Thursday, October 4, 2018

Kiss Of Death, Helmet Of Dorkitude

As a cycling blogger whose elder human child is engaged in the long-term review of an Islabikes Luath 24, I was dismayed to learn they'll be closing their US headquarters:

Islabikes has decided to close the US office in Portland, Oregon to focus energy on the UK and EU markets. During this voluntary liquidation we will sell all remaining stock of bikes, accessories and parts in the US. It’s bittersweet, but there are great discounts to be had before closing this fall. At this time we have not set a closing date.

If you are considering ordering for the Holidays, order now, as once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Hey, frankly I can't blame them for giving up on America, one of the most bike-challenged countries on earth (after Australia, of course), but it's a shame nonetheless.

Anyway, I guess the silver lining in all of this is cheap bikes.

Not only that, but I've also been reviewing the Renovo Aerowood, and if you've been to their website recently you may have's not there anymore:

While there's been no formal announcement that I've been aware of, I think it's probably safe for me to say at this point that they've made like a tree, which is a huge bummer for anyone with a lot of money who wants a wood-hewn dream bike.

I guess what I'm saying is, since apparently a review from me is the kiss of death, perhaps I should review a Specialized next.

Moving on, Jason Gay reports that Floyd Landis is using his whistleblower windfall to start a cycling team:

In April, the Justice Department announced that Armstrong would pay $5 million to settle a government lawsuit alleging he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service by accepting millions in sponsorship money despite doping. Since the government’s case began with Landis’s whistleblower complaint, Landis was awarded a portion of the settlement.

Now Landis has decided what to do with the money. After paying off his legal fees, he’s taking what’s left—roughly $750,000, he told me—and putting all of it into a new professional, North American-based developmental cycling team set to begin racing next year.

In other words:

What a great movie.

And what kind of bike dork would I be if I didn't make the obligatory "He should buy himself some pedals first" quip?

The correct answer is "No kind.  I'd be no kind of bike dork at all."

Finally, meet a bunch of bros who want in on some of that sweet, sweet helmet action:

Yeah, no they won't.

Nevertheless, here's the story behind their "inspiration."

Three years ago David Hall's life was turned upside down. The engineering student's sister was hit by a car when riding her bike in Philadelphia. While his sister lay in a coma, Hall and his family were asked the same question over and over again: "Was she wearing a helmet?"

She wasn't.

This led Hall and his classmate Jordan Klein to ask, "Why wasn't she wearing a helmet?"  

Really, that was your fucking question?  Not "Why the hell did this asshole run down my sister and how do we stop this from happening to more people?"  Jesus Freaking Christ.

Their Brooklyn-based startup, named Park and Diamond for the Philadelphia intersection where the crash occurred, is launching the helmet on Indiegogo, where it already has surpassed its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 and raised more than $450,000 since mid-September.

Well, I should have worn a helmet while watching the video because it pulverized my brain with a hammer of stupidity:

I knew I was in trouble when I heard the words "former SpaceX engineers," and sure enough these MuskDouches think that people won't carry a regular helmet, but they will carry a whiskey bottle container:

With the world's corniest ball cap inside:

We've had helmet hats for years, they look no stupider today than they did when they first came out, and it should be clear by now to anybody with eyes that the real aesthetic problem with them is the straps.  Therefore, since we're now a helmet-at-all-times-or-else society, why not just encourage mandatory skull implants and interlocking helmets for all?  There's already a model for this, as anyone who's put headgear on a Lego figure knows:

Simply implement this and we can finally have helmets that look like hair:

Of course it could be years before we make this happen, so in the meantime let's just lie about shit:

Holy shit, they pulled that "statistic" out of their ass like SpaceX bro pulled that helmet hat out of his whiskey cylinder.

Somebody should give these guys positions in the Trump administration.

But wait, there's more!

And also:

I can't even.  Seriously, I really can't.

You know, 90% of pedestrians don't wear moon boots, and 97% of pedestrian fatalities occur when pedestrians aren't wearing moon boots, so you do the math.

But brace yourself for the biggest lie of all:

Yeah, right.

"Attractive" my ass.


Billy said...

Instead of foam on my head, I would prefer to be protected by concrete on the street.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

Foam podio???

Perry Mason said...

Being awarded a settlement is not the same thing as getting cash money; my guess is Lance does not have $5 million, so Floyd will not be getting the full $750,000 any time soon.

(The settlement does mean the Federal court will be able to garnish Lance's income until they collect the entire $5 million, or until he dies. You can imagine what this does for a person's work motivation.)

Matt said...

Gee...I'd think Floyd should use that leftover money to pay off the people who stupidly donated money to his "Free Floyd" fund, believing his word that he hadn't cheated (I am one of them). I did get the notice last week from the US Justice Dept that he has been ordered to make restitution...however the same notice also said they can't MAKE him pay it. So lets see if I have this right...he has a judgement AGAINST him by a US Federal Court, and then the same Feds GIVE him a nice chunk of the money they got from Armstrong, instead of 'garnishing' his award? Say WHAT?

