Friday, April 17, 2015

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Yesterday afternoon I test-rode the new bike around the neighborhood, and so far all signs point to "yes:"

For those of you who had questions about price, when you reach my level of wealth you just throw fistfuls of money at people until they shut up, but I'm fairly sure it's all on the Milwaukee/Ben's Cycle website.

Seems like a good deal to me on a steel frame made by Waterford.

Anyway, Saturday's weather looks like it will be very favorable for the riding of the bicycles, so I'll report back after I've finally taken it for a "real" spin.

Speaking of the riding of the bicycles, New Yorkers are now doing it in record numbers, and the latest figures (warning: PDF) show that 2014 was the biggest year for cycling in New York City like E-VAH!

Here are the same statistics in a more prosaic table form if you're into that sort of thing:

This is all great.  But unfortunately, as far as I can tell, these statistics don't include more "outlying" areas, as they focus mainly on trips to and from downtown Manhattan.  Therefore, if I'm not mistaken, people like me who do most of our riding in "Upstate New York City" or other parts of town effectively don't exist.  And I'm not talking about "stretchy clothes" riding, which really doesn't count.  Take Tuesday for example, when I rode my bike down to the Bronx County Courthouse to answer a jury summons.  Statistically, it never happened, but I'd like the DOT to know it did, because I'm not the only one who uses a bike for transportation without entering Manhattan.  (Though to their credit it sounds like they plan to address the Harlem River Crossings, and supposedly there's a new greenway in the offing.)

Now that cycling into downtown Manhattan is like a thousand times better, I'd love it if the DOT would encourage bike use "further out" by making it easier to ride to subway stations and other transportation hubs.  For some reason people in New York City and the nearby suburbs have a mental block when it comes to riding bikes to trains.  Interestingly, if you're more than a half-mile from a subway station you're considered "far from the train" by New York City standards, even though that's only like five minutes on a crappy bike--hardly enough to break a sweat, much less require any special equipment or bike-specific luggage or rain gear or the dreaded "changing your clothes at work" that many people rightly find off-putting.

I dunno, call me crazy, but why not put a shitload of bike racks near the last stop on every subway line and a protected bike lane or two leading there?

(I know, because they might have to GET RID OF SOME PARKING SPOTS OH MY GOD THE HORROR!!!)

And while I'm on the subject of cycling in New York City (have you checked the name of the goddamn blog lately?) a commenter recently emailed to tell me of his well-meaning yet predictably futile efforts to have this thing removed from the Hudson River Greenway:

These, by the way, are a staple of New York City's greenways for some reason, and you can even see them in my spectacularly entertaining Brooks blog post from not too long ago:


In any case, while I wasn't surprised to learn nobody he called seemed to give much of a shit, I was a bit distressed that emergency services were completely unaware of the greenway's existence:

After that, and still pointing it out to passersby, I called 911.  I ended up in NJ 911 because 911 positions via satellite, and the satellite said I was in Jersey.  I got transferred to NY, and then transferred a few times within NY 911 because they also had a hard time understanding what the problem was and where I was.  I was told that they would send somebody out and I could leave.  I said I'd stay because somebody could get hurt badly.  Dumb move.  911 did call me back once during my stay and asked me if I meant to say Riverside drive.  I said no, the greenway, and once again they said "what is that, a highway?" It had started to get dark, and I began to doubt that what I was doing had any worth.  Some people thanked me, some asked if I had hurt myself on it.  Many just looked at me like I was crazy.  One lady also seemed frightened of me because I looked like a terrorist, maybe, when I was planting my ill fashioned warning flag.

This raises an important philosophical question:

If a Fred falls on the greenway, is there anybody to treat him?

The answer, it seems, is "What the hell is a 'greenway?'"

The city really should have an entire department devoted entirely to bicycles, and I have a pretty good idea of who should run it:

Just kidding, I'm talking about myself.  They really ought to make me New York City Bicycle Czar For Life.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right then good, and if you're wrong you'll see MTB Mom.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and avoid those greenway stubs.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

(He does look like a Stanley.  Then again, so do all Brits.)

