Monday, January 29, 2018

Freds Like US

All great empires fall eventually, undone by unsustainable expansion, rebellion, or their own hubris:

(Dickus's inability to quell the unruly mob at Brian's crucifixion signaled the beginning of the end of the Roman empire.)

Given this, it was only a matter of time until the United States would meet a similar fate.  But what would be the final bolt in the faceplate?  The Trump administration?  The opioid epidemic?  A sudden realization among cats that they outnumber us and can overpower us at any time?


No, in the end, the history books will talk of how what was once the greatest democracy the world had ever seen was ultimately brought down by Freds:

Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.

The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.

Those of us old enough to remember the Cold War were raised on tales of espionage in which spies monitored each other's movements by means of tracking devices.  Now, it turns out we're all just wearing the tracking devices ourselves.  Whereas once an operative might have had to crawl under a car and affix some sort of magnetic homing beacon, now all they have to do is give their subject a crabon road bike, making that Cipollini video from some years back oddly prescient:

Even more incredibly, you may be able to thank Freds for finally proving the existence of aliens:

Outside direct conflict zones, potentially sensitive information can still be gleaned. For instance, a map of Homey Airport, Nevada – the US Air Force base commonly known as Area 51 – records a lone cyclist taking a ride from the base along the west edge of Groom Lake, marked on the heatmap by a thin red line.

Some of the photos on that guy's feed are super creepy:

It's common knowledge among conspiracy Freds that the US government has identified an alloy from a downed alien spacecraft that will yield frames of heretofore unimaginable lateral strength and vertical compliance.  As it turns out however, the aliens themselves are total retrogrouches, which is why Grant Petersen has a secret government contract to design a lug that will work with this interstellar tubing.

And you thought the Strava heat map was only good for finding those secret mountain bike spots.

Speaking of riding all-terrain bicycles, last Friday I headed out on Ol' Piney, which is of course the only bike I'll be riding this year (apart from the wooden bike, and the Yuba I'm testing, and...):

Being utterly self-absorbed I don't help maintain the trails I ride, so I figure the very least I can do is stay off of them when they're muddy.  We've had some warm days recently, but Friday was cold, so I knew things should be as firm as Cipollini's abdomen.  Unfortunately others had not been so considerate, and the trails were covered with frozen ruts, rendering them as bumpy and craggy as, well, Cipollini's abdomen:

It seems fairly simple to me: when you get a freakishly warm day in January go for a road ride, and when it's really cold out go for a mountain bike ride where you'll stay warm and protected from the wind.  Unfortunately the fair-weather mountain bros don't see it that way and the more scrupulous among us have to ride over their mess.  Then on my way home, I came across this:

Presumably on a warmer day this savvy driver ventured onto the trail when it was nice and soft thanks to all that melted snow and got stuck:

This particular trail happens to be a state park, and of course motor vehicles are not allowed on it, but I'm sure he was on urgent park business for the city of Yonkers:

Looks like he's got some violations in the City of New York as well:

And hey, whaddya know, that speeding violation was in front of my kid's school.


I may have to go back there and see if I can ride Ol' Piney over it.

Finally, you'll be pleased to know the Yuba Supermarch√© continues to be fun for the whole family:

Kiddie seats are great, but if you've got the space to store a barge like this there's nothing more convenient than letting your kids hop in and out of a large box.


Watch and Camera Guy said...


MolassesChamois said...

The truth is out there

Unknown said...

On a similar, but unrelated note, we have drivers in WA who kill motorcyclists and pepper spray witnesses.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Hard to tell if I have a chance for the podium. It shows only 1 comment, but I suspect that there are any number of comments ahead of mine waiting to be "moderated."

Brian said...

You can all think for yourselves!

Crowd said...

Yes, we can all think for ourselves!

Anonymous said...

je sus dans le premier dix

Hee Haw the Rocky Mountain barista said...

You call those ruts?

leroy said...

Well I'll be darned.

