Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sorry I'm Late, I Made a Wrong Turn At Albuquerque

Actually, that's not true, I've been busy trying to get rid of this car:


If it's not gone by Friday you will find me crucified on the hood in an act of protest.

Moving on, the New York Times tends to arrive fashionably late when it comes to reporting on cultural trends, but here's a case in which a semi-professional bike blogger scooped them by a decade:


That's right, my first mention of the disembodied hand phenomenon was almost exactly ten (10) years ago, when I brought forth this post in a burst of creative genius:


That's some impressive cutting-and-pasting, I'm sure you will agree:




This sort of bicycle no longer inspires any sort of emotion in me whatsoever, which means either I've matured or else I'm dead inside.

Actually I think maturity is dying inside, so there you go.

In other news, here's something that's not at all funny in any way:

A post shared by Levi Leipheimer (@levileipheimer) on


That's terrible to see, and here's hoping he gets the home studio back online soon:


Finally, we've been talking about vehicular cycling recently, and here's a single tweet that illustrates perfectly why it's not the way forward:

That's just plain offensive.  It's like saying the best protections when attending an outdoor concert are a bulletproof vest and running in a serpentine fashion.  Pair that with this "Bicycle Safety Awareness Video" and you kind of wish they'd be honest and tell you they really want you to ditch the bike altogether and go lease a Hyundai:


Have you ever notice that people talk about helmets exactly the way they talk about Jesus?


"There's no question in my mind the helmet saved my life."

Maybe it did or maybe it didn't, but here's the American approach to cycling: take everything that actually needs to be done to make cycling work, sublimate it into a bunch of EPS foam, press it into a hat shape, and tell people to wear it.

Done, and done.

Actually, I think if we replace Obamacare with Jesus and infrastructure with helmets the current presidential administration will have accomplished pretty much all of its goals.

The video's final message?

"I would never consider riding out of my driveway without a helmet on.  Now I ask for all cyclists everywhere always to wear a helmet."

That's just no way to live.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Numero Uno?

utahvelo said...

Podium.

BamaPhred said...

Why do I even try to podiodio?

Bill said...

Odio? P!

Anonymous said...

Crucified? Is it a chevy?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Does comment moderation enable our host to improve my standing within the top ten above where the order of receipt says it should be?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Sorry I missed Thursday's thrilling ping pong bout with the VC adherents. But I did go back and read it all.

...Those guys have all the hallmarks of a cult: An infallible leader who is also omniscient, check; a set of rules that everyone must obey, check; heaven (cycling in traffic) and hell (bicycle infra), check and check; a costume that marks you as an adherent (foam hat and dayglo vest), check; and most telling, lambasting any non-believers, check.

...I've been cycling this city for more than two decades and I've learned how to do VC when I need it just out of necessity... but never have I felt safer and more relaxed on a bicycle than in recent years with all the new amenities. My daughter wants to ride her bike to school, but I can't let her do that until there are separated bike lanes from my door to her school and back... or until she tells me that she's joined the VC cult... but she knows, it's my bikeway or the highway.

JLRB said...

George wants his hand model pictures back

wle said...

re the helmet lady - her helmet WAS cracked, that would have been her head surely..


she also had broken extremities which the helmet didn;t help,

but would you really say the helmet didn;t do anything that day?

Bryan said...

Really, what is a car other than a full body helmet with an engine and wheels?

Die free said...

Top ten?

Cars don't kill... It's not wearing a helmet that kills

BikeSnobNYC said...

wle;

Helmet supposed to compress not crack.

--Wildcat Etc.

wle said...

i'm sure it did compress, at first...

i'm still guessing it absorbed some of the energy that would have otherwise gone to her skull...

i'm pro helmet,
i don't see the down side,
but of course the head is only about 10% of your body (though it is pretty important)..
so the other 90% isn't helped by it...


i'm still anti-chain mail and body armor, if that makes you feel better :)

though cycling gloves are a pretty good [for me] trade off

wle



Unknown said...

bsnyc;

Irrelevant. Compression and cracking absorb energy.

FR8 said...

Re the VC wars: Riding in fast moving car traffic is a skill that cyclists should learn but it's not a great way to start and it's not fun and it's why few kids ride bikes in the busy NY suburbs. If we want more people on bikes then they have to learn protected from fast moving cars/SUVs.

dnk said...

I'm "pro helmet" insofar as I wear one for my daily commute (~9 miles from Bed Stuy to midtown).

