Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Vote Oily, Vote Often

It's Election Day down here in Canada's Tortured Subconscious, so I'm off to the polls:


Then I'll be spending the rest of the day parenting because there's no school today.

So I'll see you when I see you, and not a moment sooner.

In the meantime, Peter Flax has the Fred-osphere all in a tizzy because last week he wrote a story for CyclingTips about how he doesn't wear a helmet:


It's a good story, though the editor, Caley Fretz, did his best to undermine it with this ridiculous disclaimer:

Most of us at CyclingTips wear helmets most of the time. I wear one whenever I kit up for a ride. They’re pretty comfortable these days, and I don’t see any reason not too, even after reading the story below. For some of our readers, helmets are mandated by law, and of course, we don’t want anyone to break the law.

To be frank, I wasn’t sure if it was a perspective we wanted on the site. We have multiple writers on staff who credit helmets with saving their lives, or at least preventing far more severe injury. I’m glad they were wearing helmets, and I’ll continue to wear mine.

He and I had some words over it last week:
Fretz seemed to feel that publishing the story at all is prima facie evidence that he is not in fact cowardly, but I think introducing anything with a 200-word disclaimer about what you think is wrong with it--whether it's an article about helmets or your spouse--indicates a deficiency in the spinal department.  (And please note I'm not calling Caley Fretz a coward *in general,* I'm just calling him an editorial coward.  I have no reason to believe that, if confronted with a wild animal while cycling, he wouldn't strip down to nothing except his bibs and his helmet and fight it to the death.)

I also think that the Fred set is one degree away from the "Avid Cyclist" set inasmuch as their attitudes are holding the riding of bicycles back.  Remember, for example, when Red Kite Prayer said California cyclists shouldn't fight a mandatory helmet law?  Because I do.

Anyway, you know what to do today, and make sure to wear your voting helmet.

Yours and so forth,



--Tan Tenovo

30 comments:

Die free said...

Podio? Voted already too. It's good being an Easty

Anonymous said...

podiating before votiating yo.

The Voice Fan said...

Damn straight I'm voting early and often, I'm backing Michael Lee all the way...

pbateman doesnt just want ping pong balls on his balls said...


what is odd is that there isn't much fervor for requiring hailmutts be worn on the most sensitive of head areas...the penis.

if i were stripping down to fight a wild animal i'd want BOTH hailmutts securely in place for battle.

Where are the manufacturers at on this subject? I would prefer not to have to rely solely on DHS (Double Happiness Sports - official supplier of the Olympic Ping Pong balls) to provide me with the protection my smaller head needs.

Yes, ping pong balls have proven themselves many times over for the likes of motorcyling mice the world over, and even look pretty cool in both white and safety orange colorways as evidenced here: https://bit.ly/2qudQyi

I'd simply like manfacturers like Specialized to take the lead on focus some of their efforts on creating specialized equipment for my equipment.

good luck to everyone's horses in today's race. I'll be doing my part to keep florida completely insane.

HDEB said...

The best way to show Fred's the silliness of their gear and how much fun cycling can be is to pass them decisively while riding a clunker sans helmet, while dressed normally. Extra points if you are barefoot, carrying a dog in a backpack or smoking a joint while riding.

Grump said...

Snobby, do you feel the same way about seat belts?. I have only been in one accident where seat belts have saved my bacon, and only been in one bike crash where the front of my helmet impacted the road enough to crack it in half.

janinedm said...

@HDEB Barefoot pedaling!? I have never even conceived of such a thing.

@Grump, The helmet itself cracking isn't proof that it worked. Polystyrene-based helmets protect by absorbing the energy of the impact through compressing the polystyrene. In a serious accident, polystyrene helmets tend to break into pieces. If the polystyrene has broken into pieces but not compressed, it has failed to work as intended. In other words, proof that it worked is the styrofoam being smushed. And surely you've read this blog long enough to know that this argument has been made before and Snob hasn't changed his mind. Why must we chase our own tail on this? Agree to disagree, like I do on Snob's acceptance of salmon.

Anonymous said...

my cowardly comment of the day, is no comment at all.

bad boy of the south said...

I agree that the disclaimer as writ,was a bit cowardly. just remember the old saying...sticks and stones may break my bones but lattes never hurt me.

8carlisle said...

I do know of one instance where the helmet wearer cracked his head against a car which left a 4 inch fracture above his ear and basically outlining the shape of the helmet along the circumference. He survived but not sure about the helmet.

theEel said...

