubers and of course my hundreds of bikes.  However, yesterday we had to travel to Connecticut for a big family get-together, and getting there by train would have required several transfers and several hours each way versus a relatively painless one-hour drive.

"Fuck it," I decided on Saturday.  "I'm renting a Hyundai."

Alas, as it turned out I'd left it too late, because by the time I called the local car rental place they didn't have any Hyundais.  In fact they only had one vehicle left:
That's a Ford F-150 XLT.  (Without the Trump-sticker-and-truck-nuts trim package.)  Those of you in the heartland or who do actual work are probably just thinking "Nice truck," but to a city-dweller who taps on computer keys for a living and grew up among Jews it might as well have been a Greyhound bus.  I had my reservations.  On the other hand, my wife was like, "Okay," and my older son observed that it was the size of a subway station and decided it was pretty much the greatest thing he'd ever seen.  Most crucially, since it was all the rental place had left they gave us a rock-bottom rate, and they even waived the fueling fee.

And so it was that for 48 hours we were a pickup truck-driving family.

Here are some brief observations:

--It's fucking huge;
--Even old people hustle when you roll up to the crosswalk;
--While I could see all around me quite clearly, the blind spot around the front bumper was considerable, and it was horrifying to think about how easy it would be for an inattentive driver to run over a small child while turning.

That last one was positively chilling given how often I've seen people whipping around the city on their cellphones in these things.  While the world needs trucks and I have absolutely nothing against them when used appropriately, context is everything, and the fact that New York basically makes no distinction between the Ford F150 I was driving and a Smart Fortwo (which I'm pretty sure I could have thrown in the truck bed) is downright insane:


Not only are they dangerous in densely-populated areas, but people drive these fucking things into Manhattan and then complain that bikes cause traffic.

At the same time, even I, an increasingly smug bike blogger, could not deny the truck's appeal.  It handled quite well despite its size, it emitted a satisfyingly throaty purr on the highway when passing, and I probably could have carried every one of my bikes in it.

Certainly if I ever buy a ranch or a very large boat the F-150 will be near the top of my list.

Nevertheless, the fact that people buy trucks like this just to drive around the city while smoking blunts will continue to keep me awake at night.

And with that, I bid you adieu until Monday, August 7th.  Enjoy the rest of the week, ride safe, and keep on trucking.


--Wildcat Rock Machine


69 comments:

Drock said...

First

Anonymous said...

Arrgh..pipped again.

I was busy waxing my truck.

Yeah, that's what i'll call it.

herzogone said...

I blame my flat pedals for missing the top spot.

Anonymous said...

3rd!

Bill said...

Ain't a truck unless it's a duelly!

g. said...

I have that exact truck in, appropriately enough, "gun metal" grey. Didn't the nutz package, though.

Tom Morley said...

In Georgia here there's a law that you must own a pickup truck.

N/A said...

I've got a truck, and it's pretty boss. Especially when there's lots of snow and I kick in the 4wd. Also, useful for toting my trailer around. Hauls a lot of bieks. No nutz package on it, so I guess it's OK to admit that I have it.

I've never smoked a blunt in it, though. Guess I'll have to give that a whirl.

bad boy of the south said...

Bike pedals,car in the shop,truck rental,off 'til the seventh.that's a wrap.

Freddy Murcks said...

Here in flyover country where I am domiciled, trucks are ubiquitous and men with serious inadequacy issues compensate by getting big, loud, stupid, jacked up trucks with huge balloon tires. They also often modify their trucks so that they can further amuse themselves and terrorize their fellow citizens by "rolling coal." Apparently having a teeny weenie makes people do really stupid things (see, e.g., Donald J. Trump).

Anyway, as part of my counter-terrorism duty, I think that I am going to order some bumper stickers that I can slap on these trucks that say:

I Like Small Boys
NAMBLA.org

Something small and subtle so that they don't notice right away ought to do the trick.

