Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Current Score: NYPD 1, Vision Zero

So apparently there's this whole Vision Zero conference going on downtown, which I didn't even know about because I'm too busy watching the Netflix:

I'm sorry I'm missing it too, because apparently our police commissioner graced them with his presence in order to tell everybody that Vision Zero isn't possible:
That's the spirit.

Of course, if he really thinks Vision Zero is impossible then why bother with all those bicycle crackdowns?  You know, the ones that are for our own safety:

Sure, nothing makes you feel loved like an NYPD tackle-n-ticket, though if they really cared about us they'd also fine us $425 for trackstanding like in Sydney:
Because we all know how dangerous trackstanding can be:

I'd say there's a good chance clipless pedals will be illegal in New South Wales by this time next year.

I also missed Janette Sadik-Khan and David Byrne at Barnes and Noble last night, both of whom stunned the crowd by arriving in a stretch Hummer limousine after swinging by the Sbarro in Times Square:

"It's not mine, it's a rental," explained Byrne, who does not own a car.

After the event, New York City's livable streets advocacy elite partied the rest of the night away in the 9th Avenue protected bike lane while ensconced the anonymity of the Hummer's lavish interior:

"Do you know who I am!?!," an intoxicated Sadikh-Khan was heard to scream at one point after an angry cyclist pounded on the Hummer's hood.  "I built this bike lane!"

Then they made Vines of themselves ghost-riding Citi Bikes into the Hudson.

Speaking of cyclists and safety, even the pros fall victim to reckless drivers, as the impressively-named Stig Broeckx recently demonstrated at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne:

This is merely the latest example of press and support vehicles taking out riders, and Jonathan Vaughters (whose erstwhile sideburns have now joined forces in the form of a beard) recently addressed the issue:

Then perhaps the answer is to reduce the number of vehicles? So whose interest do we diminish? If the TV motorcycles and media cars are removed, then the race will fade to obscurity and no longer be able to meet costs of production. If the judges are removed, the race will devolve into a “Mad Max” version of cycling. If the team cars are removed, the riders will have no support for their efforts. The solutions aren't clear.

It seems pretty obvious to me the answer is the "Mad Max" scenario, because that would be awesome, but surprisingly Vaughters instead says pro cycling should emulate the NFL:

Solutions to these issues? Simple. Align the business interests so everyone decides what is best together, in advance, and live by those decisions. Maybe racing in the snow makes sense if everyone has brought snow tires and heavy parkas to begin with? Maybe the business benefits outweigh the negatives if done in a safe way? Maybe fewer cars and less officiating and media makes sense? Maybe not?

Risks and rewards must be chosen by all parties. But since the teams and riders aren't part of the business of producing a race — many race organizers view riders and teams as nuisances, frankly — interests aren’t shared. Riders have to rely on decision-making from people who are highly invested in the business of producing a race. And that decision-making will reflect what is best for the race organizer. Not the teams and athletes.

How does aligning business interests look? Just like any major-league sport: The teams and the events are one and the same. The NFL, and all its franchise teams, run the Super Bowl, benefit from the Super Bowl, and also carry the risks and liabilities of the Super Bowl. There is no "Super Bowl organizer" running a completely separate business from the teams competing in the Super Bowl and making decisions that the teams know nothing about.

Which, ironically (or not), is pretty much what his arch-nemesis Lance Armstrong thinks as well:

“We talked earlier about the anti-doping whereabouts system … I do think there has to be a period, if it’s in the race, there has to be a nighttime period … you just can’t go and wake somebody up. Say you have 10 favourites at the Tour de France. It’s the night before a big mountain stage, and one guy gets woken up? I mean, if you’re going to wake up all 10, maybe that’s different. But if one of them gets woken up, and nine get to sleep through the night, and the one guy that got woken up is a really shitty sleeper, he didn’t go back to bed … his Tour is over. I don’t agree with that.

“That idea is where a union is needed. There has to be someone who stands up and says, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.’ Travis might want to do that, or WADA, or the UCI, but these riders, as a whole, as a union, have to say ‘no.’ Just like any other sport. Look at the NFL. Look at Major League Baseball. ‘Uh uh. We get it, you want clean sport. We like that ideal. We’ll do what we can. But we’re not going to do that. And, by the way, we’re not going to do a lot of other things, either. We’re not going to ride on shitty, dangerous circuits and risk our lives. There are all these things in place that we’re not going to do.’