And Perry, I have no doubt that Lance has LOTS of money stashed...he made TENS of millions in his 7 year run, and the gov is only getting FIVE? He's prob got that in cash buried in his basement.

Grump said...

It was called the Floyd Fairness Fund....The man is such a D-bag, he makes Armstrong look "normal".

janinedm said...

The statistics are bull lucky, but I am one of the people who participated in this crowdfunding. Hear me out. I recognize that helmets have a limited benefit in commuting. They only protect your head, while being hit by a car would likely result in bones poking through organs in the parts of the body not protected by a helmet. BUT all sketchy marketing aside, they understand that the CPSC's emphasis on skull fracture over concussion prevention isn't relevant. I'm not sure a helmet will save my life, but in certain circumstances it will save my ability to remember phone numbers and where I put my keys.

Grump said...

99.9% of pedestrian fatalities occur when pedestrians aren't wearing a helmet. Same for driving fatalities.

JLRB said...

You cannot prove or disprove that I did or did not read the blog yet.

Chazu said...

I'm a spelling Fred, and I see that you misspelled something:

"Jesus Freaking Christ"

Let me fix that for you:

"Jesus Fucking Christ"

There you go.

Al said...

In my 68 years on this orbiting madhouse, I've known 5 friends killed by motorist...1 pedestrian, 1 cyclist, 2 motorcyclists and 1 motorist who killed herself in a fiery rollover. In all those cases, there were no consequences except for the motorist that killed herself. As a bicyclist I have had to come to terms with the fact that if I'm killed by a disturbed, distracted or aggressive motorist, my death will count for nothing. There will be no consequences for the motorist and even people that I know will blame me for my own demise. Consequently, while I'm on my bike, I treat every motorist as my potential killer and curse our addictive, diseased preoccupation with the automobile.
Mr Snobster, I look forward to all your insightful Outside articles and 2 of your books enhance my personal library. Thanks

Doug English said...

More than 90% of bike commuters don't wear a helmet? They should at least lie plausibly if they want people to believe them.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

I can't wait to see horse jockeys in the bike lanes of NYC!!! Instead of 'on your left' they MUST be made to say, 'giddyup!'

Matt said...

Grump...thanks...forgot what the fund was really called (I only remember "Free Floyd" as I have the T shirt along w/ his book "Positively False" (of which it appears only the title was actually true). Not sure what to do with that stuff...(in my W.T.H. collectible stash I also have a L.A. framed and signed LIVESTRONG jersey). It's all in my attic collecting dust right now.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the features are honestly represented and achievable, why else would they lie about helment statistics but to call attention to the clear honesty and integrity of the rest of the new amazing helment pitch?

leroy said...

My dog informs me that the SpaceX Bros' business model relies on marketing their fashions in conjunction with their former bosses' urban cyclocross series.

I'd feel safer if they were marketing something to keep Teslas out of bike lanes, bursting into flames, or running over folks.

As for fashion considerations, my dog assures me that anything that makes my butt look bigger makes me more visible to drivers.

Uptight Luddite said...

A helmet with effective cameras visibly mounted might do some good. Especially if the cameras survived the impact; and the lawyers could use the “footage” to help the police do their job.

Anonymous said...

Wearing hair over your hair--this happens in that movie "Disobedience" [the two female, and male, leads are all EXCELLENT]. I didn't know some observant Jewish women did this, so that was a "whaaat?" moment when it happened. FYI [off topic], there are other "whaaat?" moments in this movie...

Pist Off said...

Let’s just say i’m skeptical of this helmet right from the jump with the bullshit statistical claims. Presumably this would incorporate a multi-impact resilient material, to be so thin and light. Visco-polymer state-change material is thin, multi-impact, and used in protective pads, but it’s heavy. No similar material has been marketed for helmets before. So you have to suspend your disbelief right there- these really smart guys have a brand new technology and material with brand new mechanical properties! Revolutionary to multiple industries if true, but how likely?

Winky said...

There is a low pipe in our bike room at work. I frequently crash into it with my foam hat when racking my bike. The irony is that I wouldn't hit it at all if I wasn't wearing my foam hat.

And that hispter cap/helment/whisky bottle thing is about as dumb as the airbag.

Anonymous said...

I can believe the "90% of commuters don't wear a helmet"... if you take into account the entire world and include those 3rd world countries with the millions of people who have no car. And whose bike commute with their thousands of other poor commuters with no car makes the drive into NYC look like a ride across eastern Montana.

dotcommie said...

The "97% of cyclist fatalities were cyclists not wearing a helmet" statistic is a LIE.

Even helmet advocates HELMETS.ORG state:

"No more than 17 percent of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets."

So that would be 83% then.

And can we mention risk compensation? Or the statistic that most head injuries happen in automobiles?

Curious Englishman said...

Am I overdoing it if I wear a mouth guard whilst mountain biking?

As for the helmet-in-a-Christmas-booze-holder, why does everything have to revert to the baseball cap of yesteryear?

HDEB said...

