Monday, November 11, 2013

Shafted Again.


Can we ever get a break?

Apparently not.

Just three weeks after Delia Ephron unleashed the stupid with her New York Times op-ed about how we shouldn't have bike share because the color blue doesn't look good in rom-coms, that same august periodical has published another opinion piece that is, on the surface, a work of bicycle advocacy.

However, probe deeper, and it is something far more insidious even than that Ephron crap.

Here it is:

Ostensibly this piece is about how drivers who kill cyclists don't get in trouble and how this needs to change.  All very good, right?  Who could argue with that?  (Well, besides the police, and the auto industry, and the auto insurance industry, and the oil industry, and the tabloids, and your local lawmakers, and...)  Well, the first warning sign is the stupid knuckle tattoo illustration evoking the evoking the darkest days of the insipid fixie trend circa 2007.  Then, the writer opens with this:

SAN FRANCISCO — EVERYBODY who knows me knows that I love cycling and that I’m also completely freaked out by it. I got into the sport for middle-aged reasons: fat; creaky knees; the delusional vanity of tight shorts. Registering for a triathlon, I took my first ride in decades. Wind in my hair, smile on my face, I decided instantly that I would bike everywhere like all those beautiful hipster kids on fixies. Within minutes, however, I watched an S.U.V. hit another cyclist, and then I got my own front wheel stuck in a streetcar track, sending me to the pavement.

Anybody who is "freaked out" by cycling--in San Francisco no less--should probably not be writing about it.  Being freaked out by cycling in San Francisco is like being freaked out by sushi in Japan, or by thongs in Rio de Janeiro.

Then he goes on:

You don’t have to be a lefty pinko cycling activist to find something weird about that. But try a Google search for “cyclist + accident” and you will find countless similar stories: on Nov. 2, for example, on the two-lane coastal highway near Santa Cruz, Calif., a northbound driver lost control and veered clear across southbound traffic, killing Joshua Alper, a 40-year-old librarian cycling in the southbound bike lane. As usual: no charges, no citation. Most online comments fall into two camps: cyclists outraged at inattentive drivers and wondering why cops don’t care; drivers furious at cyclists for clogging roads and flouting traffic laws.

Awful, of course.  His conclusion?

My own view is that everybody’s a little right and that we’re at a scary cultural crossroads on the whole car/bike thing.

"Everybody's a little right?"  You should be starting to get a little bit uncomfortable at this point.  Drivers are "a little right" to be "furious at cyclists for clogging roads?"  Do me a favor: tonight, at the peak of the evening rush, please head out to the BQE or the LIE or the 405 or your favorite local clogged automotive artery and find me the cyclists who are responsible for that particular clusterfuck.  In fact, find me any situation (outside of annual charity rides or actual protests such as Critical Mass, which are statistically insignificant) in which cyclists are delaying motorists by more than a handful of seconds.  Even the hated Sunday group rides that cause suburban motorists to lose their shit because a bunch of Freds are taking up the road really don't cause them any appreciable delay.  All it means is that a driver has to go 20mph instead of 30mph for a minute or two--but of course every second counts when you're headed to the shopping center for those bagels.

Meanwhile, all it takes is a fender-bender between two drivers to snarl traffic for hours.  Delays, police, ambulances, insurance claims--all because one asshole put a tiny dent in some other asshole's Hyundai.  Can you imagine if they closed 5th Avenue for half the day because a couple of pedestrians brushed shoulders and one of them spilled some Starbucks on his tie?  It's really no different.

Then he softens you up with a little more pro-bike stuff.  You forget that momentary bit of discomfort, but just when he lulls you into a state of smugness he hits you with this:

Nor does it help that many cyclists do ignore traffic laws. Every time I drive my car through San Francisco, I see cyclists running stop signs like immortal, entitled fools. So I understand the impulse to see cyclists as recreational risk takers who deserve their fate.

I am so sick of this crap where people can't say anything pro-bike in a mainstream publication without first beating the crap out of cyclists.  You "understand the impulse to see cyclists as recreational risk takers who deserve their fate?"  You just described watching an SUV run into a cyclist!  What kind of insensitive putz could possibly think anybody deserves that, or "understand" anybody who does?

Well, he doesn't.  Or not exactly.  He does seem to understand that the way things are is ridiculous, and that cyclists aren't usually at fault when they get hurt, and that traffic enforcement in this country is hopelessly skewed:

But studies performed in Arizona, Minnesota and Hawaii suggest that drivers are at fault in more than half of cycling fatalities. And there is something undeniably screwy about a justice system that makes it de facto legal to kill people, even when it is clearly your fault, as long you’re driving a car and the victim is on a bike and you’re not obviously drunk and don’t flee the scene. When two cars crash, everybody agrees that one of the two drivers may well be to blame; cops consider it their job to gather evidence toward that determination. But when a car hits a bike, it’s like there’s a collective cultural impulse to say, “Oh, well, accidents happen.” If your 13-year-old daughter bikes to school tomorrow inside a freshly painted bike lane, and a driver runs a stop sign and kills her and then says to the cop, “Gee, I so totally did not mean to do that,” that will most likely be good enough.

And yet, here's the conclusion he draws:

So here’s my proposal: Every time you get on a bike, from this moment forward, obey the letter of the law in every traffic exchange everywhere to help drivers (and police officers) view cyclists as predictable users of the road who deserve respect. 

You know what?  Fuck that.  The writer does make some good and sensible observations in this piece, but this little "proposal" obviates every single one of them.  It's impossible, and in fact downright stupid, to "obey the letter of the law" on your bicycle when you find yourself in a situation where the streets and the laws are designed specifically for cars, which describes most of the United States.  Moreover, it's gone way, way past the point where cyclists should need to prove to the very people who are fucking us (that's drivers and police officers) that we "deserve respect."  We deserve respect for being human, and it ends there.  Yet we're supposed to be good little boy scouts and girl scouts--even when it's more dangerous for us to do so--to prove we're deserving of not being killed?  That's just stupid and insulting.

This op-ed reads like a homophobe defending gay marriage, but saying that homosexuals should "act less faggy" in order to earn the respect of straight people.

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Hey, why jump all over this guy?  His fundamental point is that the fact drivers are allowed to kill cyclists is wrong and that this needs to change."  Sorry, I don't care.  When you're in kindergarten and you make a fucked-up drawing of a person that looks like a Chlamydia bacterium you get praise for your effort.  However, at a certain point people begin to expect more of you.  That's why they made you "show your work" in math class.  Any asshole can guess or copy the right answer, but the important part is understanding why it's the right answer.  The guy who wrote this op-ed knows the right answer, but he doesn't understand why, and a grown-up writing in the New York Times does not deserve an "A" for "effort" when that effort is fifty percent bullshit.

And as far as obeying the law on your bicycle, here's my approach, and it's based on both respect and common sense:

--When I'm in little fantasy bubble realms like gentrified Brooklyn where there's an actual infrastructure designed to incorporate cars and bicycles and pedestrians, and where it actually makes sense to follow the law because the people who laid out the infrastructure actually realizes that cars and bikes are completely different, I'm more than happy to be a good little boy scout;

--When I'm in Midtown or some other place where I'm "sharing the road" (that's cute) and thousands of two-ton 350 horsepower motor vehicles are bearing down on me because they're driven by people whose only priority is getting to the Midtown Tunnel or the 59th Street bridge as quickly as possible, you can be damn well sure I'll do whatever the hell I need to do in order to get a head start on these homicidal mutherfuckers, and that includes running the light if I deem it safer to do so;

--When I'm in the city, I do not ride on the sidewalk.  However, if I'm in some suburban or exurban area on one of those heavy traffic routes with no shoulder that feeds into an Interstate, and there's a sidewalk, and nobody has actually walked on that sidewalk since 1963 because they're all in their cars speeding to the mall, and I feel like I need to use the sidewalk to cross that Interstate, you're goddamn right I'm going to do it no matter what the law says.  I'm going to "obey the letter of the law" in that situation to prove I "deserve respect?"  Fuck that.

