Monday, July 24, 2017

Is It Wednesday Yet?

Canada:



For those of us who reside down here in her dirty pant cuffs it's tempting to imagine Canada as an endearingly polite idyll with free health care and a dreamy prime minister:


However, every so often something comes along to shatter our illusion and remind us that our unassuming neighbor to the north also has its share of violence-prone pickup truck-driving troglodytes:


PETERBOROUGH—A driver has been charged after a dramatic video showed a 74-year-old cyclist viciously attacked on the side of the road with a club.

Peterborough police said that just after 11 a.m. Tuesday, the cyclist was riding in the area of Erskine Ave. when an argument broke out between him and a truck driver.

The driver climbed out of his truck and attacked the cyclist with a small club, police said.

Unlike his stateside counterparts he's wearing sandals:


But the dissimilarities end there.

“The sound of the club hitting him was sickening,” the woman told the newspaper. “Blood was flying off it.”

She said she didn’t witness what led to the encounter.

“They were flailing their arms around and the guy walked back to his truck,” she said.

I'm going to go ahead and guess what led to this encounter is the same thing that leads to every instance of driver-on-cyclist road rage, which is that the driver nearly killed the cyclist with his giant motor vehicle by doing something stupid or selfish or both, and the cyclist had the audacity to exercise his self-preservation instinct by trying not to die.

Just a hunch.

Still, not all Canadian pickup truck drivers are bad, and some might even save you from a bear attack:


He began hitting his horn to get the cyclist’s attention, seeing that his speed would not outrun the bear.

“Finally he looked over at me and I said, ‘You’ve got a grizzly bear about 25 feet behind you.’ He looked back and went, ‘Oh!’ and started to pound on the pedals.”

Here's what a touring cyclist looks like when he's being pursued by an ursine wheelsucker:


And here's a bear who has locked on to the irresistible scent of pannier stuffed to capacity with dried meats and dirty chamois:


At this point you may be wondering, "What should I do if I find myself being chased by a bear?"  Well, here are some things you can try:


Though it doesn't address various concerns specific to cyclists, chief among them being "What pressure should I be running?"

Nevertheless, the number one threat to our well-being continues to be idiots driving cars, and while self-driving technology may soon factor the idiots out of the equation you can be sure the auto-industrial complex will figure out new ways to make safety your problem:

(Via @TrueBS)

On a recent afternoon, Rowe pedaled a white Bianchi Brava bicycle up and down a busy street in the city's university district. His bike was loaded with gear: the antenna of a GPS unit extended above his head in a long plastic tube, a laser range finder called a LIDAR measured the precise position of everything around the bike, four inertial measurement units captured motion, a water bottle held a battery, a computer collected all that information, and every other spoke carried a speedometer.

"I would not be happy if I had to ride this every day," says Rowe, hopping off the bike. "But hopefully when all of this stuff just gets embedded in a cellphone on the front, then it should be no problem."

Oh, sure, helping the machines help you seems innocent enough, but it's not too hard to imagine a future in which this sort of technology becomes mandatory.  And while that might not seems like such a big deal either (after all, we're all riding around with phones anyway), in practice it could have many of the same implications of a helmet law, such as enforcement for not using it falling disproportionately on certain segments of the population.  Plus, the auto industry has been deflecting responsibility onto more vulnerable road users since the days of the hand-cranked engine, so why should we expect this to be any different?  I'm sure the traffic light and all the other controls we're familiar seemed like good ideas at the time, and of course we couldn't imagine life without them now, but really what they served to do was wrest control of the streets from anyone who wasn't driving a car.  You're already fair game out there, and being forced to get "wired up" before riding a bike (even if it's just flipping a virtual toggle switch on your phone) feels like a final act of surrender.

Of course, we all know who's going to sell us out first: the Freds.  They're used to riding while connected anyway so will no doubt embrace this technology, and from there we'll soon reach a point when "serious" cyclists sneer at anybody riding without LIDAR in the same way they currently do ay anyone who rides without first putting on a foam hat.  And who do you think will be the first country on earth to bend over and willingly accept mandatory GPS cycling suppositories?  Yeah, that's right:


You have been warned.


43 comments:

wle said...

PODIA/scrania!

right, the electronic stuff will just make the bikes an easier target....

wle

hellbelly said...

Bending over to accept a podium spot.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even want to podio.

misster-PISSTA aka eriK Zo said...

google supositories have built in poop doping though

Anonymous Coward said...

"They never ask why"
Oy!

Kinda nice, to prove I wasn't a robot I had to remove all the images with cars.

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

ken e. said...

stupid phones. leave that crap at home, go ride.

Jojo Potato said...

Just reading a book by Charles Stross where the totally monitored environment makes people without phones or other electronics the obvious suspects for whatever crime needs solving So in fact not streaming your life on faceblat makes you a criminal. Every time I see that smiling Zucker I think, or course he's smiling he's got more money that God, and everyone's picture that he can sell 27 ways. Sigh..

Chazu said...

Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park are giving advice which contradicts the advice shown here. They advise visitors to yell, flail their arms, and throw rocks and sticks to discourage an advancing bear.

Why do those who attack cyclists seem to look alike? Is it genetic?

Marshall Grant Neely

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

SkyNet ... became too powerful.


My Orbea is now "self aware"?

vsk

Anonymous said...

PETER...borough. Let the below the belt jokes begin.

Anonymous said...

Chamois butt'r

bad boy of the south said...

F that! I am bringing my own billy club.bear that in mind.

grog said...

Not riding in bear country; my fear is being chased by Recumbabe. What should I do if that happens?

Anonymous said...


Hmm... what was that club?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ZKJAwryeA

Big Strong Man beats on old man on cycle said...