90% of my comments on this blog are inane : )

Chazu said...

Here is a video of Floyd and Dave Z., riding fixed gear bikes up mountains.

Link to 11 minute YouTube video

wishiwasmerckx said...

Looks like if you need warranty work on your Renovo, you may be up a tree without a paddle.

Chazu said...

P.S. Approx 1 min, 20 secs into the video, Floyd makes a few comments about helments. (Spoiler: he doesn't own one)

pbateman lives around a bunch of spacex goofuses said...

i dont believe their claims, nor would i wear that hat with a cat, or a bat, or rat.

but i dont think it looks like total scat.

i mean, as far as hailmats go.

floyd landis is the aeroblade wheelset of the postal team.

Snob, you are the more like the Campy Bora wheelset of authors that cover: bikes, gluten-free food, home made denim shorts and movies.

i am very intrigued by this Let it Ride film that i have never seen.

Anonymous said...

I think that helmet looks rather fetching.

Olle Nilsson said...

Landis, Lemond, Merckx. Can't tell them apart anymore.

Anonymous said...

Curious Englishman. Nope. I knocked my bottom teeth out of alignment riding rocks and a mouthguard would have helped absorb the shock I think.

Curios Englsihdude in reply to anonymous said...

Yeah, where I live there are more rocks than nice dirt. In fact, a helmet may offer only slightly better protection than the mouth guard

bad boy of the south said...

Snob,what are ya going do with that tan tenovo now?
Who do you send it back to,now?
Perhaps'lil Snob the II will eventually take it over.Chip off the ol'block,so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Let the helmet shaming and victim blaming begin...

Die free said...

You wax so eloquently.

Peter said...

bad boy of the south, says that Renovo was (and is?) at 2005 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (503.231.4888).

Beck the Biker said...

A pleasantly scathing tone in this last bloggery, Tan. Truly appreciated the obscure "Let it Ride" reference too.

ken e. said...

wore helment this morning, skating, didn't die. went to film fest this afternoon, helmentless, could not get a ticket to see JANE GOODALL at her very own documentary! Coincidence?

Skidmark said...

Yes, an elegant wax is a thing of wonder.

P!N20 said...

Hey, frankly I can't blame them for giving up on America, one of the most bike-challenged countries on earth (after Australia, of course)

Ouch. How's that gun law reform going?

Lisa Hyundai said...

If I had to wear a helmet, I'd choose Trojan or Durex brands.

Anonymous said...

looks like the appropriate helmet when riding an IronHorse. should i be asking if christopher reeve was wearing a helmet.

Anonymous said...

Can Tan Tenovo be fined for riding a bike that he no longer possesses from a company that no longer exists.

bad boy of the south said...

Peter,thanks for providing that address.

JLRB said...

So if your marketing is the kids of death would you please promote Range Rover?

Also, is the corollary true, such that the silly hat in a tube full of lies will now be wildly successful?

Anonymous said...

That is the world’s first portable helmet? It’s about time we had helmets that we can take with us.

BikeSnobNYC said...


On a national level not well at all. However my home city and state have some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

--Tan Tenovo

urchin said...

Um, Mr. Snob?
There's a lawyer from a Mr. Sinyard on the phone for you.

Ellie said...

Hey Tan! I sure hope that you ordered the tan hair helmet! It will look so good with the Tenovo.

Chauz said...


As you know, guns are very popular across the US. In my area, gun owners leave firearms in their unlocked vehicles, parked in their driveways overnight. (because their garages are full of shit that they don't need.) Then they complain in social media when the guns are stolen. I cannot overstate how often this happens. Over a wide geographic area, it occurs nightly because the thieves know where and how to look for guns, and they know how lazy gun owners can be when it comes to securing their firearms.

A local paper quoted the local police chief as saying 98 firearms were stolen from unlocked vehicles so far this year. And that's just in one police chief's relatively small police district.

The guns are being stolen because there is a lot of money in selling them on the black market. A large percentage of them end up in cities along the northeastern seaboard, from Boston on down to Baltimore and DC.

I'm too lazy to google it, (I've typed enough already), but a relatively recent news story from the Atlanta area revealed that a baggage handler at that city's airport was aggregating stolen guns, loading them on aircraft bound for NYC (LGA? I forget), where his accomplice would unload them and transport them to Brooklyn for resale.

From what I understand, it is better to murder someone with one of those stolen, out of state guns, than to use one of your own.

What the fuck is wrong with people? All of them; starting with the dipshits who manufacture more firearms than humanity could possibly need, through the dumbasses who buy them and leave them unsecured in cars, etc.?

Funnelwebmaster?!? said...

Mr Snob, your wooden bike was hewn from a forest of pain, abuse and iniquity. Also, it likely harbors undisclosed structural defects that will cause it to fail catastrophically. What will you do?

leftbanker said...

Dutch people make fun of cyclists who wear helmets. They call them Germans. Wear a helmet, don't wear a helmet. I don't much give a shit, but don't terrorize would-be cyclists into thinking that biking is terrifically dangerous to your health.