In other words, I'll use bicycle infrastructure responsibly if you give it to me, but screw you if you think I'm going to pretend it's there when it's not.  And if you think I don't "deserve" the infrastructure I don't have, then you're in denial of both physics and common human decency.  The writer of this op-ed, like most Americans, has been brainwashed into believing that "drivers and cyclists share the same rights and responsibilities," as if these vehicles are even remotely the same.  Cars and bikes aren't even apples and oranges; they're 20-foot tall genetically-modified elephant/shark hybrids and oranges.  Sure, technically you can eat both of them, but the similarities end there.  But the reason people are willing to buy into the "drivers and cyclists share the same rights and responsibilities" bullshit is that it's all part of the American take on "equality," which is that it's perfectly fine to hold somebody down and fuck them, even if you've got 100 pounds on them, because technically they're free to fuck you back.  (But of course if they do actually manage to fuck you back, you charge them with rape.)

Anyway, tomorrow I'll return to less onerous matters, such as my trip to Philadelphia, and in the meantime if you need me I'll be at the store:

Motorists: earning your respect one collision at a time.


1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Bamaphred said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


4fuxake said...


Yeah Cleveland! said...

Tip five?

Anonymous said...

Top 25

JB said...


twistedlimey said...

top ten

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

jayteepee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serial Retrogrouch said...


Anonymous said...

je suis dans le premier dix. mais...

Synonymous said...

It's a fucked up world. Except for bikes.

jayteepee said...

Smoke is still pouring from my ears after that NYT times article. And there was no mention of what kind of punishment (if any) that the dickheaded Sgt Ernst of SFPD received.

Synonymous said...

Damn! The robot challenge screwed me out of top ten. My BCS ranking is going all to hell. Stupid robots.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, Sir! Now clean it up and send it to the Times.
Hope you had a nice time in Philadelphia.

Free Parking said...

"Free Parking" The driver took the sign at face value.

P.S. Top 20 on the weed podium.

Gold Leader said...

Snobby, Brav-fucking-o. A couple of my former messenger coworkers shared this one over the last few days. All seemed to have forgotten what it's like riding in a city even while they still do it for a living. When it comes to advocacy we need less Martin Luther's and more Malcolm X's. By whatever means necessary to get your ass from A to B safely. Everything else is just talk without action.

babble on said...

Getting shafted isn't ALWAYS a bad thing... I love it betwixt the covers of an evening!

But that NYT op/ed piece? Yeah, fuck that.

the2002saga said...

One of your finer rants. Bravo.

Schmeling is down, Schmeling is down said...

"The writer does make some good and sensible observations in this piece…"

but before that:

"…a right to the body, a left hook to the jaw. And Schmeling is down."

BamaPhred said...

Like vehicles obey the law? Like the SUV I watched completely blow the red light, in excess of 50mph.
Just lucky Saturday, or I would have been collateral damage.

Time for a ride to burn off these negative vibes.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A lot wrong with "a little right ."

Anonymous said...

Got to the expo at 2:30pm. Missed the snob by 2 hours.



Anonymous said...

BTW - coming back from tweed ride on ben franklin parkway, driver almost right turned into me. Was very close. She didn't say sorry. I guess I should have.


CommieCanuck said...

Perhaps we need to protest.



Drivers who run over cyclists due to negligence get off because the police are lazy cunts, the prosecutors are lazy cunts, and a typical jury of 12 cunts thinks bikes are for little kids and losers. Cyclists are on par with homeless people in the eyes of society.

mMullins said...

Nice piece... maybe you can publish something in the NYTimes to get an actual cyclist's take on this "scary cultural crossroads on the whole car/bike thing" instead of a freaked out stationary basement cyclist's views.

To borrow from your homophobe analogy, to me this reads more like a closeted homosexual's take on gay rights... he wants to be openly gay or in this case pro-cyclist, but is afraid to live and voice his true convictions based on concern for society's collective stance.

Bike Snob NYC to The New York Times to represent the real cyclists' voice!

grog said...

Good one Snobbers.
I had similar sizzle when I read the NYT piece too.

McFly said...

I thought you moved into the forest.

Nate said...

Eloquence via rage at its finest. Preach on.

Also, it blows my mind how many right-wingers in the U.S. think the NY Times is some socialist mouthpiece when they allow b.s. like this in their paper!

simple midwesterner said...

The public policy blog at The Economist has interesting take on that NYT op-ed:

mikeweb said...

I'll go on record by saying that genetically modified Elephant/ Shark meat slowly barbequed over a smoky Mesquite fire is absolutely delicious.

You should try it.

babble on said...

Saw that CC - dunno if that mad Russian has a job, but if he does, he's going to get sacked.

Here in Vancouver, the buses have a policy of beeping their horns and speeding up as they run the red. That's how the woman got nailed and killed last year at Main and Terminal. Happens every single day all across town.

Bamaphred - XX

Mr Plow said...

Snobs- outstanding post today.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm "… a handful of seconds". (Homer Simpson drool) Almost Thanksgiving!

mikeweb said...

On my way walking to Bryant park this morning to enjoy some free ice skating, I was waiting for the walk sign at 42nd st. and 6th ave.

I looked up to see the light for w.b. 42nd st. traffic turn red, then a full three seconds later saw a 30 ton dump truck speed up to blow through the red light (no horn needed apparently).

I don't think he was worried about earning anyone's respect.

streepo said...

Well done, Sir!


crosspalms said...

Thanks. That piece made me mad, too, for the "on the one hand motorists are getting away with murder but on the other hand cyclists run red lights" bullshit evenhandedness -- from a guy who makes it sound like he doesn't even ride in the city and instead observes cyclists from his car.

mikeweb said...

Well done, Snob. You hit all the pertininent points dead on.

Except for failing to touch on the tastiness of hybrid Elephant/ Shark meat. But that's okay.

Buffalo Bill said...

Harsh but necessary.

3G said...

I went back and re-read the article after sending it. At first, I thought it was "decent". Then, I went for a ride on Sunday with a few asshole motorists, and said "FUCK THIS".

RoadQueen said...

There are things that I don't understand about the NYC and other large city cyclists struggles, being that I do not live in, nor ride in a large city. That being said, I can picture myself in other's shoes, and can imagine the hectic car-filled Hell that the Big City cyclists are going through.

The justice system's actions (or lack thereof) in the apparent "War Of The Roads" is just sickening.

We are so, so fucked.

T said...

Totally sympathize with your position against these letter of the law people.

I live on a sidestreet which connects to a bigger street with a T intersection with a traffic light. That light has a weight sensor that only activates for cars. If I obeyed the letter of the law I'd have to sit at that intersection all day waiting for a car to pull up behind me so the light could change.

Then when I go through a red when there are no cars (which is easy to do since there is another light a block away) I've seen people shake their heads at me, as if I'm some horrible scofflaw.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe the last paragraph of this article either, although there were a few hints along the way that it might be coming. I was looking forward to today's post, and you didn't disappoint.

Ingraham said...

just checked Gothamist and another car has jumped the curb at a high rate of speed and killed people

this bitchy catfight about some tool from the NY Times means nothing, fact is cars continue to kill and new mayor has no plan to stop it

bk jimmy said...

Yikes. I think somebody I know used to live in that Washington & Park building with the car parked through the front door.

bk jimmy said...

On a lighter note, this "Vintage army byclce", which looks awesome and is undoubtedly genuine.

Anonymous said...

Someone got hit by a bus (by the looks of things) the other night; don't know what the outcome was.

