Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cracks in the Sidewalk: The Future of Bike-Sharing

(A member of the Brooklyn "literati" executes a bare-legged walk-and-read.)

Firstly, I am pleased to announce that I am among the sponsors, or facilitators, or swag-donators, or whatever you want to call us, of Fat Cyclist's latest contest, the Third Annual 100 Miles to Nowhere. ("100 Miles to Nowhere" means that Fatty will ride rollers for a really long time and not that he will participate in a typical Central Park road race, which is essentially the same thing.) Unfortunately, so adept is Fat Cyclist at contest curation and so slow am I at blogging that, before I could even put finger to keyboard (I type with one finger--you know it as the "pinky," I call it my "special digit") to mention this, registration for the contest already filled up. Still, I figure I'm at least entitled to a grace period, and so I'm mentioning it anyway. Please support the Chubster as he goes nowhere fast.

Secondly, while the Porcine Velocipedist spins eternally in the present, I'd like to move on--way on into the future, to a world in which space-age ghost bicycles emerge from sidewalk vaginas:

A reader was kind enough to alert me to this vulvular cityscape, and it is apparently one architect's vision of a potential bike-sharing program for Copenhagen. In any other city, such a system would be simple: a bunch of robust comfort bikes; a rack; and a place to stick your credit card. However, this is Copenhagen we're talking about--a city so bike-friendly that it makes Portland look like the Daytona International Speedway. And you can forget about New York. In Copenhagen, they have "Cycle Chic;" here, we've got "Hot Dudes On Bikes:"

Can you guess which is which? (Hint: the "hot dude" is wearing his helmet straps in the popular "payos" style, and the "chic" woman is wearing no helmet at all--and very possibly no underpants either.)

Anyway, far too many bike-molesting designers stop with the bicycle, so it's a relief to see this architect extend the idiocy and also ruin the city itself. Incidentally, the firm responsible for the bicycle-proffering vaginal bike-share concept is called "RAFAA," which should not be confused with boutique clothier Rapha. (A Rapha bike-share would work a lot differently--it would consist of a bunch of NAHBS-approved road bikes and a soap dispenser that pumps embrocation, and you wouldn't be able to return the bike and get your deposit back until you'd ridden at least 130 miles and submitted a bunch of black-and-white photos as well as at least 500 words of florid prose.) RAFAA also deserve credit for actually including "huperson beings" in their rendering. (In the future, the word "human" will be gender-neutralized, though the sidewalks will be decidedly female.) Here's one huperson wondering what the hell he's looking at:

(You don't have to be a rocket scientist to use this bike-share program, though it helps if you're a gynecologist.)

So how does the bike vag work? Well, apparently it's powered by irony:

“The Bike Share System must become more than just a transporting system. It deals not only with the problem of stocks and flows of people, but must add extra value to its user and to the city itself. We suggest that the Bike Share System becomes an integral part of the city. The bicycles should function as censors and inform the system about certain behaviours, so that the system can react according to the situation.To predict the performance of a system, the entities have to exchange information. An internet-based platform can analyse the different interests and could then manage possible conflicts. The bicycles are equipped with GPS und W-Lan, so they are connected to each order and can inform the system about their position and status. (Is a bike being used? Where is the bike and where is it moving to? Is there a reservation for the bike? etc.) Privacy protection is a matter that has to be taken into account in the process. To increase the number of commuters travelling by bicycle from 37% to 50% by 2015, approx. 25.000 bicycles have to be integrated into the urban fabric; these bikes will need at least 20.000 m2 of storage space. We see a high risk of overloading the squares, streets and stations of Copenhagen. Therefore, our focus is to reduce the „visual pollution“ wherever possible. At the same time, easy accessibility as well as the system’s visual presence has to be maintained (hide & show policy). The following proposal distinguishes between three different trajectory scales: S,M and L.”