Anonymous said...

You should check out Ford's F550 for your large boat hauling needs.

N/A said...

Oh man, the Reddit puds. No sense bothering with reading comprehension, just assume that you should be offended and blast away!

Chazu said...

Going into consumer debt for a big truck in which to commute to/from an office job is a bad financial move. At least from the perspective of someone not wanting to be a debt slave on the ass-end of capitalism. But if you're a capitalist with the capital to buy such a vehicle outright without forcing the kids to eat ramen noodles for the next five years; carry on.

bad boy of the south said...

Scaramooch is a goner.okay,that's a wrap.

BamaPhred said...

Snob rolling in a rental F150. What sacrifices a family man won't make. And your kids loved it.

MolassesChamois said...

Ford blunt

Anonymous said...

Sweet truck! I rub flatties on my commuter and clipless on my roadbike. I'm awesome like that. Rednecks use big trucks to compensate for their lack of manhood. It's a medically proven fact. Look it up.

ph yeah, Scaramucci, OUT! Shocking, he seemed like such an intelligent and level headed guy.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said...

So, you can wear the One Less Car t-shirt whilst dryving the lorry with the big tyres.


vsk

1904 Cadardi said...

The F-150 is huge? Snob, you are hilarious. But seriously, you have to get out of the east coast isolation bubble and come out west where a F-150 is considered entry level. My boss commutes in a Ram 2500 Diesel. And that's to an office job tapping on computer keys for a living! I'm not saying it's right or good (and I do tease him about it) but it is the unfortunate reality out here.

dancesonpedals said...

Make that a blunt and a forty.

Steely Danzig said...

Rubes pay $50K and more for a pickup truck. I knew some fool who was making payments on his tires as well as $800/mo. for the truck payment on a 72 month deal. America's "love affair with the car" is more like an abusive,co-dependent relationship. Many of the "Bonaparte Edition" trucks are parked outside of single-wide trailers worth less than the vehicles.
I do own a vehicle and use it once a week or so because the grocery store is 10 miles away and sometimes it's icy and sometimes the wind blows 70 m.p.h.
My wife drives every day and she is the sweetest human being alive.
I am a hypocrite.
I also drove a 55,000 lb. dump truck with a 12' snowplow on the front through city streets. I always cleared the bike lanes first. Amazing how many drivers flip you off because you are going too slow while plowing, enabling them to drive at all.
Best regards, Snob, hope everything is ok and that you and yours are healthy. Thanks for the good reading.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Don't forget the rear window gun rack to go with that Trump sticker and Truck Nutz.

Then you'll really have your chips cashed in and be truckin like the Do Dah Man.

Will there be valuable prizes for spotting your car that the bank still owns with the new Trans Alt wrap? Enjoy your Hiatus!

Anonymous said...

It's not that that the 150 is huge, the issue is it's ungainly large and needs more mirrors. Growing up, I learned to drive on garbage trucks in reverse. Basically, the after school job was fueling and parking big trucks with maggots falling out. The mirrors were luxurious and, moving forwards, there were no blind spots if you had nose mirrors in to supplement the usual rear views and spots. The F-150 sucks precisely because you cant see moving around town. That and I've always been a taco driver.

leroy said...

I drove a four wheel drive pickup truck when I lived in Vermont many years ago. But it was a short bed, single cab. Rusted out pretty quickly. Hated trying to park it in NYC.

Riding home yesterday on a couple of stretches of 9W with no shoulder (which you can avoid with a scenic detour when you're not worried about losing daylight and forgot your lights because you are a total doofus whose cell phone is also running out of battery and oh look, the glass you pulled out of your new rear tire didn't puncture the tube, but left a nice cut), I was reminded once or twice just how big some of those boats are.

Riding in Maine a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that every pickup truck that passed me gave me a really wide berth.

Maybe it comes down to whether you're cruising around on your phone and smoking a blunt or if you have bad cell service and much better places to smoke.