1) Tickets to Bradley "Stanley" Wiggins's upcoming hour record attempt sold out in:

--Seven hours
--Seven minutes
--They are still available
--Trick question, Wiggins already tried and failed to beat the hour record

2) What's the best way to introduce a dog to cycling?

--Treats and praise
--Start with some treadmill time and then transition to outdoor rides
--Sign dog up for a Strava account
--Don't.  Would it kill you to leave the goddamn dog at home for chrissakes?

3) What is a "free range" family?

--A euphemism for homeless
--A family that allows its children to walk outside

4) What is a "Babel Bike?"

--A semi-recumbent with a roll cage and seatbelt
--A smartphone translator app designed for international cycle tourists
--An archeological artifact which suggests that the ancient Mesopotamians may have ridden bicycles
--A "barbell bike" as pronounced by an Australian

5) Incredibly, the bicycle periscope has been funded.


6) What is Shermer's Neck?

--An upscale community on the north shore of Long Island
--An affliction RAAM freaks get which must be treated at Home Depot
--An affliction caused by attempting auto-fellatio
--A rare and coveted form of double-jointedness that permits auto-fellatio

(Yet she predates the pennyfarthing.)

7) Those damn cyclists never stop for traffic signals.


***Special "We Already Knew You Didn't Care, But It's Oddly Comforting To Hear You Admit It"--Themed Bonus News Item***

Watch it here:

I particularly enjoyed this part:

"I feel pretty safe."

Well you're certainly not dressed like someone who feels safe.

(That's not a dig at the cyclist, that's a dig at America.)


groanhammer said...

poddy potty

Paul Kirby said...


Just kidding said...

What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are YOU on?

Anonymous said...


LX said...

the more wonderful than you can believe it

Jonh smith said...

Ahhhh missed the dani pudi again.

Anonymous said...



felix said...


FR8 said...

With a saddle that high in relation to your handlebars you may need a periscope.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Rounding out the top ten on a late post.

BikeSnobNYC said...


More like I might need a parachute to stop me BECAUSE I'M SO FAST!!!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Hee Haw the Barista said...

How many credits at NYU does this quiz give me?

I think I answered some write.

Comment deleted said...

Yeah, I was going to say that's not a very middle-aged saddle/bar configuration. Clearly Snobbie is contemplating a cat3 comeback with his new steed.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice graphage bro.

Anonymous said...

Can a table of numbers be at all prosaic?

balls™ said...

It's not commuting if you don't have a job.

Does NYC really not have a bicycle group in city government? Even ATX has a bicycle task force. Texas. Let that sink in.

Anonymous said...

the bike count thing doesn't catch my daily commute either as I come from uptown to midtown and don't take the greenway. Don't think it is supposed to capture every ride, which would be impossible just more of a sample at popular crossing points to see if there is a trend and clearly there is, more people are riding which is good. Can people who use the greenway please slow down a little, it is a pretty heavily trafficked area with walkers, kids, etc and not meant to be for fast riding unless you are using it during off times. I never use it for that very reason, but I do run on it occasionally and shocked by the number of idiots who ride dangerously at full speed. If you want to do that, do it in the street only a clueless idiot uses the greenway for training rides during peak hours. fyi I live next to it and never use it unless I'm just cruising back and forth to work or riding during low traffic times, e.g. weekdays in the winter. don't be a fucking dick.

Electric Tape on The Seat Post said...

”With a saddle that high in relation to your handlebars you may need a periscope.”
This photo from yesterday shows the saddle one brick (4, maybe 5 inches) above the top of her handle bars. Pretty reasonable if you are trying to be fast enough to get out of your own way. Not sure if today’s photo has the saddle higher, of the camera angle make it look that way.

”…when you reach my level of wealth you just throw fistfuls of money at people…”
How many more fistfuls would it take to get a proper number of spokes?

bad boy of the north said...

czar snob has a nice ring to it.hey,bmx mom must've lost the kid riding in back.must've been going at woo hoo hoo hoo speed,

BikeSnobNYC said...

Electric Tape,

Saddle height was not adjusted yesterday, it's closer to final position today.