I agree about being slightly selective with laws when it comes to personal safety, but I wish people would fit good lights - it can get awfy dark at this time of year. It's nice, though; dark, frosty, crisp.

Oh, and please don't get fucked off with me 'cos I'm in the stop box on a motorbike. It's safer for me and I'll be away quicker than you...

hey nonny mouse

the Jimboner said...

Speaking of thongs in Rio, is anyone else still lounging by the pool gorging themselves on pork ribs and cheap beer while listening to Double Nickles on the Dime?

CommieCanuck said...

It goes beyond getting hit by cars, which is why I wear this underwear.

...and this underwear. Pass the Shreddies.

Anonymous said...

Obey the letter of the law----Jews tried that with Nazis----didn't work.

Velocodger said...

Thank you WRM.

CommieCanuck said...

To borrow from your homophobe analogy, to me this reads more like a closeted homosexual's take on gay rights... he wants to be openly gay or in this case pro-cyclist, but is afraid to live and voice his true convictions based on concern for society's collective stance.

We allow cyclist to marry in Canada. Even dude-dude cyclist marriages, and the only real problem we have is with a crack smoking Mayor who lies a lot, and rips up bike lanes.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

mostly disagreeing with you on this one snob

people (and cyclists are people, right?) need to do the right thing to demand the right thing. I'm not demanding gay people act less faggy - I'm demanding they act like married people.

remember the "power of one"?
thebest thing you ever wrote

Anonymous said...

Not that anyone gives a shit but my NYC riding tips for not getting killed are:

1. ALWAYS assume the driver is going to do the wrong thing because ususally they will. Right hook, left hook, speed through a light that just turned red, change lanes without signaling, open their door into traffic without looking.

2. ALWAYS assume that pedestrians are going to do the wrong thing, because very often they will. Walking against the light right in front of you after having looked straight at you (I love this one), wonder out into the bike lane against the light while jerking off to thier Iphone, jay walk between parked cars without looking either way, wonder into an intersection while the walk sign has changed assuming everyone will just stop their day to wait for them, etc.

3. Be respectful of pedestrians motorist and other cyclists by yeilding to them when required.

4. Use some common sense when cycling. Your life is worth more than being 20 seconds earlier to work or home or wherever you are riding.

Anonymous said...

What the fook are you on aboot? Canadian women have chest hair and talk funny.

significant problems

Dave Feucht said...

The discussion around bicycles and earning respect in our culture to me feels like a frat-boy prank.

Like "Just put this thing on your head, dance around all funny, gargle some vinegar, and we won't take your clothes off and strap you to the goalpost."

Only then, of course, they strap you to the goalpost anyway.

That is exactly what it's like riding a bicycle in the U.S.

We get this "just do this and this and this" runaround, in order to be given respect, only we still get run over and blamed for it.

You're right, this piece in the NYT is ridiculous, pandering, and nonsense. It has the exact same tone most bike-related articles in the Oregonian have, and I'm sure many other publications across the U.S.

I'm done with it, it's not ok, and it's risking/costing peoples' lives.

Mario said...

Well-fucking said, snobby.
People always say I'm crazy to ride in the city. I tell them that my only goal is stay alive en route to my destination. I assume every car and even pedestrian is trying to kill me. So as in all life-or-death activities, survival comes first. Then I adhere to the "rules of the road." Until someone sets up a system where bikes can thrive as much as cars there is no other option.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

"I'll do whatever the fuck I want?"

Anonymous said...

"Gentlemen (and Ladies), a most curious photograph
came to my knowledge, and I most definitely do not want to keep being intrigued by it only by myself."

McFly said...

Damn that girl really likes hot dogs. Wonder if she likes dessert?

Anonymous said...

A car weighs around 3,500 pounds a bike weighs around 25 lbs. If I had to be hit by one I think I like my chances better with the bike. Like wildcat grouch machine said, bikes are nothing like cars, so very unfail to treat them equally.

CommieCanuck said...

What the fook are you on aboot? Canadian women have chest hair and talk funny.

significant problems

oh yeah, the transvestite hooker problem in tourist areas.


JLRB said...

" ... the delusional vanity of tight shorts."

First paragraph told me this was worthless bullshit that was going to promote bad vibes towards me on my bikecycle. Who the fuck wears bike shorts because they think they look good? Vanity? I think they look like clown underpants but I put up with the inherent embarrassment and wear them when I feel like it because of the comfort of not having wet cotton creep up my ass crack, not growing new forms of bacteria in my own petri dish, and not having flames erupting between my thighs from friction.

Of course, the opinion piece gets much worse from there.I hope this asshole never enjoys the pleasure of bicycling again. He is not worthy.

Sir Snobby - thank you for once again putting my thoughts into words.

CommieCanuck said...

A car weighs around 3,500 pounds a bike weighs around 25 lbs. If I had to be hit by one I think I like my chances better with the bike.

What about bike ridden by Robs Fords? you didn't think it through.

Freddy Murcks said...

I think I am going to redouble my efforts to leave this fucking country and find employment in The Netherlands. To wit (from the Economist article linked above):

To sum up: in the Netherlands, if a motor vehicle hits a cyclist, the accident is always assumed to have been the driver's fault, not the cyclist's. As explained in this FAQ from the ANWB, the Dutch tourism and car owners' organisation, "the law treats pedestrians and cyclists as weaker participants in traffic... The driver of the motor vehicle is liable for the accident, unless he can prove he was overpowered by circumstances beyond his control (overmacht). The driver must thus prove that none of the blame falls on him, which is extremely difficult in practice."

CommieCanuck said...

Who the fuck wears bike shorts because they think they look good? Vanity? I think they look like clown underpants...

I wouldn't know what clown underpants look like, but my thick chamoise makes me look like I'm riding my menstrual cycle, or I just pooped myself. I wear them because in 30 years I'm planning on pooping myself constantly and this way no one can tell the difference. It's called retirement planning.

Jesse Pinkman said...

How many cyclists and pedestrians have been killed by a bong hit?

Answer =0

How many people die each year from Automobiles?

Answer Tens of Thousands

Yet millions of dollars and gabillions of Police resources go to the "War on Drugs"

We need a War on Killer Cars

mikeweb said...


I appreciate your sentiment, but 'do whatever the fuck I want' is how a big chunk of drivers already behave. And they're the ones piloting 3 ton SUVs and 30 ton dump trucks at higher rates of speeds, and very often over the posted speed limits.

It's ostensibly one of the jobs of public officials and public safety employees to save lives and try to prevent loss of life and limb.

Statistically speaking, of all the users of a typical city's road infrastructure, drivers of motorized vehicles are responsible for pratically all of the loss of life and limb. So it would seem logical to apply almost all of the focus of enforcement of infractions and punishment for those infractions on drivers. The problem is that right now in most U.S. cities this is almost never happening.

Whether or not cyclists - and let's throw pedestrians in there too - obey the letter of the law 100% of the time, drivers will still be responsible for all of the road deaths and maimings.

Sparetherod said...

The Good Lord said, "Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you beat them with an iron pipe".

CommieCanuck said...

To sum up: in the Netherlands, if a motor vehicle hits a cyclist, the accident is always assumed to have been the driver's fault..

+ legal weed
+ wooden clogs look cool
+ canals
- every one talks wit dat accshent.
- no hair on women's chests


I was going about my day by eating my Haribo Fruity Pasta and reading BSNYC only to encounter another article in some “major US newspaper” which blatantly places fault of injury or death upon the victim!

Over the past year I have made it my personal mission to follow traffic laws whilst riding my velocipede. So much so that it would maybe (HOPEFULLY) give this Daniel Duane a HUGE boner due to my due diligence.

Through out my year of following the laws I have encountered innumerous and repeated near misses due to motor vehicle operator negligence and outright lack of attention given to the road.

Well kids, after much thought and deliberation I have made the personal choice to not wear a helmet and will not allow myself to break as many traffic laws as necessary or as I see fit.