See you on the 7th.

And remember, an abscess makes the farts go Honda.

Anonymous said...

gotta love the video of a guy who brings out his pocket bike that is smaller than his feet but proceeds to clip in and ride it away. wouldn't be as funny without the clipless pedals.

Holy Roller said...

Sometimes I wonder, what would Jesus hang from the rearview mirror of his F-150?

dancesonpedals said...

Holy Roller-

I think a little picture of his mom.

Matt said...

"it was horrifying to think about how easy it would be for an inattentive driver to run over a small child while turning:. Snobby, I live out here in CA where apparently it's every Americans right to drive either a pickup or an SUV....(cuz you NEED a vehicle the size a small apartment for you and your 2 kids). And it's EXACTLY that front-blind spot that is TERRIFYING to some of us cyclists (me especially)! A bit over a year ago if the driver hadn't had his window down (to hear me SCREAMING) he would have literally driven over me as I was rolling by him (as he slowed then abruptly ran thru the stop-sign). I THOUGHT I had eye-contact w/ him, but apparently he was looking NOT for bikes, or didn't have brain engaged and didn't acknowledge the 2-wheeled contraption coming past him.

And the year that before a girl in our cycling club WAS run over by a truck (made a left turn and went right over the top of her, she was oncoming). EMS had to have the truck lifted off her when they arrived, she had multiple broken cervical bones and very sadly she's now a quadriplegic...and a young mother w/ a husband who is now a caregiver for life. Trucks are SCARY for everybody NOT in a truck.

Bromptonaut said...

I realise that I am probably the one (1) person here who cares, but you missed a fun day at the Brompton World Championships in London on Saturday, Snob! Despite the traditional British summer weather (pissing down with rain for the whole race), USA Champion Dave Mackay was in the leading group throughout, completing the 10 mile course 24th out of 420 riders in 26m33s, 8 seconds behind winner Unai Alvarez Mosquera of Barcelona. You need to be here for it next year, even if it means being nice to the Brompton people! Does AWEAR-TECH 37.5 technology include breathable waterproofing?

Locomobiko said...

I once drove a train locomotive. Nothing gonna beat that.

Way Offtrack said...

Hey Loco. Can anyone drive a locomotive, or is it something you have to train for?

Some guy from upstate said...

Pickup trucks keep getting bigger, for no apparent reason except small penis compensation. When I was a youngster, my dad had an International Harvester, 3/4 ton, 8 foot bed, used for picking up steel, delivering machinery parts (mom got tired of grease in the back of the wagon), and carting around one of those slide-in campers. It fit in the garage easier than our "mid-size" Cutlass station wagon. Park it next to that F-150 you rented and it would look dinky. The restyled Tacoma has the hood raised up 2 inches so it looks bigger, it is intentionally harder to see out of than its predecessor. This trend is a direct consequence of pickups transitioning from vehicles used for work to fashion statements.

Anonymous said...

hanging from the rear view mirror would not be a picture of his dad, i'm just guessing.

Bike Snob said...

Bromptonaut,

I'm in.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Arizona hillbilly said...

Weaponized personal transport. Because everyone needs a war wagon.

bieks said...

I've seen other topics on Reddit, so the thought of bike Reddit makes me shudder. Fortunately I don't need to create a Google Alert to reassure myself that no one is talking about me there. Ignorance is bliss Snob. What goes on in Reddit should stay in Reddit.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The fact that BSNYC shuts down the blog in observance of Tisha Ba'av makes me proud to be a Jew...

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Suddenly McCain-Palin or Romney-Ryan not lookin too bad now idnit...


vsk

1904 Cadardi said...

VSK,

Kang-Kodos is looking pretty good at this point. Either way, your planet is doomed.

Bromptonaut said...

If they won't spring for a hotel, you can stay with us. The (16) kids are welcome too.

N/A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Pickle said...

