Monday, February 29, 2016

Put A Helmet On It

This past weekend saw the [?]th annual running of the World's Whitest Awards Ceremony.

No, I'm not talking about the Academy Awards.

I'm talking about the North American Handmade Bicycle Show:

(White men can't jump, but apparently they can do layups.)

Yes, NAHBS is the whitest thing this side of a black metal concert:

This is not to impugn the art of custom bike building by any means, for what cyclist does not look longingly upon the fruit of the velocipedal artisan's labor?  Furthermore, the fearless innovators who exhibit at NAHBS come up with the sorts of fresh new ideas that ultimately become mainstream...or not:

I imagine you would stand for a long time after riding it too, since it would be a good two weeks before you'd be able to sit down again.  In fact, you'd probably look exactly like this:

That bike is laterally stiff and anally intrusive.

But NAHBS isn't only about white people building sexual torture devices.  It's also about really cool bikes you'd actually want to ride, like this one that one "Best Gravel Bike:"

So what makes this a "gravel bike" as opposed to just a cyclocross bike or a road bike with some extra tire clearance?

The answer of course is keep your mouth shut and pretend it matters, this is the bike industry we're talking about.*

*[Pssst: it's only the tires and the pedals, don't tell anybody.]

Meanwhile, today is February 29th, which means our brethren and sistren down in New South Wales, Australia get an extra day before cycling is as close to illegal as it's possible to be without an outright ban:

One wonders what an overseas visitor will think of Sydney. A Dutch backpacker in Kings Cross will struggle to find a late-night drink and when he or she wakes early – having gone to bed uncomfortably sober the night before – and fancies borrowing a friend’s bicycle to ride to Bondi, find they’re targeted with a $319 fine for not wearing a helmet; a $109 slug for not carrying their passport; and if they should ‘ride dangerously’ they’ll be up for a nasty levy of $425 – a combined total of $853 for a morning swim.

This overseas visitor thinks it's fucking stupid.

Just kidding, there's no way I'd visit Sydney now.

Indeed, in anticipation of the big day the police have already launched "Operation Pedro 5:"

“Last year, 61 pedestrians and seven cyclists died on NSW roads,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

“Cyclists and pedestrians are road users too: All too often police are seeing pedestrians tuned into electronic devices, oblivious to traffic conditions, stepping out onto the road, while cyclists are undertaking risky behaviours putting them at danger of being injured or killed.

Wow.  What about motorists tuned into electronic devices and oblivious to traffic conditions?

Oh, right, police can't see them because they're inside their cars.

As for cyclists and the "risky behaviours putting them at danger of being injured or killed," those behaviors include riding a bicycle, not driving a car, and an egregious failure to be encased inside two tons of glass and steel.

So what do the cyclists of New South Wales get in return for having to carry ID and increased fines for violating the already moronic helmet law?  Well, motorists will have to give them more space, which I'm sure will be diligently enforced:

The video begins by explaining how riding a bicycle is JUST LIKE riding a motorcycle or driving a car:

"Bicycle riders are like drivers and motorcycle riders."

Yeah, no they're not.  How is accelerating effortlessly to 60+mph on a motorized vehicle that weights hundreds or thousands of pounds anything like not ever getting anywhere close to that speed on a vehicle that weighs maybe dozens of pounds at most and has no motor at all?

Femke's bike excluded, of course:

(Vroom, vroom.)

The video even acknowledges this by then being all about how riding a bike is nothing like doing those other things:

"Bicycle riders need plenty of space, because they are more vulnerable than drivers, and are more likely to be injured or killed in the event of a crash"

Wait, they're more vulnerable?

Even when they're wearing helmets?

How can that be???

In any event, the upshot of this is that drivers must now give cyclists a whole meter of space:

But to make this easier for motorists, who are the real victims here, you're allowed to cross painted lines or basically do whatever the fuck you want:

I take this to mean that while you must give at least one meter when you're passing a cyclist, you're well within your rights to mow down another cyclist heading in the opposite direction.

It's robbing Fred to kill Paul, which seems fair to me.

And they all lived happily ever after.

(Menacing cyclist intimidating more vulnerable road user.)

