Thursday, August 6, 2015

These Are the Dog Days

Well here's the biggest story in cycling at the moment, to which I was first alerted by Esteemed Commenter Daddo One:

A man on a bicycle was spotted in the middle of one of Boston’s busiest interstates during rush hour Wednesday evening. He wore shorts, flip-flops, and headphones, but decided against a helmet.

Yeah, of course he did!  Who wears a helme(n)t with shorts, flip-flops, and headphones?  That's like wearing a tuxedo jacket over a tank top.

The biker seemed calm, Toomey said. He merged from Storrow Drive onto I-93 North before crossing over the lanes with ease in the end-of-day traffic while drivers tried to give him some space.

Okay, now this is just getting ridiculous.  Why wouldn't he be calm?  He's wearing flip-flops and shorts and groovin' to some tunes--probably Jimmy Buffet.  There's no better way to unwind than cruising down the highway under clear summer skies on a Wednesday afternoon, your flip-flopped feet carrying you effortlessly to Margaritaville.

Biking on the highway isn’t smart. You could argue taking a picture while driving isn’t either. For Toomey, it was too good of a photo-op to pass up.

“It was rush hour,” she explained. “We were moving, but we weren’t going 70 mph in traffic.”

Not like I wouldn't have taken the photo too, but that's a real Möbius strip of a phrase.  If you're going 70 mph you're not in traffic, and if it's rush hour yet you're moving that's exactly when you need to be paying full attention.

Instead of tying herself up in logistical knots, she should have just said, "Screw you, it's an awesome photo, so what I was steering with my knees for a few seconds, don't be such a woosie."

Speaking of cyclist/driver relations, here's the latest hot steaming pile of praise for the Specialized Venge-Schmenge, and it contains perhaps the most audaciously spurious anecdote yet written in a bicycle review:

We hit a red light in town and wait in the left turn lane. Two cars stop next to us, and we are treated to something rare on this road. Rather than berating us, both drivers exclaim about how fast we were going, praising our speed and handling. As we pull away, we laugh. Specialized claims this new Venge, when used with the full complement of gear developed alongside it, can save more than five minutes over a 40 km time trial. That's tough to measure. But even your average driver on the road can tell that this bike goes faster than most.

Yep, that's right.  If you ride a $12,000 Venge-Schmenge, RANDOM DRIVERS WILL PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR AWESOME BIKE-HANDLING!

Sorry, that's not how it works.  Sure, if you drive an expensive car you'll be forgiven for your shitty driving, but if you ride an expensive bike you will not be praised for your awesome bike-handling.  Don't be fooled--when a driver runs you over you'll still be forced to pay for the scratches on his Maserati.

This is why cyclists increasingly ride with video cameras, and here's a new one that was inspired by just such an occurrence:

The premise behind the company’s product is simple: GoPros and other action cameras capture stunning footage from life’s most exciting moments, but people still have to upload it to their computers and edit it to make into something interesting. Graava requires no connection to a computer. Drop the camera onto a wireless charging mat, and it automatically syncs the raw video to the cloud, where Graava cuts out the boring bits.

So how does it do that?

He said the Graava camera has a G.P.S. chip and an accelerometer, sensors that detect location and acceleration force during any video recording. Graava’s software makes assumptions that moments when you’re speeding up sharply or slowing down are probably more exciting, and therefore worth keeping in the final cut.

"Bullshit!," say these people:

Anyway, here's the 2012 video of the incident that inspired the creation of the Graava:

And which I now suspect was completely staged in order to help market this product.

He's working the long con.

(By the way, they're riding pretty expensive bikes, yet notice nobody stopped to praise them for their bike-handling skills.  Instead they got hit by a car worth less than their wheelsets.)

Of course, pro cycling is the longest con of all, and Jonathan Vaughters is getting a lot of heat subsequent to Tom Danielson's positive doping test:

Though some of the people administering that heat are maybe not in a moral position to do so:

Armstrong was once drunk with power.  Now he's just drunk.

As for Vaughters, here's what the article has to say:

Vaughters isn’t perfect. He can come off as prickly, imperious, and condescending. We know he doped during his racing career; he told us (though he took way too long to admit it). My guess is there are riders on the team who would rather be riding for someone else. But he’s still an important force for change from within the sport. He has also, by force of personality, managed to keep a U.S.-registered team funded at the WorldTour level. I know I couldn’t pull that off. So even if Vaughters has to go back on his word to stay with the team, cycling is probably better off with him than without him.

Maybe so, but at this point I don't know why people are still talking about who should or shouldn't be in cycling.  Instead, it makes more sense to be be talking about who should be following cycling--and the answer to that is "nobody."