The source of the irony, of course, is the fact that the bicycles are acting as "censors" despite the fact that they spend their idle time sitting in a wheel chock that looks like a giant whisker biscuit. I wonder what sort of "behaviours" the bicycles will inform the system about. Perhaps the saddle is specially designed to collect vital crotchal information about the rider, and will advise the system if you have recently committed a sexual indiscretion or simply do not maintain adequate genital hygiene, at which point you will be apprehended by Copenhagen's notoriously strict "Groin Police." Also, besides boasting Advanced Taintal Analysis Saddle Technology, the bicycle itself contains a number of other interesting features:

It's interesting that concept bicycles like this one (which is designed to help Copenhagen "increase the number of commuters travelling by bicycle from 37% to 50% by 2015") always look incredibly difficult to ride. Even the average "tarck" bike looks vastly more user-friendly. I guess in the future, everyone is a time trialist.

I also guess that, in the present, everyone in Japan is a time trialist with an affinity for animation. A couple of readers recently alerted me to these bicycles:

Any one of them would look quite at home emerging from the Vaginal Sidewalks of Tomorrow:

I especially enjoyed the "cockpit curation" on this specimen:

There's no better way to while away a grueling time trial than by playing with your model track bike and your collectible figurines.

Meanwhile, closer to home (unless your home is Japan or someplace that is closer to Japan than it is to the United States), the new trend in triathlon is apparently wearing boxing gloves:

The reader who sent me this image tells me it comes from Men's Health magazine. I'm not sure if this means that boxing is replacing one of the non-cycling triathlon legs, or if triathletes have simply given up altogether on acquiring bike-handling skills and are now just going for maximum knuckle protection.

Speaking of getting aero, yet another reader tells me that the CPSC has just recalled a $1,000 pair of aerobars:
The model is the "Ventus," and it's made by 3T--the same company that brought you the "Frumunda" fork:

While one might assume that the defect lies in the rider who would pay $1,000 for a set of aerobars, apparently the problem is that the rubber grips "can loosen or slip off during use:"

In 3T's defense, I think this may actually be more indicative of the CPSC's lack of understanding when it comes to cycling products. Clearly, 3T employed cunning "lizard tail" technology when designing the "Ventus," for anybody who's seen the thrilling chase scene from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" (the "Citizen Kane" of humorous man-child movies) knows the first thing a predator will do when trying to steal your bicycle is reach for the handgrip:

On a well-designed handlebar, the grip will then pop off, leaving the predator rather nonplussed and you decidedly plussed:

Then, like a lizard's tail, it simply regenerates.

Unfortunately, though, lizard tail technology does not come cheap, hence the exorbitant price tag. However, if you're poor in currency but rich in spirit, still another reader tell me you can still protect your bicycle by having it blessed at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine:

Honestly, as a devout Lobster worshipper, the whole church bike blessing thing seems a bit futile to me. If anything, the bicycles in New York City need fewer blessings and more exorcisms. Admittedly, though, the populace does need to atone. Here's somebody charging $40 for a wooden dowel:

wood straight bar and economy 700c front wheel track - $40 (Upper West Side)
Date: 2010-03-22, 11:40AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

1. Wood straight bar handle bars used. $40.00 or trade
Rode them for about 6 month's and they've been collecting dust ever since.

2. Silver Economy front track wheel. Rode about 10-15 times. $40.00 or trade
I bought it because I was too broke to get a real wheel at the time. Rode for about a month and its been collecting dust ever since.
Nice and true.
Will be good for a new build or if your in need of a front and don't have the cash for a nicer set-up.

Will take trades so let me know!
CASH AND CARRY otherwise.

Track fixed gear

At a little more than two pedals wide, this means that the going rate for wood in the "hipster" community is something like $4 an inch, so clearly the wooden handlebar trend is still going strong.

Also going strong is the "urban banjo" trend, as you can see here:

Maybe he's a member of the "tweederati."


g said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Podium from Los Angeles? Naaah, can't happen!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


nonplussed fred said...


nonplussed fred said...


stillnotworking said...

Top 10!

ant1 said...


GEOG1130SB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OBA said...


theshepherdsdog said...

ten? 11?

Unknown said...

top 15ish

Anonymous said...

Crap even with a D/Q I can't crack the top ten!

ant1 said...


singlespeedspinning said...

oh yeah

ant1 said...

sorry, ant1, that would be a big ol "ant2nd" for you today.

Pee Wee said...

Yea baby! Top 20?

ant1 said...

there is no such thing as ant2nd!

YATE said...

Am I seriously going to be the first to make a joke about $4/inch hipster wood?

YATE said...