Of course, none of this is to say we've got it much better here in New York City, where this past weekend we had three (3) hit-and-run deaths in one night:

And the police are hard at work looking for the drivers responsible so that they can exonerate them:

Just before 1:30 a.m. the NYPD says they responded to a pedestrian collision in the Bronx. Pedestrian Jose Contreras was struck near the corner of East 175th Street and Webster Avenue, suffering severe bodily trauma. Contreras was rushed to nearby Saint Barnabas Hospital, where he was declared dead. A police investigation determined that the man had been standing near an entrance ramp to the Cross Bronx Expressway and had attempted to cross Webster Avenue when he was struck by a black SUV.

"The man had been standing near an entrance ramp" is the pedestrian equivalent of "the cyclist was not wearing a helmet."  (Notwithstanding the fact that in that part of the Bronx it's pretty much impossible not to stand near an entrance ramp, just as in Midtown it's impossible not to be more than half a block away from a Starbucks.)

It was also disappointing to see Gothamist make repeated use of the word "accident," both in the URL:

As well as here:

I'm sure they didn't mean anything by it as this particular publication has a fair amount of smugness cred, but I'm not sure how you type "the driver fled the scene" and then type "the accident" in the very next paragraph.

(And yes, one of the intentionals (I'm calling anything that involves a driver killing somebody else an "intentional" from now on) involved a cyclist.)

Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of all these intentionals is just how preventable they are.  For example, advocates have long pointed out that deploying license plate scanners could help identify these hit-and-run drivers.  Sadly though there appears to be little interest in using them beyond toll collection.  If "Vision Zero" were more than just a catchy slogan every intersection in the city would be wired to scan license plates and drivers would be fined for infractions just as assiduously as they are tolled for using the bridges.

Then, if you didn't pay your fines they'd tow your piece of piece of shit Altima away, crush it into a cube, and mail it back to you:

By the way, that's just if you don't pay your fine.  If you actually hit anybody they should crush your car with you inside it.

Lastly, apparently Garmin are using "Fred woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" speed as a selling point for their goofy space glasses:

Once Strava changes its logo to a wanking monkey my work will be complete.


Unknown said...

121. A further reason why industrial society cannot be reformed in favor of freedom is that modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can’t get rid of the “bad” parts of technology and retain only the “good” parts. Take modern medicine, for example. Progress in medical science depends on progress in chemistry, physics, biology, computer science and other fields. Advanced medical treatments require expensive, high-tech equipment that can be made available only by a technologically progressive, economically rich society. Clearly you can’t have much progress in medicine without the whole technological system and everything that goes with it.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to fist myself on the podium!

N/A said...

Wow, looks like the pedestrians need to wear healments, too.

wle said...

handjobbed - anally - gravel - femke - cred..

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Scott Goode said...

I take it from the illustrations that in NSW you can ride your bike naked on the street as long as you have a helmet on? Seems fair.

WIPO_rules said...

Hold on a second there Snob. Another business is STEALING YOUR HARD WORK and flop sweat!

Bring your high-power lawyer of annoyance down on them, and take them to court for IP theft. Mike Sinyard will be very happy you did, as he will then dispatch his lawyer of annoyance to declare IP theft. Because "Wooo hooo" sounds exactly like Roubaiz.

Samsung v. Apple will be small time IP litigation compared to this! Bring the pain!!!

Schisthead said...

I'd say that monkey should be the URL for every reference to a review.

Anonymous said...

Top tinnitus

banana_bread said...

I had a nice exchange with a driver who drifted into my lane while we went down the street at a rather leisurely pace. I grabbed onto the door pillar, because the passenger window was open, as she drifted into my lane and then asked her nicely to please stop driving and sending texts.

The driver was "so sorry" and a little startled.

I let the driver know they would likely be back to doing the exact same thing in 24 hours and that next time maybe the driver would knock the cyclist down.

That seemed to end the conversation.

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!

ken e. said...


Anonymous said...

"that weights hundreds or thousands of pounds"

angry post, with reason

blunchbelly said...

Except for the people dying parts that post was funny top to bottom! Musta taken a great ride yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Toppus XX

N/A said...

That "Best Graveling Bike" has the Enve crabon feebrey fork with the optional dick breakway attachments. Those have been recalled on account of falling apart in ways that make riders shit their chamois.

Anonymous said...

The new president Macho Camacho will fix it all in 8 or 9 months.

Not a robot

Serial Retrogrouch said...

... cycling might be safer in Gaza than in NYC or NSW.

grog said...

Didn't see you at the Academy Awards, after all the great films you've done.

Unknown said...