Weed.

trama said...

I don't always wear a helmet. It seems a good idea to wear one. I wear gloves always, because when I crash I use those guys for better or worse by sticking them out there and trying to roll. It all happens so fast. Anyways, try gloves the next time you plan on crashing.

Anonymous said...

I stripped down to nothing but lycra and helmet once to fight a wild animal. Stomped that ant’s ass. My own personal Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the fact that many Freds are only one step better than Avid Cyclists. Many are primarily car drivers who only use cycling as a recreational activity. They've got the confidence to do Vehicular Cycling and they eschew anyone who is just riding to get around and may be intimidated by poor cycling infrastructure or discouraged by things like helmet laws. This article created quite a stir on the various Reddit cycling subs, mostly among MAMILs.

Unknown said...

Vote with your head.

Drock said...

Voted three times and it’s just noon, headed back for the afternoon session a little later

Murf said...

Don’t trust myself, helmut a must. Old Fred.

Seattle lone wolf said...

Look, this is not about me or how many times I voted.

Anonymous said...

Australian cycling group back-pedals to oppose mandatory helmets.
https://amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/nov/01/australian-cycling-group-back-pedals-to-oppose-mandatory-helmets

Anonymous said...

Flax’s article is great.

Editor-in-Chief Fretz didn’t bother to actually perform one of the primary functions of an editor:

“folks who rode to work were 41% less likely to die than people who drove to work”

It is a statistical certainty that 100% of people will die, regardless of how they get to work. The 41% who cycle are less likely to die pre-maturely . . . but why edit when you can editorialize?

Anonymous said...

Millions of Dutch cyclists cannot be wrong! Very few injuries and even fewer plastic hats!

Bikeboy said...

On Election Day I'm always happy to find the bucket atop my noggin, because that's where the "I Voted" stickers go. (And it hasn't happened yet, but at some point I'll have the inevitable confrontation at the polling place with either blue-state goons or red-state goons who will wish to pound my head sadistically, and the bucket will throw 'em off.)

Schisthead said...

"They're pretty comfortable these days"

Naw, that's just your head getting harder...

Sackgesicht said...

Anonymous @2.43pm, bloody good to see mate, given that Ozzie freds are understood to have helped bring about the fuck-up that is Oshtraya's helmet laws. Snob has nailed it, them really is quasi-avid cyclists.

Sackgesicht said...

Anonymous @2.43pm, no sorry, I should have read the whole thing first. What they are suggesting is even more fucked-up than the original fuck-up.

Beck the biker said...

Any talk involving helmets and bicyclists is bound to be a fruitless and incendiary morass, but i'm willing wade into flaming quicksand with a few general, vapid comments. Bikers don't wear helmets when they feel safe, and tend to wear helmets when they don't; and, wearing a helmet after you've thwacked a windshield with your noggin doing 40 in a collision may seem in retrospect like you made the right decision that day. I love riding in a cowboy hat or a Chilba when i get the chance to promenade.

Dylan Rathkamp said...

I want to be a part of a little community as much as anyone- can we accept the people we think are freds and avid cyclists as equals though? There is safety in numbers, not safety in partisanship. Call out bullshit when we see it, but avoid casualties if possible...

Haywood Jablome said...

Recreational weeds is legal in Michigan now. I need to wear a hellmut when partaking of the weeds.Come on over,ride thru the woods and smoke some trees 🌲

HDEB said...

Andrew Gounardes beat Marty Golden in NY Senate District 22 : ) Goodbye Marty and your aggressive, dishonest, bicycle hating ways, hallelujah! Good luck to Mr. Gounardes who just earned a difficult job.

Unknown said...

Perfect. This helmet article is delightfully analogous to why I don't vote.

I have been consistently harassed in my adult life about not voting, about my 'apathy,' my 'being the root of the problem.' I am vilified, just like the helmetless father, for having a rare or 'extreme' or 'fringe' or 'crazy' stance on something our popular culture tells us is a necessity, but which a robust system-wide analysis cannot prove to be effective. Lastly, before this turns into its own article, everyone who tells me to vote is also telling me whom to vote for; the last time I voted I checked Gloria La Riva for president and got called an idiot anyway.

Wear your helmet (I usually do), vote, if you want. But both of those acts are framed as the way the powerless (read: cyclists and the working class, respectively) are supposed to behave, and which ultimately distract from larger-scale systemic change.