Please note the lack of an actual joke.


Whisker biscuit said...

Please more pictures of girls working out in their undies!

Jefe said...

Top 30...with grace period.

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

top fail.

streepo said...

I'm becoming decidedly nonplussed by the number of ants in the comments section. Though I'm quite looking forward to being plussed when I start to dream about bicycle spewing vaginas.

Anonymous said...

$4/inch is the going rate for epic burrotus out here.

Pontius Pilate said...



Anonymous said...


Jefe said...

In Albany, we already have sidewalks and streets shaped like that. I did not realize they were futuristic. I just know you will break some spokes on them.

Thomas said...

bikes, beards, banjos, and battlestar galactica.

hillbilly said...

what does it say about me that i am now sure i am going to have nightmares about being swallowed up by one of those streets?

Vanonymous said...


brother yam said...

Also, besides boasting Advanced Taintal Analysis Saddle Technology, the bicycle itself contains a number of other interesting features:

They've changed the the name to:

Seat and

Steve said...

Got some bad news about danish women. The ones I know all cycled with underwear on, and were reluctant to remove it, at least for me. For some reason you'd think being short, ugly and round with dark hair would make you interesting and exotic in a country where all the men were tall and handsome with blond hair -and it does, but not enough for copenhagen or aarhus women to let you explore their saddle areas.

JTK said...

The Copenhagen inspiration:

still not working said...

Now that I've actually read the post (and got some real work done incidentally), this Danish sidewalk vagina business is just another galling example of what's wrong with Design. Jesus H! The fucking things are a safety hazard to pedestrians and wheel traps for people in wheelchairs or kids riding their bikes on the sidewalks. These things also look like water and slush traps -- I presume it sometimes gets cold enough to freeze in Copenhagen (just a wild guess) and can just see all those creepy ghost bikes frozen into the sidewalk. [There is a joke about vagina dentata and frigidity to be made, but I am not up to it today.]

As to why "design" bikes tend to be missing vital pieces of their drivetrains, I think this is Leonardo syndrome. Much as daVinci was apparently so repulsed as to be unable to draw female genitalia (despite otherwise amazingly detailed anatomic/post mortem dissection studies), perhaps the designers are so horrified by something actually mechanical and practical that they automatically blank out both figuratively and literally.

I think the answer is a RAFAA/ daVinci collabo. Leonardo will supply the genius and RAFAA will supply the giant vaginas.

Grace Period said...

Sorry, I'm a little late today.

Anonymous said...

I have my pastor bless my chamois prior to every Sunday ride. I think he is tiring of the exercise...or is that exorcise...

Ronsonic said...

Boxing added to triathlon!?!?!?! We can only hope. The mere thought of this excites and exults.

sufferist said...

Oh see that guy over there, he says that he's like $26.50, but my sister says that he's more like $18.25.

Anonymous said...

We have a bike sharing system in NYC also, it's called bike theft. And like with any other well-meaning social experiments, we all participate; the crafty and industrious thief, the unfortunate victim and the indifferent passerby as highlighted in this excellent video (which I'm sure has been posted to here more than once)

g said...

I think the new healthcare bill addresses the $4/inch issue. It's called the porn tax.

trundle said...

pretty supple. 120 tpi.

JTK said...

All that street vag makes the Vestigial Filth Prophylactic a necessary accessory.


mistervague said...

Hey Snob,
Way to "borrow" from the Boston Globe's famous capsule review of Shakes the Clown, in which the paper called it "the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies".

ervgopwr said...

Lob shall excercise the demon!

sufferist said...

ervgopwr: that's what me and the wife call....well you know...

Anonymous Coward said...

Top 50, still legal.

@Sufferist 2:14 - too funny.


CommieCanuck said...

Those Copenhagen bike racks were considered by many municipalities. Turns out the maintenance was too expensive, you have to pay workers to shave the area around them every few days.

"$4/inch hipster wood" is what Canadians call the two dollar coin.

sufferist said...

CC: two buck Canuck?

ant1 said...

CC - some people like their bike racks hairy. they were big in the 70s i hear.

CommieCanuck said...

two buck Canuck, there's shrinkage in this cold weather.

CommieCanuck said...

Not all the bike racks are shaved, some are just well-trimmed, others have a lighting-bolt pattern, etc.