That "intentional" with the black SUV was Chris Christie returning to Jersey from the campaign trail.

dancesonpedals said...

Does the lady on the Just Kidding ever take her top off?

Tom Wolfe said...

Struck by a black suv near the ramp? I guess 25 years later Sherman McCoy has given up his Mercedes.

Joe said...

"You have 30 minutes to move your cube"

balls™ said...

Bottom teen?

Winky said...

The two letters on Monday from cyclists complaining about the new regime of fines simply reinforce the need for these impositions. If cyclists want rights on the road they must also accept the responsibilities and if they breach those responsibilities be penalised just like motorised road users. Roads Minister Duncan Gay is to be applauded for applying this principle to cyclists.
Michael Lane St Ives
Simon West's assertion that the new bicycle laws "won't save a life" is really only looking at the issue from the point of view of cyclists and cars (Letters, February 29).
In the majority of accidents involving pedestrians and bike riders, it's the cyclists who are at fault.

Any legislation which ensures bike riders follow the road rules and are responsible for their behaviour in shared pedestrian situations or on footpaths or pedestrian crossings, has to be a good thing.
Bruce Hulbert Lilyfield
I don't understand, if we are to continue to share our roads with cyclists, why isn't it mandatory for bicycles to have some sort of rear vision mirrors?
All other vehicles on our roads do. Cyclists wouldn't have to take their eyes off the road ahead to glance quickly over a shoulder to see what other vehicles are nearby.
Claire Stack Huntleys Point
The increases in penalties that will apply to bicycle riders across a range offences from March 1 would be less unpalatable were there to be proper bike paths throughout Sydney, instead of the on-again-off-again sections that are currently available. Every bike on the road means one less car or one less person in our crowded commuter services.
Michael O'Brien Newtown
Could we ask those bright sparks at Roads and Maritime Services to justify how a "potential loss of parking and access to local business" should ever outweigh the very real risk to human life from reneging on their plans for a cycle lane on Bridge Road?
The chilling video of cyclist Ray Kan should be more than enough evidence to quell this type of backward thinking ("Cyclist knocked down in alleged hit and run on Bridge Road in Glebe",, February 29). Would you make the same decision if it was your family member in that video?
Terry Daly Randwick
I walk daily and am appalled by the behaviour of some cyclists.
Last year I and other early morning walkers came across a cyclist who had fallen just before a stop sign. He was unconscious and had no identification on him. He was travelling too fast for the road conditions and had to slam on the breaks in order to avoid being hit by a car – the driver of which was not breaking any road rules.
On many occasions I have seen cyclists riding so fast they cannot stop in time to give way to pedestrians – one morning I observed 15 of them riding through the narrow shopping precinct at Freshwater at speed with total disregard for the people waiting to cross at a pedestrian crossing. Someone could have been killed if they were on the crossing.
Many cyclists don't stop at stop signs and have inadequate lighting in the dark. Quite frankly, they deserve all the abuse they get from motorists and pedestrians alike.
These tougher rules are needed to protect pedestrians and motorists – not to mention cyclists themselves.
Susan Wilson Freshwater
Cyclists are protesting against new traffic regulations. They pay no road tax and yet benefit from the construction of bike lanes. They often ride in phalanxes for safety reasons which present a hazard to motorists.
Is it time for them to pay a levy?

Read more:
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

P. Bateman said...

happy damn monday.

Knüt Fredriksson said...

and a happy wanking monkey too!

Woot! Woot! said...

"Then, if you didn't pay your fines they'd tow your piece of piece of shit Altima away, crush it into a cube, and mail it back to you:"

"By the way, that's just if you don't pay your fine. If you actually hit anybody they should crush your car with you inside it."

I especially like the "and mail it back to you", sorry for the Woot! Woot! though but that is what i felt when i read your idea.

Anonymous said...

Strava KOM= Kumming on Myself

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

According to a post in which I was "Tagged" in the Book of Face, It seems there were NY's Finest handing out leaflets regarding upcoming targeted enforcement of bikecycling regalations starting March 1st. This sparked an immense back and forth about road use stuff. So be warned ... informed is empowered ... or something like that.

Just as I was crossing 5th Ave 1/2 hour ago, with the steady green light, a occidental delivery guy on a motorized bike said "scuse me" with a comical smile as he nearly knocked me down as I was a couple of feet from the curb. He had slowed down to about 15 mph by the time he rounded the corner cutting off several others. I barely was able to verify my right of way and blurt out "Red Light!".
You could just tell there were people with torches and pitchforks ready to head to this guy's place of employment and burn it down. I could have run for office and gotten the vote of everyone on that corner.