11:51AM, that's a shitty problem

Spokey said...

around here the trucks aren't as bad as the hondas. particularly the odyssey.

not only are these things outrageous in price but other than the F150, they're all sucking that expensive diesel. i'm cryin' the blues every month when i have to filler up and blow 20-25 bucks.

no sirree. i'd rather be spending money on good scotch than that nasty gas. anyone know if scotch, bourbon, or cognac is crabon neutral? i'd like to think my swilling liquor is helping climax change.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he'd hang a cross?

Bender said...

Heh. Reddit. What a bunch of dorks.

JLRB said...

So. Taking a week off to diversify into Pick'emUpSNOB? Franchise opportunities abound!

N/A said...

I was reading on Reddit about some new blog outta' New York that covers various vehicles on offer from rental agencies. Apparently the writer has quite the wit.

bieks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sledge Hammer said...

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

TruckSnobNYC said...

TruckSnobNYC
Crushing Leased Hyundais, or using your commute to train for the next MonsterJam
The Indignity of Commuting, on Pave'
Do you really need that Deuce and a half gravel grinder? (And anything else that gets in the way!)
N+1, or How many trucks do you need?

Ricky Bobby said...

Next time your rent a truck insist it have over sized wheels and tires from Billy Joe Bob's Big Dumb Tire Shop. It's the only way to have rural road street cred. And make sure the rear window has a gun rack, if you plan on driving to anywhere other than genteel Ct.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Scaramooche rolling coaled the WH big time when he peeled out of the driveway for the last time. Which made the Donald smile as he's planning on putting at least one coal miner back to work.

Hey Ricky Bobby: Wearing a wife beater is mandatory too, The Donald signed an executive order making it so.

DC said...

The presidential limo does use an old diesel truck engine (no electronics to hack) so it could be tuned to roll coal. Might be in Trumps reelection plans...

Spokey said...

i don't think it's to thwart hacking. it's to keep rolling after an EMP

JLRB said...

Is the shit hitting a fan with
titanium or crabon blades?

BamaPhred said...

Speaking of the presidential state car, I'm rapidly becoming a disagreeable old fart. I think these presidents need to ride around in open top limos. Maybe they won't be so hell bent on pissing off everyone, everywhere. Actually sounds like a good idea for all politicians. Jeebus, they have a bigger entourage than Ceaser.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

JLRB, that was a great turbine blade discussion.


vsk

1904 Cadardi said...

Spokey,

They drop the bomb and see me rollin', they hatin'. That about it?

James Barker said...

It was me who shared your article to Reddit. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Nice Cattaraugus County Cadillac.

Repulsed and Repelled said...

The orange tinted vulgarian's reign has entered it's sunset era.

BikeSnobNYC said...

James Barker,

No apology necessary! The only thing worse than being talked about...etc. etc.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

Scranuis

Spokey said...

bama

you gots the right idea

1904

uhh, didn't grok that one. but the thought occurs to me that when that EMP goes off, i can keep pedaling while all the freds with electronic shifting are screwed. yeah i could flat, but i figure snobbie will be heading this away and he'll help out with that.

BamaPhred said...

Snob coulda been blastin' this outta his massive F150 rental
They see me rollin'
They hatin
'Ridin

McFly said...

You should opt for a Ram with the Hemi. You'll know where that 3 mpg loss went every time you put the long pedal on the fire wall.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Hey, you guys see the pedestrians that cross against the red light?

No, I'm talking about the ones that cross without looking. "My" Citibike and I weigh a fooktonne. We could do serious damage. And of course I'm the asshole for trying to proceed through the green light.

Where are the cops ?!? They could solve all the city's financial problems wit ticket revenue.

vsk

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Snobby rolling coal and runnin' cyclers inna deetch.

عبده العمراوى said...

شركة قمة الدقة للخدمات المنزلية
شركة صيانة مسابح بالخبر
شركة كشف تسربات المياه ببقيق