Sorry if that rubs you the wrong way, but what else is Santa to do?


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I would add that I will strictly follow the rules when the automobile drivers do the same. For example, unless they have to do it to avoid a collision, drivers never "cease all forward momentum" at Stop signs. We are being held,--not to the same standard,--but to a higher standard.

mikeweb said...


Thanks. Now I know that 'Plan B' really means Plan Brown.


Sadsack said...

That Russian artist dude sure has some balls. Maybe bike dudes should have a similar protest about getting more bike lane bliss happening, just have to hammer out the details.

Anonymous said...

Funniest comment of the day goes to:
Commie at 2:29.

Anonymous said...

With the way things are going in NYC, I was sure that Euro satellite was going to drop out of the sky onto Times Square.

Anonymous said...

Hey, simple midwesterner...thanks for the link, and for showing us what a journalist could do (research) instead of just blowing it out their ass while saying "on the one hand, on the other hand)

I used to think midwesterners were americas canadians, or just californians who hadn't signed a lease yet..thanks


Anonymous said...

Bike Snot hit the nail on the head. Everyone should write to the author of this awful NYTimes piece, Daniel Duane, and tell him how badly he got it wrong:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Yeah - as someone pointed out here, the Daniel Duane article refers to the "vanity of bike shorts."

WHAT? Bike shorts for vanity? What universe is this guy living in? Spandex is the most dorky, unflattering, humiliating thing a person could possibly wear, aside from outfits whose sole purpose is to make others laugh (like a clown or a Halloween costume). And this clown Duane thinks it's worn for vanity? (Then again, I really can't fathom why anyone who's not getting paid would ever wear spandex, so maybe he knows something I don't.)

Anonymous said...


tully monster said...

Yeah, yeah, every once in a while when I'm driving some douch(ette) on a bike will nearly give me a heart attack by, say, veering into my path at a busy intersection, on the wrong side of the street, at night with no headlights, completely oblivious because she's jabbering on her cell phone. But she'd probably be even more dangerous in a car.

JB said...


Anonymous said...

Sitting at a three way near the end of a ride, my way red, and it's pissing down rain. No cars coming, so I ease my way across the intersection. Fat fuck in a pick-up truck rolls down his window to tell me it's a red light. Jesus, what an asshole...

Dooth said...

Are drivers "predictable users of the road who deserve respect?!"

Anonymous said...

Huffiness aside, rule 1 of being the squishy thing in danger of collision is that their attentiveness will save them an oogy feeling while your attentiveness may save your life.

Dash cameras are ubiquitous on cars on other continents because their insurance and liability laws are a disaster for cars. Maybe they should be ubiquitous on bicycles, too. At the least it'd give you better evidence after a crash (if you survive), but if we can catch a few thousand more "accidents" from a first-person perspective then the insurance companies and legislators might wise the fuck up.

trama said...

"drivers vs cyclists"..I know about 50 people who are cyclists. 100% are drivers. discuss.


Anonymous said...

I've always gotten the sense that traffic engineers and planners wait until enough people die at an intersection before they put up a traffic light or no turn on red sign. We could argue all day and night about coming to some agreement but if nothing changes in the physical infrastructure, people will still make bad decisions with large vehicles.

leroy said...

Monday Mini Faux Quiz (for those of us who couldn't get to Philadelphia this weekend):

1. According to my dog, the photograph at the end of today's post demonstrates that

A. Free parking isn't free.
B. Freedom isn't free.
C. The terrorists hate our freedom.
D. NYC still isn't ready for drive through markets.

2. According to the NYT's op ed, drivers are allowed to kill cyclists because:

A. Freedom isn't free.
B. The terrorists hate our freedom.
C. Shit happens.
D. Trick question. The answer is unknowable as demonstrated by the NYT's inability to discuss intelligently.

3. If some cyclists drive cars and some car drivers are also pedestrians, then the NYT's cycling op ed author is

A. Pedestrian.
B. A cyclist, but not an "avid" one.
C. Still not going to get his calls returned by Delia Ephron.
D. Disappointed that the goat with whom he had carnal relations did not earn his respect by dressing in the provocative clothes supplied by the author.

4. A few weeks ago, on a longish ride to Bear Mountain from Brooklyn, I stopped on a back road to chat with a local cyclist about a scenic detour. A passing Chevy Suburban rolled by whose driver exclaimed "That's okay, just take up the whole road." According to my dog, the driver was:

A. Attempting sarcasm, without an understanding of irony.
B. Pedestrian.
C. A terrorist who hates our freedom.
D. Worthy of the NYT's op ed author's attention, but only if the author could dress the driver in the clothing the goat declined.

RoadQueen said...

1. C
2. B
3. C, leaning towards a possible D
4. C

Thanks Leroy! Give your dog a belly scratch for me!

Anonymous said...

I assume all drivers are dangerous whether I am in my car or on my bike. The major difference is, I have some safety devices and metal assisting me in survival in my car. I have a styrofoam head beaner and some stretchy ass material that can't save me from a carpet burn on my bike. So I am on high alert.

And if you ride out here without a rear view mirror and a helmet you might as well be spinning the cylinder on a partially loaded Smith and Wesson. I can say with 100 % assurance that being a cyclist makes you a more courteous driver. Again, out here in the hinterlands. I can't speak for New York.

The most dangerous thing yesterday on my ride, as usual, was a dog. On the loose. I was alerted to it by the owner calling its name louder and louder as it worked its way up through the gears toward my rear wheel. A Doberman. "Kneebone KNEEBONE," the owner cried. (I know, what the fuck? Was she telling it what part of me to collect?). Sigh. But I will take dogs over taxi drivers everyday.

SYSTEMIC said...

T @ 1:34 -

"That light has a weight sensor that only activates for cars. If I obeyed the letter of the law I'd have to sit at that intersection all day waiting for a car to pull up behind me so the light could change."

It's probably an induction loop detector. And the law, at least in Massachusetts, allows you to ignore a malfunctioning traffic device. Call the DPW and have them adjust the sensitivity of the detector.

"Then when I go through a red when there are no cars (which is easy to do since there is another light a block away) I've seen people shake their heads at me, as if I'm some horrible scofflaw."

Doesn't bug me and the drivers of cars who do that don't bother me much either as long as they stop and look both ways first.

Trouble is, both divers and cyclists often miss seeing someone approaching.

mikeweb said...

I think leroy's quiz is a trick:

All the answers are C.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quiz, Leroy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of journalistic standards, I don't think you should be able to use lazy-ass phrases like "the whole car/bike thing" in the New York Times.

Anonymous said...

Send it to the Times

Anonymous said...

It's not right that negroes get lynched. So negroes: stop being so uppity.

You need to understand that you need to get off the road when the white man passes. It is safe to assume that the white man's business is more important than some poor old negro's.

It sad that if a white man kills a negro, no jury will convict. They identify with the white man and realize it could be them one day.

So negroes: know your place and stay in it. That way no one gets hurt and we all live in harmony.

crosspalms said...

Rain here in Chicago is turning to snow. Time for a little holiday cheer? "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the ire is so delightful..."

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th!

LePatron said...

Lucky these guys weren't hit by a cyclist :

Anonymous said...

Forward this NYT article to "I'm only honking at you to let you know I'm back here" guy, and voilĂ  they cancel each other.

CommieCanuck said...

on the camera idea...


Automatically forwards video to your next-of-kin.

Rob said...

Kiss the podium girl and take your bouquet

DW Cykel said...

Thanks Snob! Could not have said it better. Keep up the good work!

mikeweb said...

So, what's happening with Robs Fords? Any new videos come out? Did he have a 'cracking' good weekend?

Anonymous said...

"if I deem it safer to do so"

You aren't the decider. Obey the traffic laws.