Moving on to more municipal matters, the Bronx Borough President is very upset that Citi Bike came to New Jersey before the Bronx:

"It is deplorable that Citi Bike is expanding to New Jersey before the rest of the city," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "My borough deserves better, as do the parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island that are not currently served by our city’s official bike share program."

Apparently a meeting has now been set, during which a Citi Bike representative will explain that they don't move into any neighborhood until real estate prices exceed $1,000 per square foot.

Lastly, here's a video that explores the bond between a man, and his dog:

Note the dog is not wearing a helme(n)t.


Unknown said...

52. Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his co- religionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is “nepotism” or “discrimination,” both of which are terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look at Latin America.) Thus an advanced industrial society can tolerate only those small-scale communities that are emasculated, tamed and made into tools of the system. [Note 7 to follow.]

Chazu said...


Anonymous said...

Damn you Ted K.!

Anonymous said...


1904 Cadardi said...


Anonymous said...

Top 10?

JLRB said...

Something unread etc

1904 Cadardi said...

Fcku. Only Froth!!!

Now to go find a link on yesterday's post.

Anonymous said...

Overflow Cameltoe

Anonymous said...

The guy with the camera on his helme(n)t. Isn't that the guy from Daft Punk? Get Lucky indeed...

Anonymous said...

"Specialized says that the new S-Works Venge, and its accessories, can save you more than five minutes over 40 kilometers. That's a huge claim. And the company just might stick it."

Yeah Specialized can definitely stick it......

leroy said...

Oh dear lord.

I passed the gentleman on the bike with his dog a few weeks ago between Piermont and Nyack. He was wearing a Road Dawgs jersey and riding with his dog. I was wearing an old NJ Road Dogs jersey (a gift, great folks)and riding solo. We chatted briefly.

I had no idea they would be famous. I missed an opportunity to ask for his dog's autograph.

Anonymous said...

In many parts of the country especially L.A., the Headline would be "Bicyclist rides bike on Interstate, and passes a few hundred cars jammed/crawling on the Rush Hour Parking lot."

DB said...

I don't know how Ted K. does it, but I'm impressed.
Don't know who owns the record for most podiums, but he's up there.

3G said...

Jesus H tap dancing Christ...really...the drivers stopped and said "Oh guys are going so fast!".

Here's how it really went down..

driver: "You faggots and your piece of shit bikes better get outta my road or Imma put yewwwinnnaditch!"
cyclist "Hey! You watch your mouth. This bike cost me $12,000!"
driver "You better get outta here before I beat the shit out of you"
cyclst "C'mon Fred, let's ride as fast as we can to get away!"
driver (at bar later) "damn them boys rode away from me pretty fast, or so it seemed, since I only got one leg."

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Top up there. Still reading.
A few weeks ago I related a story (just my own prose) about a guy riding up the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn to the upper deck. He was stopped by a highway cop to 'have a little chat'. My Canon pix would have been blurry.

Speaking of Mobius. Sr. Snob and Snoberatti, I recommend the Mobius Action Cam for front or rear mounting if you want a camera to record ride stuff etc. $95 - $100 with a 16GB chip. Takes cool pictures too. About the size of a new car key fob thingy. Nice resolution for a small lens. I use it on my 200 QX dronee drone thing.

In other news. On Kent and N 4th St in Williamsburg (DUWBO? Down Under the Williburg Bridge Overpass?) in the shadow of the bridge is this new Kent Ave Farms thing. Some solar panels, some little things growing, a BMX style dirt trail and hipsterness right beside the Domino Sugar factory.
Well there was some low key concert going on there last night, seemed nice. I poked in there to look and there was a now infamous DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter zooming about 20 - 30 feet above where the performers were, then darting up N 4th St to about 250 - 300feet, then back again. I waved and shot my bike's strobe light at it.

I recommend the Mobius Action Camera though... if you have to add attachments to your Straving...


crosspalms said...

I don't think these guys are riding those Venges. In those outfits, in 100 degrees? But I'm impressed.

PotbellyJoe said...

If traffic was moving at 40 mph, the Venge ViAS would be perfectly at home according to a magazine published in PA that ignores the contributions of Snobi Wan when it discusses blogospherical rant producers (semi-professional, Eastern division.)

As for LA discussing doping with JV, they can GTH.

I'm sure the discussion for Citi Bikes stalled when the Bronx representative wouldn't shut up about Marble Hill.

Balto said...

So...Handle bar bag dog is only picking up on ear (its right). Is there a reason for that?

Freddy Murcks said...

Wow, a track stand competition. I thought public masturbation was generally frowned upon, but I guess it's okay in San Hosay.