I can carry a grudge as if with a handle. I will have my road rage, or sidewalk rage if the time comes.


Tyler said...

nice schmatta/scarf shamrock cycles dude (why?)

dancesonpedals said...

Are carbon steerer tubes safe

Roille Figners said...

It's the Southern Hemisphere - hurricanes rotate the opposite way and the logic is ass-backwards, due to the Cornholus Effect.

Anonymous said...

In reality only the laws pertaining to cyclists will be enforced, and of course the responders on Twitter are not happy.

"We will be talking about it more so that more people will be more aware of the laws. Everyone has a right to be on the road."
He did not expect a major increase in infringements for motorists driving too close to cyclists.
As part of Operation Pedro, police fined almost 400 cyclists last Thursday for offences ranging from riding without helmets to running red lights in inner parts of Sydney."

BIG RED ‏@BroadcastNews5 14h14 hours ago
@smh trying to discourage cycling, an unbelievably backwards approach. Who's making these decisions? @cityofsydney

Hugh Murdoch ‏@HughMurdoch2 14h14 hours ago
@smh Another nail in the environment's/climate's coffin ? Wake up, dozey pollies! DO everything to ENCOURAGE fossil fool free transport!

Anonymous (yes, anonymous) said...

TL;DR. Please get your own blog. Thx.

Anonymous said...


ken e. said...

running a full crabon road-type biking cycle, only really comes out in the fairer weather, but sees mistreatment without any guff. it's a kona king zing (built by dedacciai), now in it's fifth or sixth year.
this consumer report brought to you in place of a giant rant about the sydney morning herald and car drivers in general.

Anonymous said...

If anybody cares, the linked NAHBS awards are for last year’s show.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Every bike commuter in Sydney should get into a single occupancy car tomorrow and bottle up traffic. Let them know how much better traffic would flow if we were only on our bikes instead of being forced to drive.

Anonymous said...

@Winky thanks for copying and pasting the anti cycling drivel from the comments sections of Australian news sites - I try to avoid that shit.

The 1M passing distance rule will not be enforced. It hasn't been enforced in Qld or SA which have also been trialing the 1M law. The NSW head of traffic police suggests it won't be enforced. It will be repealed after 1 year and the only thing left will be the new anti cycling fines and laws.

NSW has special little bicycle traffic lights - they are usually green for 10-20 seconds whilst the normal light stays green for 1-2 minutes. You can't legally turn left or right when there is a bicycle traffic light and you have to stop even while all the cars going the same way can still go, its a $425 fine, but only for cyclists.

Olle Nilsson said...

Letfem Keride - when's the new album coming out.

Anonymous said...

The highlight of this year's NAHBS was the entrance of AMIGOS on Saturday.

the Jimboner said...

2 hours in the taxi to the Rio airport with most of the surface roads under 50 cm of rain water, now opening 4th airport beer.

Freddy Murcks said...

I am not sure why a country the size of Australia with only 15 million people would be so anti-cycling. You'd think that there'd be enough space for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a Minkywhale of a comment. I enjoyed it, keep up the good work.

dancesonpedals said...

Thanks Ken e

Nashbar and excel have cheap carbon bikes with integration on sale (from excel it's a colnago made of 'Japanese carbon') tempting, but I have no idea how sturdy a tapered steerer is.

dancesonpedals said...

U L T E G R A not integration

BamaPhred said...


Kendall Clukey said...

Cyclists should have to carry liability insurance as well. The last peasant I struck with my Rolls scratched the paint terribly, and I don't have any idea how to remove bloodstains from my whitewalls. Enough to put me off my Vegamite and crumpets.

Anonymous said...

So you went to a NAMBLA convention or something? And had something anally inserted and then got a trophy? I just skimmed it because I was driving.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the NHBBAAS award winners and,holy crap, that is definitely a ghetto.

Anonymous said...

RE: wanking strava monkey logos...I'm doing my part.

Paul H said...

Snob: "this one that one best gravel bike" or "this won that one..." or ...?

Anonymous said...

Freddy Murcks, Australia's population has increased to 23m in the past 35 years (since it was last 15m) but thanks for taking an interest in our country ;-)

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