Anonymous said...

Just sent my angry email to Daniel Duane.

Thanks mikeweb and Commie for bringing up my favorite people of late: Fords.

You know what I like about the pacing-around-the-dining-room-ranting video?

1) Maybe the person he's referring to is the dead man Anthony Smith, The Guy Fords Put A Hit On (tm).

2) So long as other people and firearms are not involved, the threats are completely benign -- You can walk up and do anything you want to Ford, slap him in the face and call him names, what-have-you, and he can't do shit about it - why? Because all you have to do is run away.

Like not even that far.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

You know what? Fuck that.

Anonymous said...

Damn snob... You need to smoke a doob and relax before your heart explodes..

babble on said...

Anonywrong @1:51. Think again. As a sprinter with a quick start, I've yet to meet a machine that beats me across the street. And furthermore, when it's time to deep-throat somebody's tailpipe, that sure as fuck doesn't mean I'm dreaming of you and your poisonous petrol habit. Stay with the cars where you belong.

Anony-oh-ho-ho-so-right @2:10 - I blame it on my hobbit genes.

CC - lol! Good plan.

Leroy - D! D! D! D! Let's sing a song about D- Everything's D!

Hollando said...

This was magic, thank you.
I pointed to the op-ed when it was published because of the point about the total lack of consequences for drivers who hit cyclists, but was pretty queasy about the proscriptions, and was having trouble explaining why to others in a succinct way.

You've nailed why, and also created a marvelous summary of why I and others will run red lights, etc. if it seems safe to do so.
Thanks for putting it so pithily.

BamaPhred said...

Ooh. Podium girls. Been so long I forgot. Is it to soon to "Sagan"? Thanks for the podium kisses.

I'm with so many other posters on this one. I actually assume the cars are going to kill me so I ride accordingly.


I feel sorry for the goats, thanks for the quiz

rudy jenkins said...

You are the greatest.

Anonymous said...

Hot damn, babble! you're faster off the blocks than a motorbike?

Anonymous said...

"a grown-up writing in the New York Times does not deserve an "A" for "effort" when that effort is fifty percent bullshit."


Welcome to NY Times journalism.

J.C.S said...

That NYT piece reveals how desensitized we've been become to the loss of human life; how we've gradually got to the point of devaluing each other over minor inconveniences. There are too many factors to enumerate that account for this sorry state; but, to me,it all started with the events of 9/11...the existential angst, the anxiety, the vengeful bloodlust. Love could've saved us, but we turned to hate instead.

FR8 said...

Great Post! Another in a long series of illogically argued NYT Op-Ed articles (which apparently stands for editing -optional). It got my wife all fired up, I now have to commute wearing a suit of armor covered in Christmas tree lights.

PDX Fart said...

Gorsh! I feel so provincial out here in Portland. I had no idea NYC cyclists had it so bad. Now I just feel like a pampered brat in comparison. I mean, heck! It seems really dangerous out there.

Oh. . .wait. . .I live in reality. . .where cycling is dangerous, automobile drivers and cyclists are equally delusional when it comes to placing and accepting blame. . .where fixie-humping bike trash consistently take the entire public's safety into their hands when they get on their STUPID FUCKING WASTE OF STEEL bikes. . .where soccer moms in Hummers and dump truck drivers routinely forget they are essentially wielding weapons of mass destruction. . .where everyone on the road - cyclists and drivers alike - demand some idealized respect or some shit that does not actually exist and never will. . .and, where worst of all, cyclists who blindly believe the "rules of the road" don't neatly fit their paradigm of "safety" (such utter bullshit, that).

The only rule that even remotely makes sense is that which states: As a cyclist, assume you are invisible. Since nobody is responsible for you but yourself, living by that rule keeps it all on you and your choices. Grow a fucking pair and take responsibility.

And, to speak specifically to fault, I offer this fictional, but not at all improbable scenario: A driver is traveling 30mph on a road which has a posted speed limit of 30mph. The road is a fairly busy thoroughfare with a broken yellow line and very clearly marked bike lanes on each side. The driver of the car runs over a piece of ubiquitous road shrapnel (equally hazardous to cars and bikes). This causes a tire blowout; the car goes careening across both lanes of the road and atomizes a cyclist traveling in the bike lane on the opposite side. Whose fault? Nobody's. It's not the driver's fault; it's not the cyclist's fault; it's not the police's fault; it's not the city planners' fault; it's not society's fault. It just happens and the only elements at play are that, again, cycling and driving are unsafe.

Finally, Bike Snob NYC, get the fuck off your chain greased soap box on top of a podium on top of a high horse. Grow up and stop blaming others for your hard times - especially some NYT rube who is obviously just as delusional as you are.

Anonymous said...

The driver of the 30 ton truck isn't interested in respect, it's true, he's interested in MONEY. Therein lies the problem.

Personally, I gave up on riding on the road about a year ago...I stick to the trials. Thankfully there's a couple decent ones around here.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

PDX Fart - congrats, you thought up an example where no one's at fault. Except take away the car, and nothing bad happens.

Anonymous said...

I've been getting to know some of the Church Trap crew, and they are truly awesome people. (I'm talking about you,

I don't know what city you're in, so I'm not familiar with the location you're speaking of, but I almost hit a biker doing the same thing in Chicago. I slammed on my brakes and initially felt bad, but when the biker banged on my hood and screamed something nasty as he flew by, I got a little pissed. Because here's the thing: why wasn't he crossing that intersection on the other side of me? I had been sitting at a red light for a few minutes at that point with no option of turning before the light turned green. The light turned green, there were no pedestrians at either corner, so I began my turn. The bike rider definitely had not been sitting at that light with me; that was obvious by the speed he was going. Also, this guy had clearly not been biking on the sidewalk (for one thing, that's illegal in Chicago). So basically he had expected to be treated as a pedestrian even though he was moving *much* faster than any person without preternatural powers can walk.

Who, in your opinion, was in the wrong here? Is the biker's behavior that day generally seen as acceptable in the biking community? If so, please explain the rationalization behind that. (I'm genuinely curious and not attempting snark.) If a biker is riding on the road, should he not pass by a turning car on the side *opposite* to the one the driver is turning? That's what a car driver would have done in that case. So why not a biker?

Anonymous said...

Um, forget about that first paragraph mentioning "Church Trap"; I was cutting and pasting from a notes app. Face palm.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:22:


that was clear as mud.

Slow Factory said...

Mazel Tov! You should be the head of the US Dept of Transportation and Bike League and President of Shimano and Giant Cycles... but then you not be able to ride Air Force One with yourself.

Anonymous said...

When i first started riding (as an adult that is) it was on a beach cruiser and i stayed to the sidewalks. After a couple years of wanting to go faster, i broke down and bought a fredmobile. Since i didnt want to trash my wheels, i left the sidewalk and went into the road. Suddenly i had a lot fewer close calls with cars because the sidewalks here (jacksonville fl that is) are deadly.

The problem being that the suburban sprawl has made demand for every arterial street to be multi-lane and high speed (45 mph and up). Since everything around here requires a car due to the sprawl, everyone drives rather than walk or ride. Obviously sidewalks are never used and so drivers cruise right across them at every side street and driveway, without even thinking to check if there is anyone there.

So when i started riding in the street, i was adamant about following the letter of the law. This leads to drivers doing the standard 50 mph (yeah, you know when youre in a car you do five over too) wizzing past me while im doing maybe 20 on a good day. How the fuck am i gonna survive a rearend collision? Fuck a helment, that shits gonna keep me alive as a veggee.

And so i thought maybe i should try to remember tag numbers of cars that buzz me. But they all pass so damn fast that i dont have time to read them. I didnt even have time to read the bumper number of the cop that was so busy talking on his phone and speeding that he couldnt change lanes and go around! So when i happen to be down town and i see "bike bacon" in their black uniforms on their black mtb's running redlights at night with NO FUCKING G*¥D$©M LIGHTS ON THEIR FUCKING BIKES, what the hell am i suposed to thnk about that?