Still expensive.

Then there's the Femanol costs.

Andrea Dworkin said...

I'm glad those bike racks are not reinforcing the patriarchal hegemony.

But keep your laws off my taint.

philippe said...

The woman's pic has been shot in Paris, not in Copenhagen.

Billy Reid said...

no mention of the tiger emerging from Pee Wee's crotch?

Billy Reid said...

i guess it's a lion

sufferist said...

BillyReid: please examine the photo a little closer. It will reveal that the tiger is in fact a decorative element for Pee Wee's squawk box. Perhaps reviewing the footage, an exercise I would recommend for everyone, would help to refresh the memory regarding this detail.

RB1 said...

readers should note the scandinavian influence in the pronunciation of 'huperson' . whereas a new yorker might say 'hugh person' , in Copenhagen the correct pronunciation is 'hupper son' . i hope that helps.

I am the engine said...

I have to admit this was one of the strangest posts ever. Wrong in so many ways.

Why start with a person walking, and reading in rubber boots?
This is a blog about bikes, boots are just not right. Unless it is the copenhagen blog, which unfortunately has started to seem creepy.

Why is this guy taking pictures of women in bikes, calling it culture, and describing harbor buildings.

Hot guys on bikes, unfortunately seems more like the "people of walmart", all "colabos", need some sort of editor. Weed out the not hot, and move on.

If the copenhagenize guy did this in any less civilized town, he would get the shit beat out of him for being a strange person.

I liked the vending machine bike up the building, you know gravity is going to gum up that concept quickly, but, why plan ahead.

The top tube on that concept bike (in the brick vagina - going to be a bitch to build), is truly epic, not beefy, but looks like the most uncomfortable bike ever built.

The anime, soft core porn, is weird, even the lone wolf would not be caught on one of those, but for some reason, they seem more intersting than 500,000 dollar trek butterfly bikes.

Bring back ducks, because these craiglist morons make may brain hurt.

Where are they guys feeding you bike porn? They are funnier than Fatty on rollers.

You can never have enough pee wee references though.

More liz hatch, less guys in rubber boots.

Stupid Name said...

Copenhagen is cold and wet, 11 months out of the year. Those street pussys, will be full of water, slush, used condoms, and muck in 45 seconds. Perhaps not the best plan after all.

g said...

You sure it isn't pronounced like Who-Person, as in someone from Whoville where a fucked up, acid-induced design such as this might actually exist?

Anonymous said...

Saying perSON is still misogynistic/patriarchal/phallocentric and some other big words i heard at university.

to be truly enlightened, my hairyarmpitted lecturer in comfortable shoes told me, one must say "perdescendant"

Sandy Hoopersen said...

So where do you put your credit card? Does The System just read it while it's still in your pocket or what?

IBS said...

Gotta run!

Unknown said...


RB1 said...

quite sure.

AxisOfEvil said...

In my household, the correct form is "crotchular"

Odile Lee said...

Canuk ,that link-
'Find out how you can get rid of this odor quickly and permanently.'

Sex change?

Mario Chipollini said...

I want the bici bearing pussies to be somewhere hot and wet not in frigid Copenhagen! Sei un cazzo, stupid designer.

sufferist said...

perdescendant still smacks of patriarchal hegemony, testicularly speaking....

Let's see, how about entity, nope
matriarchal hegemony, mammararily speaking....

Hmm...., how about perneuter, as in "bring me the head of the perneuter that stole my bike!" Yep, just rolls off the tongue.

CommieCanuck said...

'Find out how you can get rid of this odor quickly and permanently.'

Sex change?

A warm bath?

CommieCanuck said...

So where do you put your credit card? Does The System just read it while it's still in your pocket or what?

It's a vagina, believe me, it will find your credit card.

ant1 said...

"It's a vagina, believe me, it will find your credit card."


Anonymous said...

Commie I would be deeply offended if that weren't so true.

David said...

Worth it just for the pics. Now off to find a vulva for my, um, bicycle. . . .

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Anonymous said...

Cracks in the Sidewalk: The Future of Bike-Sharing

(A member of the Brooklyn "literati" executes a bare-legged walk-and-read while porteuring a baby with an Afgani scarf.)

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