The drooling driver had an "excuse": The cyclist hit his truck. Which is kind of like saying he hit my fist with his nose. But then again your typical loserville RedNek thinks his truck is his best friend/lil baby, cause he doesn't have anything else.

Drock said...

That's why I always ride with a old left crank in my pockets, good for window tapping, good for skull cracking, good for opening beers, you'll want 175 however, more reach for your buck.

Autonomous vehicles are not shit-fer-brains Redneks said...

"People did feel much more comfortable riding next to autonomous vehicles than they did next to human vehicles. I mean, autonomous vehicles, they don't get angry, they don't have road rage."

N/A said...

Grog @ 2:04

Accept, if possible.

E-Scaper Jones said...

Helment(s) r for hero's could be the next "Trojan Man"condom commercial!

Grump said...

It's a shame nobody told Hugh Glass about those Bear "rules".......

leroy said...

Well I say you can keep your Google suppositories, thank you very much.

My dog got me something called a "Suprep Bowel Prep Kit."

He assures me it will make me go so fast I'll have to wear a helmet around the house.

I usually take his coaching advice with a grain of salt. This time he suggests taking it with two 16 0z glasses of water.

BamaPhred said...

65 and 74? And brawling? The Pockylypse is upon us.

1904 Cadardi said...

Those old "Heroes Wear Helmets" era Giros look like a Toucan beak when worn backwards. Nothing since made backwards helment day quite so tropically fun.



Robo-test: Find all squares that match the image BIKE, but alas none were to be found.

Anonymous said...

Chazu...

The Rocky Mountain folks be advising how to behave when faced by black bears. Grizzlies and Black bears behave differently in these situations.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

24rd? Sorry I missed the sprint. I was busy trying to wedge my 1990s brick phone between my buttock cheeks. Somewhat painful every time I tried to sit on the saddle also...

wishiwasmerckx said...

So now I have to be able to employ binomial nomenclature to determine the genus and species of the onrushing bear in order to determine which defensive posture to employ?

I am soooo bear shit. It's been nice knowing you guys...

Anonymous said...

scat

Very Slim Pickens said...

Hey, that's Yogi, but where is Boo-Boo Bear?

Sticks and Stones said...

The truck involved was a Mother's Bread delivery truck. All the cyclist yelled was "You Mother Truckers need to be more careful". Driver took such an innocent thing badly for some reason.

Strange Brew said...

Front page article on Canada and CC & Ms. Babble have nothing to say. Coincidence, I don't think so. You're a cop, do the math man.
PS Maple Leaf Babe seems to be silent on the subject too.

Pist Off said...

"Nice truck! Sorry about your penis, man."

Gets coal rollers/garage queen drivers really, really mad.

Dooth said...

That's fascist canuck we saw in that there video...he nasty.

GW Hayduke said...

Meanest drivers are commuters,usually. Women,at least 50%

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

Last year was a record year for pick up truck sales up here in yonder traitor in chief's toupee, too. And there's never any shortage of arseholes driving them. How else do you think Toronto might have ended up with those Robba the Fords for Mayor??

Have you ever noticed, though? Almost all of the bye-cycle hating drivers are post MENopausal men? They've shrivelled up and blown away where it counts, y'know, from too many sedentary commutes, and they hate us for our vitality. And maybe they should, too, cause d'ya know what'll happen if they try hard enough to be like their leaders, the late Fords....? They, too, might just die of cancer of the fat. It's true.

A little warning to the ugly tempered motorist.

2 cents from yonder left coast, where our dreamy prime minister used to be a school teacher, before he got into bed with Big Oil. The man is a menace to the planet.

babble on said...

OMG!! That's BOB and DOUG's place!! They're doing a benefit this week, along with the rest of the SCTV crew, and it's so very cool that you stumbled upon them, too, snobberdooderdoo! Heh... for years now, you'll often find me singing their cuckoo song as loudly as I can when I'm approaching say, a blind corner, or something. Or even an intersection with zoned out pedestrians, ... or whatever. Gotta keep the Canadian spirit alive n'all.

Um, and from Friday? Steve?

Like I tell the peeps who wonder how I can ride in stilletos... if you have to wear a safety hat on a bike, you really ought to wear your safety shoes, too. I've been known to teach dressage to youngsters, and when I do, they're not allowed on the animal without wearing heels, at least not if they're riding with a saddle. Why? Well, if you were to slip up, a heel will stop your foot from sliding through the stirrup, preventing you from being dragged by the foot, alongside a very large, distressed animal.

A good heel might one day prevent you from slipping forward off the pedal, too, and banging yer ... er... bits n'bobs on something hard and painfull.

So, while we're chatting?? Since you've declared yourself an expert on such matters, I'm curious as to how, in your esteemed opinion, a girl is supposed to dress...? Ought we to wear sneakers and yoga gear to work?? Or are we supposed to dress like you men do?

Enquiring minds so do want to know.

Anonymous said...

44 mag. Double tap body center mass and one in the head to make sure. Effective on bears and pickumup drivers alike.

Matt said...

When being chased (on your bike or on foot) by a grizzly bear, you don't have to be the fastest...just the 2nd slowest.

Ground Control said...

That's no club, that's a giant dildo!

Hill Slayer said...

Maybe refrain from rapey, sex-negative analogies about submission and anal sex in order to demonstrate your points. There are many other ways to metaphysically represent your thoughts that do not involve homophobic ideas or fear of the feminine.

Here is a random link with a short list of how to be sex positive: http://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-does-sex-positive-mean.

Anonymous said...

Canada exculpates itself:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/canada-post-prohibits-bike-lane-parking-1.4221781

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