Nah, bitchis, its a fucking free for all down here in the supposed third most dangerous bike city in the nation (ranked by bicycling magazine)! Fuck this happy duddly fuckin do right horseshit about following the letter of the law! Only way things down here will change is if real infrastructure with cyclist safety in mind, is implimented, instead of a cutesy little "sharow" that will be worn off in six months and just makes uneducated motorists (and cops) believe that my ass needs to leave the lane and "share the road" instead of taking the lane so bubba doesnt try to squeeze past.

So in conclusion i reject this childish op-ed author's fantastical reality and substitute it with my own. I will ride in the lane, with no helmet. When i encounter a stop light i will treat it as a stop sign. When i encounter a stop sign i will treat it as a yield, and roll through at three miles per hour like everyone else (police cruisers included). When a motorist DOES wait until it is safe to go around me, i will wave as a silent "thank you" and continue to expect that same motorist to attempt to take my life. I will educate cyclists and motorists at any prudent opportunity. When i encounter a redlight with a malfunctioning inductive loop, i will contact the city via email and keep careful recorts of my corespondances. I will also be attending the monthly BPAC (Bike and Ped Advisory Committee) meetings to share said corespondances.

I will ride and i will lobby for cyclists rights and safety because two more cyclists died this weekend and it fucking disgusts me.

Joseph Conrad said...

CommieCanuck@200 gets my vote as best comment of the day.

Rob Fords is riding a bike and hits Babble head-on, their both going the same speed. They both fly through the air and hit each other chest to chest (sorry Babs). So 350 pounds hits, shall we say, 120 pounds (do they use pounds in canada, or that metric stuff?). Anyway, if his crack pipe flies out of his mouth and goes down Bab's throat, does that mean Babs has DT'd RF's?. The Horror, the horror.

BSNYC said...

CJ, you're pathetic. Really. You're not going to do anything but hang out in this comments section 24/7 like you've done for the past five years.

PDX Fart said...

O boy, Roille Fingers. Except take away the car, and nothing bad happens. Good point. You really got me there. So, take away all the cars and nothing bad would happen? I think that's a logical progression based on your excellent retort, you might agree. However, take away the cars (and all automobiles by extension, I assume, since you could not possibly allow buses, streetcars, garbage trucks, motorcycles, scooters, step vans, dump trucks, crane rigs, etc. to be exempt from your hypothetical ban) and nothing bad will happen also means A LOT of good won't happen either: People who cannot afford to own and drive cars and don't have adequate access to bicycles or (what I feel should be advocated for more strongly) cycling education won't have a way to get to work because there are no buses. For that matter, those of us who choose to take the bus for other, less economically critical reasons won't be able to get to work either. In fact, that might even be someone who relies on the bus to get to their job at the local boutique coffee shop where, likely, you are a frequent patron. You will then have to wait a little longer to get your coffee. . .or is it tea you drink?. O my. . .first world problems.

Not to mention that taking cars and other automobiles away would make the critical process of delivering blood and organs to hospitals prohibitive. We're talking lives, here Roille.

Also, how are you going to get that rare French threaded bottom bracket you ordered on eBay that needs to be shipped from one of your cycling apologist compatriots in the Netherlands if there are no UPS, FedEx, or USPS trucks and vans to deliver it?

Ambulances? C'mon.

See where I'm going here? Yes, you do - I will give you that much credit. But, no credit for something as incredibly backward and ill advised as removing cars from the roads. Plus, what will the apologists have to complain about anymore? *sigh* I'm sure they'll find something.

Finally, how dare you trivialize the great name of Rollie Fingers? Shame on you.

Al Pacino said...

Leroy's Dog is damn good with these quizzes. He should freelance his services out to Snob to produce a once a week quiz. Published, say on Fridays? He could call it Dog Day Afternoon.

Cabana on the Beach said...

"Thongs in Rio" Why do I suspect that Snobs next junket will be to Rio? Hint, it's summer down there when it's winter up here.

2014 World Cup TV shots of the beaches are going to be a hoot. It's not popcorn for the eyes down there. It's an uncountable number of popped kernels for the eyes.

Anonymous said...

I have also sent my email to mr. Duane (

"Dude, I was nearly killed JUST YESTERDAY by riding in a designated, clearly marked bike lane. I have been buzzed by countless speeding cars, several of them police cruisers, with reckless abandon. I have seen my city's bike police force wearing their black uniforms, riding their black bikes at night with no lights or reflectors. And you want me to follow the letter of the law. Have you ever even ridden a bicycle? One without training wheels that is? Fuck your opinion. Next time keep it to yourself, dipshit."

See? That wasnt that har was it?

Anonymous said...


Would you like to be awakened from your dream of a perfect world where cycling has no consequences when it arrives? Or, would you prefer to remain asleep where the dream is always better than reality?

Let me know, I'll set my my Campagnolo novelty alarm clock for you.

jellyfishsalad71 said...

Excellent post Bike Snob. Similar cycling environment and same issues here in Oz. Ie not much bike infrastructure and plenty of anti-bike sentiment from many in the media and many (non-cycling) motorists. (i got told by one motorist that it was irrational for me to ride on the road the other day and that i deserved to be killed/injured) That said there are increasing numbers of bikes on the road so i will keep riding and keep hoping that together we are heading in a more positive direction.

SUVPREY said...

The vision of Bab's quads and calves flexing as she pushes hard off the line would no doubt have compromised the driving capabilities of Vancouver's fat urbanite commuters in their Ford Ejaculades.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. Anon 7:35 --

That didn't even make sense as an insult.

You might consider switching to de-caf.

Dear Mr. Anon 7:17 --

That made sense as an insult.

But that definitely militates in favor of switching to de-caf.

Dear Mr. PDX Fart --

You live in Portland and reality?

Honestly, what a waste of good Portland.

DerZoots said...

Oh no.
CJ everywhere!

You people see CJ in every comment you don't like. It's a regular CJ oasis around here.

RObotConfusionScheme: 82 embasket

LK said...

You sent that as a letter to the editor, right? You're not just speaking to the choir.

Anonymous said...

bikesnob you so elegantly put what was so frustrating to me about that article into real words

you've submitted it as your op-ed right?

Kenny McCarthy said...

Excellent post. Been riding for almost 40 years and the times I've been buzzed by a 2-ton vehicle 3 feet from my head way, way, way outweighs the times I seen a cyclist blast through an intersection.

Pistil Pete said...

I AM the decider . Fuck You

McFly said...

Blog Drafter, you took the single track right out of my mouth. Although roading in the Western Quadrant of Tenn is fairly safe. We made a pretty sweet trail in the woods in the city park Sunday USING A DAMN PUSH MOWER. It actually worked great. TRAILS!

Anonymous said...

Well said, mister. I agree there should be equality in both opportunity and consequences.

That idiot that posted about "reality" must live in bizarro Portland. I live and cycle in Portland, and I don't imagine it's any different than anywhere else no matter what anyone says about it.

Sadly, I have witnessed bike vs car incidents of varying degrees on several occasions and have been doored a couple times myself. Fortunately, in a way, the response from involved parties, witnesses, law enforcement and the local media have been somewhat favorable toward the cyclists. Now, I don't for a moment accept that as the rule but it does give me hope.

I can't even imagine what it's like to commute by bike in a city the size of NYC; it probably makes Portland look like a nature trail.

Anyhow, way to stick it to thy ignoramuses out there. I'm glad there are voices like yours out there.

Anonymous said...

If there's no justice in the criminal courts, there's always civil court. Just ask OJ Simpson.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

Anonymous said...