Also, the Venge Schmenge review is perfect. The biggest fred boner a fred can get is by imagining the drivers around him looking at him on his fred sled and thinking "Wow! That dude is flyin'."

Bryan said...

No worries DB< it was decided awhile ago that Ted K is stripped of all of his titles bc no one wants to hear the ravings of the unabomber.

If the Venge is so fast, how come Sagan never got a stage win on the Tour? Of course, he won the green jersey but he could win that on a Huffy. Oooh, right. It's the rider, not the bike. In regards to the review, they must have been going downhill to maintain that 30-something which case I would hope it is mostly effortless. My fat ass can fly down some hills.hashtag overrated.

Boston Guy did well riding in rush hour....I imagine he had no problems keeping up with traffic - which he probably knew would be the case. The comments to that article are all whiney as one could imagine.

babble on said...

Super cute! Dat doggie is adorable. Cyclists, on the other hand, are only door-able.

Balto said...

Another little-white-dog portage video. This on in weather I'm used to.

P. Bateman said...

why does the lady in the white dog video have white "sleeves" that aren't attached to anything? what are those for?

Matt said...

A 40km time trial would take me roughly 3 hours so cutting off 5 minutes isn't that big a deal.

PotbellyJoe said...

I assume the other dog carrying, selfie-stick jouster chickened out ad this is the guy's parade lap?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

If I had a wiener dog I'd portage it in one of those artisanal leather wine bottle holders under my top tube.


"why does the lady in the white dog video have white "sleeves" that aren't attached to anything? what are those for?"

Apparently "Arm Coolers" is a thing of some sort.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I 93 rider would have been in the left lane if he was on a Venge.

Anonymous said...

Madison Wi motorists are generally not hostile at all, though perhaps they are just engaging in quiet Midwestern seething. But they do get upset when they close a bunch of roads for "Ride the Drive" events (What?!, Ride a Bike instead of Drive?!). So they are changing the name to Walk and Roll; no one officially explained the change but it is probably because pedestrians and Even Rollerbladers(?!?) are more sympathetic to the general public. Maybe they should call it: Puppy Walk and Baby Stroller Day.

Anonymous said...

The new youtube format affects how videos are embedded now I guess. Wasn't able to skip to the end of the bike "crash" video. Thanks!

balls™ said...

Was that video to show us a wreck, or show us how boring someone else's fred ride can be?

PotbellyJoe said...

"Puppy Walk and Baby Stroller Day."

We call those 5Ks in my town.

Anonymous said...

UCI could just allow drugs in the peloton but with the stipulation the drug user cannot wear a helment during the race.
Then we could watch two races within one, helment and helment-less.
All helment wearing riders are drug-tested.

McFly said...

Speaking of pooches....our neighbors got a-loose this morning and she was blasting out an APB on the Book of Facing her dilemma, so I told junior to have a look around and she was sitting on our back porch waiting on a meat morsel. (Don't tell anyone but I feed her scraps)

PotbellyJoe said...

It could be like LeMans racing, you have the Prototypes (guys on experimental drugs), the Sportscar class (Guys without drugs) and then the GT3 group (guys riding steel bikes with downtube shifters who talk incessantly about the good old days when you just took strychnine to avoid the pain)

It would almost as unwatchable and by that I mean I would watch every minute of it.

Unknown said...

Hey snob your embedded videos don't have pause/stop buttons or scroll bars anymore. I'm not nearly interested enough in your videos to watch them without knowing how long they are ahead of time. I tried watching the dog video but gave up when he didn't start riding right away, cuz I can't tell if it's like a 30s "short but sweet" or a 5-minute snorer.

Can you see if there are options in your blogger interface about the embedding? I'd be nice to have the old interface back.

Amazing Grace said...

”The new youtube format affects how videos are embedded now I guess. Wasn't able to skip to the end of the bike "crash" video. “

”Hey snob your embedded videos don't have pause/stop buttons or scroll bars anymore.”

Click the YouTube icon in the lower right; a new browser tab will open with all the buttons/scroll bars/time displays you could want.

1904 Cadardi said...

Reading the VeloSnooze story on Vaughters I'm left feeling, if I can borrow from Mr. Snob (who I would like to thank for letting us play in his sandbox), non-plussed. I met Vaughters when he was a stupid fast squeeky voiced prepubescent. He loved bikes and racing and devoured everything he could read. He showed up to a race with a French cycling magazine trying to find anyone that could translate an article on aerodynamics. He was truly in love with the sport.

The goal of his team, racing at the highest level while clean, is noble and probably not achievable. What's more likely: that no one on Garmin has taken any PEDs in the last 10 years, or that they manage the drugs better and take fewer risks with them. What's the old saying "You can't manage what you can't measure." If they measure every detail of a riders health/fitness/blood then they can better manage the drugs that are flowing through them. And they have done a masterful job of measuring everything they can and making a show it too.