Don't worry about the wheels, I have various 32-spoke pairs that have been in service for years ready and waiting.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Did not know that Waterford made the frames for MB. That's cool. Have a nice ride on it.

Anonymous said...

beautiful bike wcrm!

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

I think another reason for decreased bike rackage is that people will lay claim to them and just keep their bikes there. Or their locks, or like some of the lockup points on 40th between Madison + 5th, homeless folk shopping carts and other items like a prized milk box.


Riding down 2nd and about 18th, this woman is lazer focused on her stupid-fone, standing off the corner smack in the middle of the bike lane. I am doing about 20 mph and move over a bit. I ring my brass bell from half the block away and as approaching. She is startled as I pass through the green light with my deluxe size personage, generating decent wake turbulence. She starts to yell + scream because she is confronted with the truth of the error of her ways (she's convinced I did something wrong). Not being a soft speaker I answer her in kind and I'm sure they hear us at the Police Academy 2 blocks away.
I have fucking had it. I U-turn and just start a tirade. She starts marching toward me then says fuk you I have to go to work or something and turns away.
Next time it's the messenger bag joust. It's all my fault anyway right?

2 days ago, I'm on 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge when a taxi, waiting at the stop sign, pauses, looks straight at me, then,... then, ... goes just as I'm THIS close. I chase him down and yell at him, just a block away from the 68th Precinct. His expression being either one of fear or shock that I could catch him at the red light.

I know this is all trivial crap. I'm just getting so sick of it.
The bike ride to work is the best way to keep the weight off.
I gotta keep some rebar handy.


Anonymous said...


bad boy of the north said...

vsk-be careful using might hurt your wrist.

PotbellyJoe said...

I hear free-range children are healthier and less likely to be full of antibiotics.

Reason #458 that i don't want to live in Maryland.

#457 is their predilection for Miller Lite.

Buffalo Bill said...

MTB mom is awesome.

Flyover BC said...

"It had started to get dark, and I began to doubt that what I was doing had any worth. Some people thanked me, some asked if I had hurt myself on it. Many just looked at me like I was crazy. One lady also seemed frightened of me because I looked like a terrorist, maybe, when I was planting my ill fashioned warning flag."

Apparently , Ya'll got plenty of free range idjits in NYC?

I'm sure he's destined to be a tort lawyer, if not already.

Flyover BC said...

Excuse my free-range typing and punctuation.

grog said...

Thus Spoke Czar of Thru Street
I would vote for Snob Czar and Recumbabe Vice-Czar.

Schisthead said...

"Various 32 spoke pairs"?

You're still four short of full retro-grouchitude.

Of course, if you weigh a buck twenty like MTB mom, you're probably riding stairs on those 20 spoke wheels... but WAY FASTER, because 20 spokes is lighter AND more aerodynamic than 32.

1983 David Byrne said...

Cool, baby! Strange but not a stranger.

2014 David Byrne said...

Am I not an attraction?

BamaPhred said...

Enjoyed the quiz.

Leroy's dog will have something to say about being left home.

Have a nice weekend, etc.

And of course, the obligatory Scranus!

leroy said...

This is why leaving my dog home alone is a poor choice.

This is my dog's response to Question No. 2.

Ride safe all!

High Plains Shifter said...

I like the saddle height. After all, it is a conveyance.

crosspalms said...

I hope MTB Mom takes a different route on the way home.

Anonymous said...

MTB and BMX moms are GOING TO DIE!!!! Without helments and all.

The Uninformed Commentariat said...

S(n)ob -

Regarding your new bike: the seat is too far forward, the stem is too long (goofy tiller effect), and I suspect that the bars are too wide for your diminutive frame. Next time, try buying a bike that actually fits instead of making make-do adjustments to a missized frame. Nice color, however. (at least you got something right.)

The Uninformed Commentariat

crosspalms said...

Well I still think it's a good-looking bike. I don't see the dial for dialing in the fit, though. Didn't you spring for one?

babble on said...

Holy carp, Batman! MTB moms live on the very top of the world! Must be a bitch getting back up that hill with JR in tow. But even so. Yeowza can dem girls go down!