You, sir, are right on the money. The whole notion of 'equality of road rules', when cars and bicycles are totally different, is the one that really riles me.

Anonymous said...

Some duders on a group ride in Southern California got the bright idea to take the lane on Pacific Coast Highway one weekend morning between Santa Monica and Malibu and the CHP pulled the group over and issued a ticket.

For what exactly? Not sure as California law is clear that taking the lane behaviour is legal.

Most of this link is a waste of time, but for the first paragraph.

Old media wonders why they lose their audience by the 1000's every month and then they publish this garbage.
Don't reward the NYT for that trash by linking to it.

Robot stack failure

Jackie said...

Thank you for writing this blog and dissecting that stupid article. I read that article and as a biker I was extremely uncomfortable about it. I agree with you about red lights and sharing the road. I was waiting on a red light patiently when I was hit by a speeding car that cut the corner and crushed my tibia. I will never just stand there like a dumb ass waiting on a light again. A bicyclist has the get out the way as soon as they can just like you described.

Anonymous said...

"'Most online comments fall into two camps: cyclists outraged at inattentive drivers and wondering why cops don’t care; drivers furious at cyclists for clogging roads and flouting traffic laws.'

"Awful, of course. His conclusion?

"'My own view is that everybody’s a little right and that we’re at a scary cultural crossroads on the whole car/bike thing.'

"'Everybody's a little right?' You should be starting to get a little bit uncomfortable at this point. Drivers are 'a little right' to be 'furious at cyclists for clogging roads?'"

Are you being deliberately obtuse? I can't speak for drivers, but as a pedestrian in NYC, I completely understand being "furious at cyclists for flouting traffic laws." Actually, "furious at cyclists" is putting it mildly. On the rare occasions I see a cyclist who is riding responsibly, I am always pleasantly surprised. I would very much love to be on the side of cyclists (for all the environmental reasons you mentioned); but the vast majority of them here in NYC are so reckless and dangerous I'm left hating them with a seething passion.

Anonymous said...


leroy said...

Dear Mr. Anon 11:59 - -

My dog assures me that folks have to meet me in order to hate me with a seething passion.

He also wanted me to ask you if you were being accidentally obtuse.

But I just think he's being acute.

Anonymous said...

More information required.
1. Were you indicating your turn or was the cyclist supposed to read your mind? If you didnt indicate then its your fault.
2. Was there a marked shoulder on the road ... a solid or dotted line? If so, were you intending crossing the line? If you were crossing a line then, again it's your fault for not giving way ... same as changing lanes.
My general feeling, assuming things actualy went down as you described, is the cyclist overreacted. I personally wouldnt put myself in that position, or if i did i wouldnt bother banging on your roof. I have so many cagers do stupid stuff near me every day that im kind of numb to it all now.
However, where I come from, it isn't illegal to slip down the side of stationary or slow moving traffic .. unless the car is indicating a turn .. so, again, if you didnt indicate then they didnt do anything wrong....

Anonymous said...

I thought Daniel Duane's article was well-presented. He wasn't writing just for hard-core cyclists. He was appealing to everyone on the road: cyclists, motorists, peds, or any combo thereof. I totally get what Bike SnobNYC is arguing. But, you ALL sound like a bunch of sophomoric kids who got into their daddys' testosterone stashes; all waiting for the other guy to blink first. Cooperation HAS to start somewhere. We're talking about saving life & limb here. No group of people is ever going to be 100% compliant in anything in life. Therefore, bite the proverbial bullet and, whether you're on your bike or in your car, just follow the law. I've done so all my life. It's very easy, non-stressful & it's the right thing to do. Change doesn't happen overnight. Saying "Drivers don't follow the law (a gross generalization), therefore, why should I?!", is like telling your folks, "But everyone is doing it, so why can't I?" which your folks always replied," If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you?" If a driver is driving like an idiot, why would you want to compound the problem by doing the same? Now THAT is nonsensical. Ride defensively & live to ride again tomorrow. The world is full of idiots, but no amount of ranting, cussing or tit-for-tatting is ever going to make all of them disappear.

As for Mr. Duane's comments regarding vanity & lycra shorts: believe you all missed his point. He didn't mean cyclists wear them out of vanity. He seemed to be saying that one of his reasons for taking up cycling again was his own vanity... hoping he could, once again, be slim & fit enough to wear them without being self-conscious about it.

My recommendations: cut the guy some slack
as his intentions were good; relax, enjoy your ride, be attentive, maybe try a safer route during peak traffic hours; GROW UP because as you get older, with more responsibilities, riding to spite drivers is not smart, could be deadly & does perpetuate the animosity between drivers & cyclists.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


tonytonika said...

Top ten fosho~~~

Unknown said...

You need a chill pill...

ce said...

leroy, there is nothing acute about your dog, he's an ugly little mutt.

CommieCanuck, I'm not sure what his stance on bicycle infrastructure was, but I would like to nominate hunger striking, drug cartel defying and recently assassinated Mayor Ygnacio Lopez Mendoza as The Antithesis of Rob Ford.

McFly said...

"'Most online comments fall into two camps: cyclists outraged at inattentive drivers and wondering why cops don’t care; drivers furious at cyclists for clogging roads and flouting traffic laws.'

You forgot about Camp #3: Titty Tuesday.

McFly said...

Is it possible that Vaginal Shoreline washed its' foamy spray upon this innocent seat?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry guys but isn't the point of this article to get a rise from everyone reading it? Same as BSNYC? Get it yet? The only problem i see between the two points of view is the smell of Kool Aid around here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Babble, I was referring more to the general commuting population (you know, the ones with the squeaky left crank, single pannier and bad attitude) rather than dissing your quickness from the blocks. I cycle if I'm around town but work out of it and it's a bit of a grim cycle, hence the motorised version; equally vulnerable to 4-wheeled twattery.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Babble I come out the hole pretty hard myself.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. ce --

My dog was very insulted. No one's ever called him little.

I assured him you probably just missed the obtuse angle/acute angle angle.

Or you have an Italian accent.

He was of course inconsolable until I told him he could borrow the karaoke machine for his buddies' poker night this evening.

Looks like I'll be doing Aqua's Barbie Girl.

That always cheers him up.

You'd think after the fourth time it would get old.

Southerner said...

You missed the Wall Street Journal's take on the bike lanes on King St in Alexandria, oh Mr Snob. The article is so stupid that poking holes in it ought to be easy but I'd like to see your acerbic take on it.

vanity of bike shorts said...




JLRB said...

Anon at 2:09 - there is wisdom in what you say, but I don't give so much credit to someone who presents his view in such a slanted article, with a baiting title. Maybe I'll go along with giving him some slack if he writes a few companion pireces - "Is it OK to cut the throat of a driver who is texting and endangering everyone around them?" "Do I get to take a lead pipe to the driver who swerved into my lane - crossing a solid white line to save a few seconds getting to work, and resulting in broken bones in my body that will never fully heal?"

The "scourge" of bicyclists is nothing compared with the dangerous bull shit I see car drivers doing every day (like this morning - the guy working his iPad while driving on the Chain Bridge - MORON). Yet Daniel Duan chooses to write a "well presented" piece that scolds bicyclists to follow the law? Why? Do you think he would get paid to tell people to be better drivers? He is playing to the masses and fanning the anti-bike flames.

JLRB said...

And the commentards on the Economist page - so many presume bikes are not carbon friendly because the people on bikes would probably take the bus or walk if they weren't on bikes? That is twisted.

it's all about pace said...

you nailed it. thanks.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

-"You forgot about Camp #3: Titty Tuesday."

Now that's a refreshing comment.

Eddie F said...

Your article is true but foul language is unnecessary to get your point across. Also putting my Gods name in vain is not appreciative at all. You want respect then show respect. Jesus Christ loves you and you can come to Him as you are...

Gomer Pyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gomer Pyle said...