I'm "anti helmet" insofar as I'm against legislative and/or moral crusades that make helmets a precondition to riding a bicycle.

Anonymous said...

RE: The car
Had you not gone and blown your cover by posting about it, you could have removed the plates and let the air out of the tires. Then it would really appear abandoned. Have you run the plate for outstanding tickets yet? If its still there in a month, break the little window at the back door and toss a dead rat inside. I know you can find a dead rat in the Bronx. Are there many cameras on that block?

Freddy Murcks said...

The best protection when riding a bike anywhere is to stay the hell away from cars and the dumbasses driving them. I fucking hate messages like the purported bicycle safety message referred to in today's post because the put all the onus on cyclists. Hey NTSA, why not ask drivers to stop killing us? That'd be a good start.

Anonymous said...

the tipping point might be when a certain figure that is nailed on a cross is found to be wearing a helmet.

I wear shoes when I walk, too said...

I only wear the bike helmet when I think that there is a chance, however small, that I could somehow be involved in a bike crash. Oh yeah, that's every time a go on a bike ride. Duh. Has anyone ever regretted that they were wearing a bike helmet? "Gee, if ONLY I hadn't been wearing that damned bike helmet, things would have been different!" Ever heard that? Me neither.

BikeSnobNYC said...

I wear shoes when I walk, too,

Do you wear shoes on the beach?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...haha. good one. Do you wear shoes on the beach. Checkmate, mate.

Anonymous said...

I've had multiple accidents over the years on bikes. My wife was seriously injured by another cyclists, who wasn't paying attention and cut right in front of her moving from the opposite direct on a two way bike lane. She had to stop short and went over her handlebars and face planted and has scars on her face that will be there for life. I've been doored a couple times and hit by moving cars a couple times and even hit by a delivery guy on an electric bike. so you don't only have to look out for drivers, although a moving car does the most damage. Also, in all of these accidents a helmet wouldn't have made an difference as to the extent of the injuries. My wife was wearing a helmet, but it wasn't covering her face. I wasn't wearing one in all of my accidents, but I didn't hit my head. I broke my nose, my ribs, tore open my hand, and suffered deep bruises and scrapes, but not so much as a bump on my head. So the idea that a helmet is so effective at preventing injuries is 100% untrue. Not a bad idea to wear one and I often do, but the best way is to assume that everyone is going to do the wrong thing and be prepared to stop quickly. That clueless pedestrian fingering their Iphone when they cross the street against the light is going to walk in front of you, that driver who is making a right turn likely won't use his signal and almost certainly doesn't see you, that speeding car is going to run that light that just turned red, so they can stop at the light a block away, that person in a cab is going to swing their door open right into the bike lane without looking, the delivery guy going the wrong way in the bike lane on an electric bike may or may not yield to you. Life is tough for a cyclist in the big city, it doesn't need to be as shown in many other places in the world.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...You were always on the cutting edge of cycling culture, but I had no idea you were ushering in the age of disembodied hand modeling for cooking, unboxing toys, and fingernail jewelry.

Hee Haw the barista said...

"Has anyone ever regretted that they were wearing a bike helmet?"

Yes ... me shlepping said POS helmet around whilst shopping.

I don't live in a bicycle police state (Vancouver) anymore, so I don't have to do that now.

mojo au gogo said...

the helmet has been a lot of things but it hasn't been everything... so fucking what? if you don't want to wear a helmet then don't...
but please don't smoke tobacco, we need your body parts as unpolluted as possible...
thank you and now return to your uneventful daily nonsense...

the fucking idiotic robot detection shit for brains verification process is fucking dim witted shit...

why can't robots get a fucking break?

Anonymous said...

"If only I hadn't been wearing that bike helmet I mighta got laid."

Anonymous said...

Using the disembodied hand example you've only got about 6-7 years until protected bike lanes becomes a reality. Keep fighting the good fight!

East Bay Ed said...

A helmet saved my life a couple of years ago. Not entirely clear whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

East Bay Ed said...

A helmet saved my life a couple of years ago. Not entirely clear whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 'I wear shoes when I walk, too' probably masturbates with gloves. Just to be safe and avoid regret.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been knocked unconscious twice in my life, once as a child, the second time as an adult. The second time resulted in a three-day hospitalization. Neither time was I wearing a helmet.

I’ve broken two helmets in my life. Neither time was I hospitalized or knocked unconscious.