VSK - I hear you. A woman walked right in front of me yesterday, phone in face. I said "OI!!" And she looked up, startled, and stopped just in the knick of time. I said "Just look the fuck up from your phone before you step into traffic next time," and she said "Well they should have a stop sign for you bikers there anyway," even though it was THE MIDDLE OF THE BLOCK!! Fucking eejits abound. Where's Darwin when you need him?

Roger Kummert said...

Snob: I watched the MTB mom video but not to the end. Since they were not wearing helmets I figured they die before the end and I did not want to ruin my weekend by viewing their violent and gruesome deaths.

Alan said...

Once I tried to 311 the expansion joint at the north end of the Hudson River Greenway, after it caught my wheel and almost made me eat shit.

It was impossible to locate on the 311 mapping tool, and when a guy from the city called me to talk, he basically said, "I know it's no good when government calls and says that's not my job, but that's not my job."

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...


NFL grade shoulder pads, a good head of steam and a level back, and the fartsmone addicks will never know what hit them. You might as well take them out, you were on a bike, you were in the wrong anyway!

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Bad Boy of the North,
True, but I think rebar in an old Topeak frame pump is crying for a kickstarter market thing or whatever.

Ms. Babble, this is such common Washington comPost commenter behaviour. Ped's head buried in phone sucking on their sense of entitlment because everything must stop for them. I wonder if they get mad when trains and buses pass. It seems as if she was ...Jaywalking!


annonymous of April 17, 2015 at 1:24 PM,
I can't speak for the gofast freddy strava crowd but, when you use the bike for transportation, you want to go faster than walking.
Where there is a designated cycle path, free of cars, we will keep off the sidewalk or pedestrian path. Pedestrians should stay clear of the bike path, just like railroad tracks, highways, runways, ski slopes, etc...

It's just spring after a long winter. I'll be back to not giving a shit soon I guess.


K-Bo said...

Cheer up dude! The problem with being smart and able is that everyone else is slow and dumb.

bad boy of the north said...

vsk..maybe we can use a cowcatcher system like the railroad locomotives of old.

bad boy of the north said...

there are ideas already out there for cowcatchers for the even has a chainsaw.

Anonymous said...

Those kid's seats rattle horribly down stairs without the kid in them. I don't try jumps, but really, stairs aren't a problem with child. The trick is to check the mounting bolts frequently.

babble on said...

I was so dumbfounded at her that I stopped and engaged. Silly, because like with the Washington Post's commenters, there is no way they will ever see the light. And she was intent on blaming me for anything and everything under the sun, too, even though her companion said "Well, you did step out right in front of her!" But she was all "You goddam bikers are so self righteous and entitled, you never stop for lights and you think the whole world owes you!" and on and on and on...

Probably shoulda just hit her, except that I would have ended up flat on my arse, too, and the last thing I need is another big-ass bruise. My left cheek still has a nasty hematoma which my doctor keeps threatening to jab with a needle and drain. (Shudder)

So I dunno. Maybe rebar is a(N??!) useful idea. (Is it "an" useful idea? Sounds stupid though. My brain thinks it should be "a" useful, not "an" useful. Things that make you go "Hmmmmm....")

ken e. said...

love the mtb mom video!

babble on said...

Oh dear... you already examined the half bike, didn't you, snobbydoobydoo? It looks painfully familiar.

Dave said...

I once hit one of those empty short pipes with the missing bollard on a local bike path. Although I was moving slowly, I crashed on my arms and head and flatted both tires and had to limp home. Can you guess who cared?

governmental entities - no
nearby park users - no
wife - no
kids - no
total set of human beings who are not me - no.

So there's just not much point in mentioning it to anybody. Death, taxes, campaign finance, and bad design.

Old-timer said...

Babble, how about this: “…an idea that is useful”.

bieks said...

Holy crap! I thought I had some nasty hills on my commute. MTB Mom's got me beat. Glad they didn't show the next 20 minutes of her ride. zzz.

Bike4pizza said...

56!!!!!!! Bottom of the podium!!

I just read a majority of the comments of your Washington post article. God. Why would I do such an idiotic thing....

It's an absolutely beautiful day and it's now ruined.