So basically what they're saying is the sport needs to run its own races and accept a certain amount of doping--which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense, though you'll still have the problem of errant dogs:

Yes, dogs and bikes don't always mix well, though that doesn't stop people from trying.  Consider this advice a reader recently forwarded me:

Biking with Dogs

First, wearing the right apparel is important for both dogs and humans. If biking late at night to avoid NYC traffic, hot asphalt and heatstroke, dogs should wear flashing lights, slip collars and short leather leashes. Flexi-leads and chain leashes are not recommended as they could lead to an accident or injure someone seriously in a crash. You should wear light colored clothing, a reflective vest and helmet.

What, no helmet for the dog!?!

New York City biking presents some challenges. First, oil slicks on the street. In NYC, our bike lanes are on the left, so we suggest holding the leash in the left hand and having a really good brake mounted for right hand use, but the dogs have to contend with car doors from cars parking to the left of the bike lane, which could injure the rider or the dog.

I should mention at this point that the reader who forwarded me this apparently received it via a triathlon group, and the only bigger disaster in the making I can think of than a triathlete riding while holding a dog leash is a Donald Trump presidency.

In addition to watching out for car doors, you can train your dog to run right alongside of your bike, not in front of or lagging behind. Dogs can run faster than you can bike and if they get out ahead could easily pull you over. Let them lag behind and cross over to the right and they could spin the biker around like a top. Other dangers include wildlife, which distract the dogs and may cause them to bolt. In NYC, dogs can easily be distracted by rats or intimidated by police horses. Our orthopedic surgeons recommend you wait until a dog is about a year old to bike them. Heavy exercise in young dogs may lead to orthopedic issues in adulthood.

Or, you know, just LEAVE THE DOG AT HOME and bring the it to the dog run after your ride, but I suppose that doesn't evoke the timeless bond between human and canine:

(Before the advent of the mass-produced cycling helmet, riders wore dogs for protection.)

Lastly, while we're on the subject of timeless themes, here's an interesting treatise on #whatpressureyourunning:

It's worth a read, though all you really need to know is this:

Even simpler, here is a summary in two sentences:

--Ride the tire pressure that feels good to you.
--When in doubt, let out some air.

It’s really that simple!

It really is.

By the way, Jan Heine has written quite a bit about wide 650b tires, and they're now officially being embraced by the Fred set:

Road Plus retains the same geometry as existing endurance road bikes but adds a high volume, tubeless 650b wheel and tire in place of a 700c. With the 650b x 47c Horizon Plus having the same overall diameter as a 700 x 28c tire, it only requires a little more chainstay clearance than a traditional road tire. Match it to a KOM i23 or i25 650b TCS rim and you have a light, high volume, fast rolling setup without going back to the drawing board for frame design.

Now that we've been liberated from the constraints of rim brake caliper positioning I guess we'll be seeing some serious wheel size fluctuations.

That's certainly not a bad thing, but I'd wait at least 10 years for it all to settle down.


Unknown said...

128. While technological progress AS A WHOLE continually narrows our sphere of freedom, each new technical advance CONSIDERED BY ITSELF appears to be desirable. Electricity, indoor plumbing, rapid long-distance communications ... how could one argue against any of these things, or against any other of the innumerable technical advances that have made modern society? It would have been absurd to resist the introduction of the telephone, for example. It offered many advantages and no disadvantages. Yet, as we explained in paragraphs 59-76, all these technical advances taken together have created a world in which the average man’s fate is no longer in his own hands or in the hands of his neighbors and friends, but in those of politicians, corporation executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats whom he as an individual has no power to influence. [21] The same process will continue in the future. Take genetic engineering, for example. Few people will resist the introduction of a genetic technique that eliminates a hereditary disease. It does no apparent harm and prevents much suffering. Yet a large number of genetic improvements taken together will make the human being into an engineered product rather than a free creation of chance (or of God, or whatever, depending on your religious beliefs).

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!


N/A said...

Are you "chilling" too? I learned on the internet that when you watch the Netflix, you should also "chill".

dancesonpedals said...