I realize these four instances do not meet sample size standards for compelling statistical evidence. Perhaps you will forbear attacking me for not assiduously seeking to increase the sample size. I also realize helmets don’t protect me from being hit by cars and that cars can kill us before our heads ever hit the ground. I do not advocate that anyone wear a helmet if they do not want to. I like cycling infrastructure. I want more of it.

I’m wearing my fucking helmet.

Chazu said...

"That's just plain offensive. It's like saying the best protections when attending an outdoor concert are a bulletproof vest and running in a serpentine fashion."

That comment is so insightful that you deserve to take tomorrow off, except that you shouldn't take tomorrow off because the world needs more insightful commentary.

Speaking of cycling in Nashville: there is some good riding to be found here, and the Jayzus delusion can actually work in cyclists' favor because True Believers behind the wheel are often loathe to kill for fear of not being raptured as a consequence for committing murder.

http://www.tennessean.com/videos/news/2017/07/09/raw-video-hit-and-run-natchez-trace/103556938/

I don't really care said...

Snobby, “do you wear shoes on the beach?” Good one! Good for a laugh! Clever. I see that you really want to just scoff at the point of wearing protective “gear” … like shoes? Or, like a bike helmet? Ok. I get it. But, to that point, DO you wear shoes when you are walking around your city neighborhood? If “yes”. Why do you?

bad boy of the south said...

What a shame out west with all the fires.we've been through Napa and Sonoma and it's so beautiful there.too many calamities lately.

nscadu 9 said...

I've had 1 concussion no helmet while mountain biking. It was the 80s when we didn't wear helmets for any purpose and we would just go out and ride our rigid mountain bikes and bmx bikes on the dirt trails and roads in our neighbourhood. Not big air, not particularly fast just mistimed a couple of rollers over a pipeline berm. Next thing I know I'm in a hospital bed, still don't have memories of the time between landing and being in the hospital bed. I have since put on a helmet whenever I mountain bike. Mostly because I still have poor bike handling skills in the woods and end up scraping a few trees mostly with my helmet and I've found that dirt ground is uneven (who knew?) and I still don't have suspension.
Most of my riding is commuting without a helmet due to smooth roads, easily seen obstacles and a moderate amount of bike infrastructure. Next most is of the gran fondon't variety (road with a few gravelly sections or dirt path short cuts). Helmet depends on the route, the weather and if we're going out in a group or not. Usually road with easy gravel paths, usually hot, usually not. I've witnessed 1 friend and know another who went down helmeted and in the emergency room for concussions. Both times dirt road or path, while doing nothing more challenging than you might find in a cx course. Makes me wonder if that helmet is going to do anything on the mountain ride, but it does seem to give me a bit of confidence in sketchy corners, go figure.
I just saw on social media this week a woman in heeled boots, jeans in the Netherlands load 3 kids onto a bike with shopping bags and ride off without a helmet in sight. There was a painted line for a bikelane with vehicles driving by. I lived 2 years in Japan around 05-06 where I regularly witnessed helmetless children ride bikes or be portaged by bike to and from school where they would then hop on unicycles helmetless as part of their gym class. It wasn't until the 90s that my province up here in America's exploded foam hat got an all ages helmet law. There were a couple studies conducted in advance of this law that found no correlation between brain trauma and helmet use, and it was found the cycling and walking for the purpose of commuting was about equal risk. Think it was UBC and Ministry of Transport BC. Now here we are with only a bike helmet law leaving the walkers of our society vulnerable.

nscadu 9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BikeSnobNYC said...

I don't really care,

Shoes are not primarily "protective gear." Yes, is part of the function they perform, and of course protection is an important part of certain shoes like steel-toed boots, but mostly we wear shoes for comfort and convenience just as much as we do for safety.

A helmet on the other hand serves absolutely no other purpose but to protect your head.

So do I wear shoes walking around my neighborhood? Sure. But it varies depending on conditions. Summer I might wear flip-flops. (I even ride in them, which I'm sure will horrify you.) Winter I might wear boots. Yes, partly it's because of safety (don't wanna step on something sharp) but more than that it's a simple matter of comfort: walking in shoes is more comfortable than walking barefoot.

As for a helmet, it enhances comfort not a whit. For the additional protection it might offer me in a highly specific situation I'm perfectly comfortable not wearing it for everyday cycling, just like I'm perfectly comfortable walking around in flip flops even though I might stub my toe or someone might step on my foot. To me, wearing a helmet all the time is like wearing boots all the time: looks silly, feels silly, and is overkill.