I thought the Witness Protection Plan folks nixed my dog's Strava account because they were concerned about rude drawings.

Looks like I owe someone an apology.

Dear Mr. WIWM @12:47 -

It's like that Ralph Waldo Emerson Lake & Palmer expression: "Moderation in all things, including moderation."

cervicalgia said...

Ha since when is there any moderation on this blog? Especially not the author!

Chazu said...

That bad guy has unkempt hair, yellow teeth, AND he speaks fluent German. That's how you know he's really, truly bad.

Dirk Montero said...

I can't help but wonder if 26x3.0" wheels and tires would fit in that frame? I wouldn't mention it (this is totally untrue - I would mention it in every imaginable circumstance) except that you're laboring under one of those self-imposed Sabbath-y / Lent-ian / Ramadan-ish regimes of self-denial that, as humans, we naturally create torturous rationales for completely breaking in practice, but not in theory, in light of aforementioned legal-esque logical handwringing. As such, don't you owe it to yourself to try out a 26" wheelset with the biggest possible tires you can fit? You'll be venturing into ++ or mid-fat or whatever territory without breaking your resolution, which you clearly take as seriously as I do. Or vice-versa.

Always happy to support/enable,


Anonymous said...

Before you try riding over that came, I hope you install some studded tires. Safety first!

JLRB said...

I always wait until I am at least 5 blocks away from my secret underground lair before turning on my ride data collection software. Not that anybody gives a shit where my lair lies.

Strava sounds Russian so I expect Mueller will add this to the list of potential unconnected dots...

Anonymous said...

getting comment approval is a little bit like that of a bitcoin transaction.
keep up with the cipollini metaphors until they one day make it to the urban dictionary.

bad boy of the south said...

most of us have rutted.i'm sure of it.i'm guilty of it.perhaps volunteering time and effort can lead to being in good stead.

HDEB said...

I suck because I can only successfully ride over coupes, not sedans, SUV's or pickups. It's satisfying to hear/feel the buckle of sheet metal and the shatter or safety glass as you ride over a motor vehicle.

JLo said...

Sorry for fan-boy'ing and embarrassing myself on the NJ side of the GWB on Saturday AM. I was just so excited to finally run into you!

Just my luck that I was fully decked out in my most fredliest outfit.

Great meeting you! Meant to thank you for the Daily Forecast, too! Keep it up.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

I think you need an Eruv zone for those loophole bikes.

Anonymous said...

I leave mud tracks in Van Cortlandt Park because I need to get to work, even on muddy days.

BikeSnobNYC said...


My pleasure. You looked very sharp! Let me know if you want to trade bikes.

Lt. Obvi,

oh my god that is a great idea.

Anonymous 5:02pm,

That trail is a lost cause and will (theoretically) be paved one day anyway.

--Wildcat Etc.

N/A said...

I think we can all agree that even trailbros need to get run over by cars every now and then. No sense letting Freds bogart all the good times.

clark said...

Slap a Bafang Bbs-hd on that Supermarche and write about it! Mid drive motors and cargo bikes are like peanut butter and jelly.

George Krpan said...

Proud member of the conspiratorium.

Anonymous said...

RIDE RUTS said...


Bill said...

Whip out your multi tool and take those shrader valve cores out! Although, with flat tires, it might remain in your path forever!

Chazu said...

Looks like your Strider rider is still "running" the short seat post. My youngest graduated to the long post/saddle last weekend. I managed to snap the clamp bolt and had to replace it with a higher quality bolt. The bike lost precious grams in the process, while maintaining its lateral stiffness and vertical rigidity.

BikeSnobNYC said...


No, that's the long one.

May go crabon though.

--Wildcat Etc.

Michael said...

Hello Bike Snob
How is the cable steering on that bakfiets? Do you trust it to last? Can it be serviced easily?

Anonymous said...

We need undercover bike cops to assure drivers who force cyclists into illegalities will lose licenses.