For the reminder I dont believe in God. Nice write up tho. Kinda pointless write up if you read the blog everyday like I do, however.

McFly said...

Milwaukee's Best. Beautiful day for a ride. I will be in the kitchen installing flooring. Hope I don't come down with a case of the Shermer's Neck.

bad boy of the north said...

Haha 58.

babble on said...

Old Timer - Why... thank you, kind sir! What a useful idea! :D

Hoogle Da Boogle said...

Milwaukee Bike is odd. A metal bike with screw-in BB, old-fashion cups in headtube, made in USA, fitting tires bigger than 23mm, un-nauseating colors and costing less than a mortgage payment. They will be out of business by the end of the month.

bad boy of the north said...

hi ms.babble.looking at BC webcams.what's with all the daylight at 1045pm est us,but 745pm your time?lol

babble on said...

Right?! I am out carousing at this very moment, and am shocked that it is clear, warm and still light! Never mind I ought to be sleeping shortly ...

Seputar desain rumah said...

an idea that is useful

babble on said...

The Bicycle is a useful idea. And my keyboard is Korean!! 호허ㅑ죠개투둄7뉴아래다뉴

dop said...

Babble- are you applying heat to your hematoma? It's counterintuitive, but hematomas decompress more rapidly with the vasodilation that follows application of heat. Eight years ago I was in the ER of the county medical center with a large thigh hematoma. (slow motion fall, clipped in, landed thigh-on-curb) Two hours after morphine & application of cold it hurt like hell. The orthopedist on call arrived & called them all idjeets & ordered heat, which made it feel much better. (Not as much as the subsequent lateral fasciotomy & removal of 1 liter of clot) (litre to you).

Get off your butt, or rather get your butt on some hot packs.

babble on said...

Thank you -I had wondered about that, cause my understanding is that you're supposed to use cold to stop the swelling and heat to bring established swelling down. And morphine when your body is falling afuckingpart.

I have a prolotherapy/hematoma drainage appointment set up for next week. And though I figured I'd cleverly avoided any more radiation by refusing the trip to hospital in the ambulance, there's an x-ray booked, too, because he wonders whether the tailbone is cracked. And while he wouldn't need to know for sure what it looks like with most of his patients, he wants a picture of mine, "because it's you." He actually said that. Something to do with the possibility of deformation...

Jose said...

Hi Snob,

What about your article published back in 2008 or 2009 where you were discussing why most people had too many bikes? You are falling into your own description: a road bike, a duplicate road bike but single speed, another duplicated road bike but painted, etc.

I'm starting to think you moved out of Brooklyn not to save rent but to have a bigger bike storage room!

dop said...


That's the ticket. Someone who takes care of hematomas, as opposed to someone bloviating over the internet in his pajamas.

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...

Must be Monday. My proofreading skillz are on holiday.

I dunno. Pajamas do hold a certain appeal. I am very lucky to have exceptional medical care. My GP was the doctor to the Canadian Olympic Ski team, and his office was the one on call for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. He has an orthopaedic surgeon on staff, and a physiotherapist, as well as a naturopath and a massage therapist. And a handful of GP's, too.

Better yet, my GP has the utmost respect for my naturopath, because he was a frontrunner in the field of prolotherapy. The naturopath does prp prolo, and in certain instances, stem cell prolo as well. He is renowned for his ability to heal joints without the need for surgery. Trouble is, such expertise tends to cost an arm and a leg. My open minded GP offers prolotherapy at a much reduced rate, though he doesn't use ultrasound like the naturopath does, and he doesn't inject directly into the joint the same way, either (his injections are instead right beside it) so it takes more sessions to gain results, whereas the naturopath's work is more immediately effective.

Um, and I'm sorry, but WHAT?!? You can have too many bikes???

Freddy Murcks said...

There's a new greenway in the foffing? You had me at foffing.

What! said...

Using BSNYC as my time and space control I must ask the following question. It is Friday or is it Monday?

Same as it ever was said...

Where is Snobby? Interviewing at the WaPo? Like mama said 'If yur gunna be a whore be a great whore.'

Bend over, this won't hurt.

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