Thursday's child has no scranus.

ricochet said...


crosspalms said...

Wow, dedicated throwing dog yesterday, dedicated helmet dog today. When do we learn about the gravel dog?

dancesonpedals said...

dogs should wear flashing lights, slip collars and short leather leashes.

I just checked the Rapha catalog. Nothing. Where the hell am I going to get dog lights?

dnk said...

Vision Zero:

I'm no apologist for Bloomberg, but it seems that De Blasio merely has taken credit for all of Bloomberg's improvements to "livable streets" infrastructure (via Sadik-Khan) and stuck the feel-good name of Vision Zero upon someone else's work.

In the meantime, he's allowing said infrastructure to crumble (in many places, you can barely discern the fading bike lane paint on the street). And of course, the crowning hallmark to De Blasio's Vision Zero: zero enforcement of car/truck drivers who speed, run lights, talk/text on phones. And should a driver run someone down, forget about prosecution.

This morning I came upon a cyclist prone on pavement -- IN THE BIKE LANE -- at First Ave & 33rd Street. He had a head injury (but was conscious) and had been hit by a car. I didn't stop to help because there were emergency personnel already there (across the street from NYU Medical Center) and there was already a crowd of gawkers.

Hope this person was (or will be) okay, struck by a car in the bike lane on First Ave in the city of "Vision Zero"


N/A said...

Specialized is currently developing a "Dog-Running Bike", designed to avoid oil slicks and cantankerous rats. You can have a poop-bag holder installed on the aerobars.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

topus Xs

McFly said...

Emulate the NFL?

I assure you most pro cyclists cannot beat up their wives and/or girlfriends.

Joe said...

I totally agree to the waiting for 10 years until they settle down on a wheel size. Since manufacturers have realized the only way to sell their stuff is by making last year's model obsolete, I prefer not to waste my money investing in a bike that will be outdated in a couple of years because the "experts" say my performance will be so much better with that extra/less 20mm diameter on my rims of this year's model. Whatever...

N/A said...

Sadik, Sadik, Sadik, Sadik-Khan
Sadik-Khan, Sadik-Khan, Sadik-Khan
Sadik-Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Sadik-Khan
Let me rock you, that's all I wanna do
Sadik-Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Sadik-Khan
Let me rock you, let me feel for you
Sadik-Khan let me tell you what I wanna do

streepo said...


I'd rather have cycling mainly be about transportation said...

"It's time for cycling to grow up and take its place among top professional sports"

Haha, that is a good laugh. Cycling will probably never exceed even exceed poker tournaments, "Pro" wrestling, or bowling in public interest.

DB said...

I have been notified by Amazon that the arrival date for BSNYC's new book is May 03.
I've cleared the calendar for that day.

P. Bateman said...

so tired of missing top 10.

i'm ordering some god dang performance enhancing drugs

N/A said...

It is my understanding that the bike forums are currently entering into a bitter feud with Jan Heine, RE: the #whatpressureyourunning protocols. If that all goes away, then, like, half of the smug posts on the forums would cease to exist.

dcee604 said...

My dog will not run along side my bike, maybe I should just stick her in the basket.

DB said...

I think Betsy Andreu could beat up most of the NFL.

Two Claws said...

Should be Road Minus - 650b < 700c

or is less really more?

bad boy of the north said...

wow,this blog has certainly gone to the dogs.what?cacti,again?yeesh..thanks,robot.

JB said...

Triathletes should just tie the dog leash to the end of the aero bars. I don't foresee any problems with that.

If you wait 10 years for the road wheel size thing to stabilize, you'll be smack in the middle of the next "revolution." I predict some sort of crabon frame where you can change the stiffness of various "tubes" mid-ride to optimize climbing or descending characteristics (tm).

JB said...

Two Claws: the + is for the tire size. That's the new mtn biking thing too: 27.5+ where the tire diamter is ~29".

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...the #whatpressureyourunning came to a head when Moulton's son wrote a scathing response to JH's review of a Moulton bike... any one interested in the #whatpressureyourunning should give it a read... forget the forums, this was was like two IV leaguers smacking each other a la Borat

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

That's it, I am forming a nonprofit association dedicated to the rescue of throwing dogs, dogs forced to run aside their cycling owners and unleashed dogs brought to biek races without crowd barriers by spectators too clueless to realized they should be more interested in professional poker, wrestling and bowling!