I'm starting to sound like Ted K so in conclusion I would like to add

scranus nipple

biketinker said...

Best comment on that video: "I waited for EVAR to see you get hit!"
I was looking at the trees, the tight streets, and the cars: contractor's truck, BMW, BMW, Mercedes, vintage Beetle... "is this another Mill Valley video?" Nope. Berkeley. Close, though.

Olle Nilsson said...

That guy must be riding a Venge-Schmenge if his dog needs goggles. Impressive bike: still eye-watering fast with a basket mounted. That basket must have been developed in the Specialized blowing-smoke tunnel™.

babble on said...

Are you there, Dog? It's me, babble.

Captcha asked me to select the photos of wheelchairs, but there wasn't a bicycle anywhere.

dop said...


caps lock

Anonymous said...



bad boy of the north said...

ms.babble@106pm.......groan!oo...two commas!

Roille Figners said...

You don't have to prove anything, all you have to do is ask the question. Is the Specialized Venge ViAS the Fastest Road Bike in the World? Is the White House Covering Up Obama's Child-Goat-Anal-Sex Habits?

Also I notice with glee that Pulitzer Prize winner Dorothy Rabinowitz never foresaw borough presidents begging to have their streets begrimed.

James said...

@TedK where's note 7? I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation.

Proud to have not watched a single second of the 2014 or 2015 Tour de France.


a few entries behind said...

The Southold town website has a helicopter noise complaint link under forms. As vehicular scourges go, if cyclists were as bad as Police Chief Martin Flatus says they are, wouldn't there be a cyclist complaint link on the website?

Spokey said...

i hate little yappy dogs

they're like gmo corn with Glyphosate. they ought to be banned. anyone caught with either should be sentenced to hang out with lance armstrong and live with levi leipheimer.

oh and of course vacation with chris horner

Charlie said...

More idiocy

includes this gem: "You might chuckle at the idea of a drunk cyclist, but since they often share the road with motorists, they can be just as dangerous as an inebriated driver".

Just as dangerous, huh? No facts, no problem.

Anonymous said...

"Specialized blowing-smoke tunnelTM"
Ha! That's gold right there!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't make out what the guy chauffeuring the little doggy was saying, but it sounded like a political treatise.

Could he be Ted K?

The Ted K missives would be a lot more tolerable if we knew the author was that jolly fellow.

Maybe Leroy's dog knows something?

Anonymous said...

Cute dog video, I watched at work, so I couldn't turn up the sound to hear the treatise. Hella blown' through them Stop Signs, though, right on!
Don't knock Skin Coolers, they're great down here in America's limpest peninsula…literally savin' my life with those, so says my dermatologist.

Anonymous said...

Also, Buffs 'round the head and neck.

Unknown said...

Fuck it, I'm leasing a David Byrne

Also, Suck it, Walt Whitman

Esteemed Commentor DaddoOne said...

I was not listening to Jimmy Buffet ...I would never listen to such bro-dude, dude- bro drivel. I was listening to Dave Mathews!
I was complimented by motorists for my speed, style and bike handling.

Unknown said...

Oh crap. Just when I was starting to follow professional cycling, you prove why I shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon @ 1:31

We just sent two Germans to live in your fair city. Before departing we assured them that they will feel right at home as Madison is a leftist, lesbian paradise. They have reported back that although rich in lesbian culture, it is more like a police state than any European city could aspire. They have been pleased that in some shops and restaurants firearms are not allowed as communicated by large decal on the front door, however.

Anonymous said...

"Also, Suck it, Walt Whitman"

HA! Just got another level of funny in that joke. Two days late a rainbow flag short

Oh Really? said...

"They have been pleased that in some shops and restaurants firearms are not allowed as communicated by large decal on the front door, however.

Guess what? People with concealed firearms walk in and out of those shops and restaurants, right past those decals. Some of them are criminals, who not only don't care what the decal says they don't care what the laws against robbery, murder, etc say either.

" is more like a police state than any European city could aspire."

You might want to brush up on your history a little.

leroy said...

Hey look, it's the Oh Really Factor. And on a bike blog no less.

Man the stuff you see on the interwebs.

Spokey said...

waiting for the day when i see leroy's dog pedaling down the street with leroy in the basket

JLRB said...

Dog daze

Oh Really? said...

" is more like a police state than any European city could aspire."

In addition to recent history, you might want to notice the current situation in these European cities:





Olle Nilsson said...

Leroy - no kidding. Helment debate: more or less annoying than current discourse. Discuss.

leroy said...

Spokey -- He's not a working breed.

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