A gem from North Carolina today:

"Let me start with a disclaimer: I am no fan of the car culture. I use buses, trains and my feet, as well as my car. And I’m a fair-weather bicyclist who sticks to routes with little traffic.


There's always a but.

Read more here:

Chris Bonner said...

Goddamn snob. I saw this article, and I wasn't expecting quite this take on it. I love you when you're angry.

The Dane said...

2007 was not that long ago

that is when these idiots rode their bikes through NYC making many people
hate them, the memory might be buried in the back of their minds but the anger is still there and NYC cyclists wonder why all the hate?

Insane NYC Bicycle dinks

Andria said...


leroy said...

Dear Mr. The Dane --

Why yes, it makes perfect sense to hate all cyclists because there was a 2007 video on the interwebs of a small group of dopes.

That must explain America's never-ending fascination with Burt Reynolds' Smokey and the Bandit franchise.

Honestly, the scenes between him and Sally Field were magic.

Of course, I have a friend who swears that nothing beats "All Dogs Go To Heaven," even though he's not in any rush to find out.

Eric_WVGG said...

I’m reminded of what our Driver’s Ed teacher had to say about rear-end collisions: The guy who hits the car ahead of him is always at fault.

“What if the driver ahead stops too fast?”

Then the driver behind was too close, and the collision is his fault.

“What if the driver ahead just stops for the hell of it, to deliberately cause the accident?”

Then the driver behind was too close and it’s his fault.

“What if the driver ahead drops dead, an act of god?”

Then the driver behind was driving too close and it’s his fault.


Anonymous said...

The constant tendency to try to be fair in all things doesn't work when the equation is human +20 lbs vs human + 4000 lbs.

Action pic machines coming to eat mankind don't need a kind word from the endangered humans they want to destroy. Nor does the texting/dialing/unaware driver who has some kind of congenital blind spot.

Khal said...

Daniel Duane started out with some good points, but he seems to be a little too defensive about bicycling. As Snob says, show me a major arterial or expressway clogged by bicyclists (and yes, I lived on L.I. for 11 years and was quite familiar with the World's Longest Parking Log). Motorists not only cause as many crashes as cyclists, but are no more likely to be law abiding vehicle operators, all the while driving lethal weapons of two tons or more.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janokegs said...

Love your passion. Did you help create the Motherfucking Bike vid?

scrosby said...

The best piece I've read this year. Angry mode is even better than default snark mode.

"Being freaked out by cycling in San Francisco is like being freaked out by sushi in Japan."


-SC, Bernal Heights

mander said...

Can I just say? Awesome post!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Go fuck yourself. You should absolutely fucking obey every law of the road you fucking asshat, and if you don't, you ARE the problem.

cleeland said...

Spot. On.

And I'm not a robot, but I'll be damned if I can read that friggin' captcha.

David Conrad said...

Am I wrong or is it always someone "anonymous" who leaves a message like "you'll get what you deserve!!" if you don't obey every traffic law?
Hoods over their faces, fleeing crimes.
Here's a test.
If everyone who drove a car had a car that fell over every time they stopped it and had to be pushed back into motion, I wonder what the traffic laws would look like.
much love bike man you rock

Mendocino said...

A-fucking-men! I'm sick and tired of being a good little bike ambassador and then getting run off the road and road-raged on anyway.

Curt said...


CW said...

I feel so understood (snif). But you're right: it needed to be said. As legislatively convenient as the status quo may be, when traffic laws reflect the truth that cyclists are not the same as cars and need different rules, I'll "share the road" when enforcement makes motorists as frightened to hit a cyclist/pedestrian as such are of being hit. Share it all.

Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and run a company called Pedal To The People. I was a bike courier here for three winters and can say I've changed up my style a bit. I obey when common sense rules, but had a thought today while riding...

That is, when I stopped and thought about what's behind the wheel of whatever car, truck, semi, the fear of the zoo out there goes away, cause it's just another human being. The semi never ran over that biker that got doored, it was the man not thinking. I can tell so much about a person simply by the way they drive. I drive once in awhile. It's not fun! You really have to pay attention and go slow. It's just ridiculous how uncaring a lot of people are. But hey, Life is good, Right?

Most of our customers will not ride in the winter because it's too cold. But the two biggest reasons are 1. Fear of cars 2. It's too much work.

I've been on a mission to solve the second one,
but the first one, the number one god damn reason is something out of my control.

I'm lucky to be alive, but it's exhausting, depressing when I think of all the work there is to be done to lure people out of their cars without sounding like a fucking life coach.

I only started riding a bike because it was fun.

Unknown said...

Great entry snob, I was definitely pumped up after reading this.

Anonymous said...

Cars are totally awesome. I can get in a car right after I finish this post, put on some music, and drive to the store and get some beef jerky or go visit my sister in Texas or, if I want to, go to Patagonia. I don't have to ask anyone, I don't have to make reservations, I just go. And I can buy a car big enough to sleep is and carry all my crap and a car that can travel over just about any kind of conditions. Plus I can go really really fast, which is wicked fun, all the time listening to my favorite music so that it seems like I'm in a movie.

Cars are one of the coolest inventions ever. People love cars with good reason. They are not going away.

Glen T said...

Hey anonymous,

Maybe you don't realise that in many other countries you could write much the same thing you did about driving a car but about catching the train.

The only reason you need to drive to the store for your jerky is that the car has made the corner store redundant. In places where people still walk you don't need to walk more than ten minutes to get to a store.

Don't get me wrong. Cars are a great invention. But they're selling efficient time use as much as they are transportation. If that time efficiency falls -- such through congestion -- then cars become less and less attractive to use.

I think cars might very well end up going away in those places. If you live in a city just think about the amount of land you are paying for just to park the thing. For many city dwellers that car park is larger than their largest living room.

Anonymous said...

people suck, they drive cars and they ride bikes. the only way to see this for what it is, would be too look at every individual situation and measure up the fault. i live near a city and have rode bikes my whole life,seeing people struck by cars on many occasions. to blame nothing but the driver, would just be lying to my self and protecting those, who make bad life choices that reflect the rest of us. now an example of both. gentlemen #1 was an idiot. this man was ridding at a high rate of speed down a bike path (rails to trails) and blew threw a major intersection with his head down getting hit by a car in the process. now the trail had a marked stop sign since we came from out of the woods and blocked in view by all approaching drivers. (this intersection could have been made better true how ever this one was marked to stop and warned that a dangerous blind intersection is ahead.)there were many others stopped waiting for traffic to clear. He blindly through cosh into the wind and regretted the 10 seconds he was trying to save when he was struck by a car. for what he didnt want to obey

now person #2 was peddling there bike down a city street. when some asshole coming out of an alley, didnt think it would be a big deal, to fly up to the main road. gouging his front half of his car, out of the alley way and into the roadway. without looking and right in front of a cyclist, T-boning the young man on the bike. Totally the Car's driver's fault. what an asshole! the man on the bike had the right of way, was in the lane of travel well b4 the asshole in the car, was even up the alley. luckly, the man walked away from the incident with only cuts and bruises.

#3 was a person riding with the flow of traffic with their head down looking at the top tube. the person briefly looked up as they approached the intersection. at the time the rider was about 50 yards from the intersection and when they looked up the light was green. soon as they put their head back to looking at the ground, the light turned yellow, then red. several cars had stopped at the stop line. this fucking retard on the bike never looked back up again and slammed into the back of a station wagon. this rider was as fucking idiot. when will we realize we are all people and PEOPLE make bad choices all the time no matter what social or physical clique the belong too. WE ALL NEED TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES.

alan said...

a more measured response to the Times piece would have been more effective such as this article from the Economist. Ranting turns a lot of people off. have a decaf the next time you drink coffee.

Jonathan Murray said...

Thank you for a good response to that NYT article.

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