Go Fuck Yourself, Fuckhead Ted said...

Harper-Mercer, Odom, Roof, Flanagan are more recent sadistic morons with Manifestos, and they are ironically as valid as Fuckhead Ted (not at all valid). It is actually more likely that we are being invaded by aliens, than human beings (including Fuckheads Teds, both Fake Ted and Prison Bitch Ted use the internet for just one example) are going to give up on technology.

Grump said...

About your video about Stig Broeckx.

Didn't Donald Trump just say that all Motorcyclists hate bike riders????

Vernal Magina said...

In NYC, oil slicks you!

Anonymous said...

--Ride the tire pressure that feels good to you.
--When in doubt, let let some air out


Seattle lone wolf said...

Great title today.

Joe said...

"The commissioner added that investigators will continue to go after reckless drivers, but eliminating all pedestrian fatalities just isn’t plausible.'As long as we have humans who are walking, riding bicycles, cars, as long as we have people, we will have crime,' the commissioner said." Source

Yes Bill, we mustn't forget the thousands upon thousands of years of human walking deaths--the tragedy as old as time and immovable as the Sun itself! When will the scourge of human walking be banished from the annals of unending tragedy that is the human existence? Never, I say. Never. To think otherwise would be folly of epic proportions. We are not Gods! And we must leave the foolish and futile pursuit of becoming them laying in the ground where it belongs.

Unknown said...

How can so anti-car David Byrne even remotely justify taking a stretch Hummer to any event. F#&king hypocrite ! At-yi-yi

P. Bateman said...

I'll tell you what pressure feels good to me - when its tight...but not toooo tight.

when she does the kegle move for a few strokes...thats as tight as i need.

Gideon said...

Just filling time.

- Nada Robot

Fred Fruitloops said...

Way in the back of the peloton today and no chance of even seeing the podium.

Now that trucks and SUVs are selling like hotcakes because gas pries are so low, low, low - we can forget Vision 0 - more like Vision -20.

McFly said...

Are you sure that's not a larger caliber Throwing Dog w/handy backpack feature?

Roille Figners said...

It's time for cycling to grow up like other professional sports... and then keep going and have all professional sports including cycling grow up into actual grown-ups and get a real job! I know, I know.

Also all the vague marketing-talk and retro-talk in tire sizes makes this seem like a good time to plug the ETRTO/ISO tire nomenclature, such as 47-559 (food delivery), 32-622 (racing), or 42-584 (Jan Heine).

Roille Figners said...

Well 32 is a little wide for racing... BUT AT LEAST I CAN TELL WHAT THE GODDAMN WIDTH IS

Anonymous said...

I am confused. Being a robot in the UK, to me NFL sounds like that mini war in short bursts that 'mericans call a sport. Are you suggesting future bike races take place as an infinite number of very short sprints with endless time wasting conferences between? Just wondering..

.See Three Pee Oh.

Anonymous said...

I miss Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg. I also miss the old days when there was no bike infrastructure, no citi-bikes and about 90% less cyclists on the road. You could do whatever the fuck you wanted. now you have to stop at a red light in central park or you will get a ticket. It's a fucking park! there are like 45 red lights on the 6 mile loop so by enforcing the redlight laws against bikes the city and de blasio are basically eliminating it as a feasible cycling route and relegating cyclists to contend with the much more dangerous city streets. Makes (vision) zero sense.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:29pm,

Oh, they did bike crackdown ticketing blitzes before the infrastructure too.

--Wildcat Etc.

Olle Nilsson said...


Get rid of all the cars and motorbikes. Make the riders carry spares like old-timey racers did. Film it with drones. Have a drone with razor blades at the ends of its rotors to clear spectators. Maybe a wooden cart at the back to pick up the riders who can't get back on their bikes.

Cur Few said...

There should be NO dogs allowed on bike paths after dark!

I Pulled It Off Once said...

is it ok to throw a dachshund, or is there a law against tossing a pet wiener in public?

Anonymous said...

Bieks has got it right. Drones and helmet cams, and make the riders change their own tires. I like the wooden cart idea, too.

No words?! said...