Pretty simple really.

--Wildcat Etc.

PS: I realize people hate flip-flops, but that's a whole other discussion.

BikeSnobNYC said...

*[Of course there's also protection from dogshit. Does a helmet help with that?]

Dooth said...

Bird shit, that's what helments save you from...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Flip-flops are a crime against fashion.

Nobody wants to see your hairy toes.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Q: What do you call a Frenchman in sandals?

A: Philippe Phlop.

BikeSnobNYC said...

wishiwasmerckx,

Nobody wants to see my hairy face either but I'm not wearing a ski mask.

--Wildcat Etc.

rural 14 said...

WRCM, how about suggesting [bicycle] mirrors. Makes a huge difference, being able to see cars & trucks coming to pass, without turning your head. Helmets - sure, dubious. Mirrors? = increased ability to avoid impending collisions. And were you to endorse, well coming from you, it'd make a difference [and of course gives one ample fodder for semi-humorous commenters)

BamaPhred said...

I ran over a copperhead today, should I have been wearing snake proof sidis? Apparently they are, so I have that going for me.

Anonymous said...

It would be an improvement.

leroy said...

Is there a helmet debate raging in the comments?

I can't bear to look.

Here, let me class the place up with a disembodied hand link.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody here think that mandatory helmet laws are beneficial to public health, or cycling overall? Because that would be an issue worth debating. Not whether or not a helmet may have prevented injury to this individual or that. To all "I wear a helmet at all times because it's safer" - good for you. Wear it, and wear it with pride. In the absence of effective anti-helmet legislation, you don't have a problem. You can relax. So, get the fuck off people's back who don't want to be made to wear a fuckin helmet every time they need to bike somewhere.

BikeSnobNYC said...

rural 14,

I do recommend them in my last book.

--Wildcat Etc.

Persia said...

One of the best things about bicycles is that it's really easy to jump on one and quickly get out of earshot when anyone starts discussing bike helmets, for or against.

Anonymous said...

Here's a recent study of BC's helmet law published in BMJ (British Medical Journal):

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/5/11/e008052.full.pdf

I think they sum it up pretty nicely:

"For traffic-related injury causes, higher cycling mode share was consistently associated
with lower hospitalisation rates. Helmet legislation was not associated with hospitalisation rates for brain, head, scalp, skull, face or neck injuries."


If you really feel more comfortable with the scant modicum of extra protection a helmet provides, that's cool (albeit in a hot and sticky way). But if that's your level of risk tolerance (the "what have you got loose" arguments above) looking at the stats, you'd be wise to wear a helmet walking in the city and anytime in a car-- not to mention climbing stairs and traversing throw rugs.

Hee Haw the barista said...

"Persia said...
One of the best things about bicycles is that it's really easy to jump on one and quickly get out of earshot when anyone starts discussing bike helmets, for or against."

Edmonton Ab, circa 1990 ... total strangers on the street felt compelled to yell "Where's your helmet!" at me.

Thankfully it was a short lived phenomenon.

Pist Off said...

Holy hell, are nuanced opinions a rarity now? I never knew of the school of thought that believes vehicular cycling is better and preferred over sensible bicycle infrastructure. VC is a necessary evil in most of the US but it ain’t fun or safe. Infrastructure is what enables cycling safely in a large scale in metro areas. Today it’s absolutist helmet evangelists. I have had a serious face plant where my helmet saved my life. I still don’t take it as an article of faith that I risk my life by riding without a helmet. I can gauge relative risk for my riding. So can others. Helmet laws and VC policies push cycling to the margins even more. Safe infrastructure gives safety gains unmatched by even sacred foam hats. The helmet argument is a distraction from the actual issue: a society where driving a car is the one immutable, unalienable right. Left and right, majorities agree on this warped view where walkers and cyclists have lesser rights to safety than drivers. VC is a variation of the same outlook. Infrastructure changes the game and makes human powered transport safer and often faster than driving because it separates bikes from drivers.

der blaue Reiter said...

Why do so many commenters in every helment debate write as though it's the first helment debate they've ever attended? Or... are they just copying and pasting from that first comment so many years ago?

Persia: right on!