Friday, dozens of motorcyclists had a rally at the Suck, Bang, Blow in Murrells Inlet after they held a ride for Trump. Chris Cox created the group “Bikers for Trump.”

Vernal Magina said...

I was biking in the Park on the way to work a couple years ago, late-morning, mid-week. Riding right alongside a cop car, nearing a red light by Columbus Circle I stopped, as did the cop. It was pretty quiet in the park. Unclipped, foot on the ground, just waiting, right alongside the cop (might've even had my headphones on). Then the cop just sorta said I could go, through the red light, with a wave of his hand. It was kinda funny.

spoonfight said...

I just bring my dogs with me:

They weigh about 45lbs each, and it's surprisingly stable, provided they aren't moving around a lot.

Roille Figners said...

Sweet canine portaging setup! DOGG TUBB

Knüt Fredriksson said...

From now on, I'll always picture this when I think of the phrase Dog Eared.

And if anyone ever says weimaraner on your back.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Wow, today's comment board is all up in my business.

How did you guys know that my gf likes slip collars and short leather leashes?

Then I stick it in her basket, and if I am lucky, it ends with her tossing my pet weiner in public.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Blah blah Vision Zero, Blah blah Blah DeBlase and Bloomingberg, PEDs not pedals,phllbbbtt! Weiner dog chucking, nyuk nyuk, who gives a shit about 700c vs 650b? Too much to clutter my brain, I wanna be like Ted Kuntzinski.

Euphemismastic said...

Hey there Pulled It Off, not sure about tossing your wiener, but I think there is a law against spanking your monkey in public.

Tarzan said...

Unggh. I leave any monkey business up to Jane.

NourskSiklist said...

Too slow today, even for das Bröömwagen. Damn you, Plate Tectonics. I have two questions (asking for a friend). Uno: If a wayward pedestrian gets shot and killed by a legally armed cyclist, when the former failed to use the zebra crossing, and the latter was wearing his regulation helmet - would there be criminality, or would the cyclist come out on top?

Dos: Again, asking for a friend. If one is constantly wondering #whatpressureyourunning, and indeed cannot help oneself from asking other cyclists, even copping a feel of their tyres when opportunity presents itself... is that being 'psi-curious'?

Domo arigato Mister Robotto

Silverback said...

If I recall correctly, didn't Tarzan have to beat off a great ape in order to save Jane?

P. Bateman said...

Silverback - no, it was a Grape Ape

NSW Police said...

Regarding the video clip:-

$425 Not stop before red traffic light
$425 Riding a bicycle dangerously (track stand)
$109 Not have bell attached to bicycle

Do you want a sanctimonious lecture or a crash tackle with your tickets sir?

Some guy from upstate said...

It has always bothered me that the place is called "Suck-Bang-Blow" when it should be "Suck-Squeeze-Bang-Blow". Dumb Hog riders.

Dooth said...

I rode the trail which used to called the Old Putnam Trail, but is now known as the Wildcat Trail...wore the orignal BSNYC cycling cap, which made two fellow cyclists smile in recognition, a young lady and an older gent. Beautiful moment. Honestly, I was touched. Such a feel good vibe from that BSNYC cap. It's a force of good in this world. So let's get that Fondont going asap on a weekday and we'll be that much closer to peace on Earth.

Anonymous said...

No Words 413 "Suck, Bang, Blow...” What does Suck, Bang, Blow charge for two BJ's and a screw?

Biking with dogs said...

Biking with a dog is illegal in Australia - as though you hadn't already guessed:-

The rider of a bicycle must not lead an animal, including by tethering the animal to the bicycle. Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

A penalty unit is $110 so maximum penalty is $2,200. Plus $425 for dangerous cycling.

As for biking with a dog on your head, well that is a serious criminal offence usually punished with a lengthy jail sentence.

trackstander said...

Where's the kickstarter for a trackstanding fall save device? Let's get it going to make the world a safer place.

leroy said...

On those evenings when my dog leaves home wearing "flashing lights, a slip collar, and a short leather leash," I'm pretty sure he's going to a rave.

JLRB said...

riding with dogs is just nuts - I was given one of those leash devices that you attach to your bike as a gift - no thanks...

Now if they add dogs to the mad max race we'll have something to see

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