And re: shoes on the beach... yous have never seen jagged shards of broken glass on the beach?!? The two most important tips for not bleeding to death while strolling on the beach are a properly fitted right and left steel toe boot. And before you say"overkill", Snob, I say: think of the children! That's your challenge: think of the children.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh. Helmets are probably effective at walking speeds. Make pedestrians wear them and leave bicycles and motorcycles out of the discussion for a while. I've had enough of this mind numbing idiocy. I'm going out for a ride.

wle said...

helmet mirrors == YES! ALL THE TIME! (one anyway)

Winston said...

Helmets: they are just there to make you look better in the coffin.

Brooklyn Made curated Crosses. Axes also available said...

Nailing holes into the hood of a car sure won't make it more sellable.

Anonymous said...

I am with anonymous regarding "the Car" Take the plates off and give it a week, then let the air out of the tires! Give it another week! if it's still there, hmmmm

I am thinking about the pretty girl in the video and I do feel bad for her; glad she had her helmet on, BUT how come she didn't fully assess that the SUV "was going too fast and wasn't going to be able to stop" BEFORE she decided to enter the intersection!??? I NEVER trust any A-hole in a big ole speeding SUV to stop, until I am confident that they indeed are!!!! My guess is she's learned this lesson. I realize this is "victim Shaming" which is a NO NO these days, but heck I said it anyway.

VC is fine, but it's so generalized "weaving into & out of the safe zone between cars" while on the surface this makes sense, the message sent is that you should never ride in these area's; which is wrong! Don't ride in these area's as a matter of course (obviously), but you know it totally makes sense to move over, time permitting to let that red neck in the F-250 get by! At the end of the day, just exercise some common sense (sometimes referred to as Horse sense); hopefully you have some!?

I hate all this helmet talk, my superstitious side thinks it's just putting a hex on me and I will have to start wearing my foam hat as protection against a jinx I've done put on myself by talking about not wearing one. - masmojo

janinedm said...

I wear helmets. Not all of the time. I don't wear one when I ride my Dutch bike and the ground is dry and the sun is up. But I wear one in all other situations and on all other bikes. So that may make me insufficiently pure. Can we talk about what really gets me, personally? How this is allowed to be a thing where strangers can lecture other adult strangers. I quadruple dog dare any of these folk who are "just speaking up because they care" to walk into a fast food joint and tell an overweight person what not to order "because they just want them to live." Please do it and take video.

I'm not disputing the value of helmets in protecting one's head in falls at certain speeds. I'm disputing the idea of adult Americans running around telling other adult Americans how to conduct their lives in light of the fact that the helmet-less person doesn't really put anyone else at risk.

leroy said...

Dear BamaPhred @9:16 PM - Was the snake wearing a helmet? Asking for a friend.

Well, asking for a canine companion who is making me ask because I lost a bet and this is how he's collecting.

Anonymous said...

This does NOT look like Pismo Beach!

youcancallmeAl said...

They are talking about the protections the rider can do personally.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

A bikesnobNYC walz cap provides excellent protection to my bald scalp from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of telling other adults what to do I will wear stretchy clothes for my commute despite posters saying my ride is too short to justify my clothing choice. Mirrors - something to reflect upon.

BamaPhred said...

Leroy, my sympathies, didnt stop to look, those snake helments are pretty small.

Anonymous said...

That's all fine, but can we talk about lights? The advent of lights that put out more than a thousand lumens and cost less than a hundred dollars has spawned a blinding a bike-lane mega-trend as urgent as shoaling.

janinedm said...

Here are the differences, most of the time, people who are riding without helmets are minding their own business. They do not swan in of their own accord and type, like 100 words about what they do and their preferences what that means for how we should all think about infrastructure. But yes, if someone without a helmet were to stop at every intersection and say, "Hey, what do you think about my lack of helmet, eh? Huh? I just wanted to point out that I'm not wearing a helmet, so that I can be sure you know that I'm not. Wearing a helmet, I mean." Let it go. You're gonna pop your stent.

ITALO SLEAZE said...

At 02:23. There's a cross on the wall.

Andrew Wagerer said...

Unfortubately, I've read every post and grown with you (even had two boys of my own). You've gone from making fun of people's artisan top tube pads to advocating safer streets, so I think it's safe to say you have matured quite a bit.
Cheers

Andrew Wagerer said...

Unfortubately, I've read every post and grown with you (even had two boys of my own). You've gone from making fun of people's artisan top tube pads to advocating safer streets, so I think it's safe to say you have matured quite a bit.
Cheers