Monday, April 1, 2019

Warning: This Post Contains Exactly One (1) Incredibly Obvious April Fools' Gag

Good morning!

I am obviously America's foremost helmet troll:

(A helmet troll)

And as such it is recumbent upon me to write a column about The Great Trek Bicycle-Making Company's™ new Miracle Helmet®:

For best results, be sure to spraypaint yourself from head to toe:

Speaking of not seeing things that are right in front of you, on today's Bike Forecast I shared the following tweet from the NYPD 103rd Precinct:

It's a scientific fact that when you use the expression "Love 'em or hate 'em" about something it means you fucking hate that thing.  But yes, bicyclists and motorcyclists are very hard to spot when your head is lodged firmly in your own anal canal.

In much happier news (for me), Eroica California is just over the next pass:

Don't forget, if you're there too and you run into me, be sure to call "dibs" and I'll give you my bike after the ride.

On Saturday, the Nova Eroica is like an 80-something mile ride, and hopefully I don't fall apart too spectacularly as that will be the longest ride I've done since, well, last year's Eroica California.  However, I am slightly heartened by the fact that I totally "passed" my bicycle-cycling race in Central Park this past Saturday, clinging tenaciously to the rear of the pack like a bur on a shaggy dog's ass.  And after my anal-retentive Lycra-clad exploits on Saturday I donned the Jorts of Freedom for a chubby-tired recovery ride on Sunday:

And you know spring has sprunged when the snakes emerge:

Lest you think it's just some tiny thing I can assure you it was enormous, and here it is from another angle that should help give you a sense of scale:

Also, if you zoom in you can see it was most likely venomous, given the formidable fangs and the rattle:

And that concludes the April Fools' portion of the post.


Anonymous said...

Pure gold: "putting more heads in helmets will always be far less important than putting more asses on bikes." Thanks for the mantra, Mr. Tan!

huskerdont said...

Garter snake. We were taught that they were nonvenomous, but I learned recently they do in fact have a mild venom; it's just not dangerous to human peoples.

My recentish MIPS purchase is going to have to hold for a while, at least until the jury comes back. I mean, Trek thought press fit was a good idea, so I'm not trusting anything on their (and their business partners') word alone. However, if they did actually invent a helmet that was actually effective in preventing concussions, I'd maybe wear one a little bit more often.

wishiwasmerckx said...


Chazu said...

Must you be riding or otherwise mounted upon your bike(s) before someone can call dibs on your bike(s)? Or can someone barge into your place of lodging at 12AM on the morning of each ride, and shout "DIBS!" at you as you slumber?

der blaue Reiter said...

Nice article and i also look forward to smirking at the many affronted responses. More asses on bikes!

Dirk Montero said...

Mr. Snob,

Please allow me to pose a question that ties together two of today's topics, minus the April Fool's gag.

I plan to ride in the Nova Eroica on Saturday and have every intention of singling you out and claiming your bike, which I need in no way whatsoever and may result in instant divorce if I dare to bring it home with me. I'm riding the Nova ride on Saturday, rather than the main event on Sunday because a) I haven't yet spent the time de-contenting my old RB-1 to qualify for old-enough-tech standards, and b) I'm busy on Sunday.

My question to you is: do you know if the Saturday ride requires a helmet? My guess is no, because their lack of historical accuracy clearly overrides legal concerns for the Sunday ride on classic bikes in period dress and reduces their status to "recommended", but I'm only assuming the same degree of headwear freedom applies on Saturday too.

Of course I COULD email the ride organizers themselves, but that would be way less entertaining.


BikeSnobNYC said...


There's some latitude but the scenario you describe is unacceptable.

Dirk Montero,

Look forward to seeing you maybe! Not sure if there's a helment requirement Saturday. Also not sure how there could be since it's not sanctioned by a sporting governing body or anything like that. Since I'll be going Full Fred on Saturday I will most likely top the ensemble with a foam hat though.

--Tan Tenovo

Spokey said...

didn't notice it was april fools' day until the mail came and there it was

a new issue biekel-cycling

i gotta figure out how to donate to the leak of ameri-can biek-cycles without them sending me this thing for six months every times i donate.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Foam hat?

You cheap bastard.

You have 17 kids to provide for and this free content to give away.

Spring for the Wave Cell green matrix already.

Paul Heckbert said...

Even donkeys are wearing helmets these days:

nscadu 9 said...

I recommend that you delay the "dibs" call until the 50 km mark or somewhere deeper into the ride. This at least forces someone to keep up with you or more likely, sandbag back to you while keeping an eye on mileage. It also gives you a chance for a breakaway just before the mark. Sounds more entertaining to me than the starting bunch waiting for your toes to leave the ground and a chorus of 'dibs'

Very Slim Pickens said...

NY Times today has an article on strange stories that have appeared in the Times. 1896 - A ghost is reported to have been seen riding a bicycle. Lots of witnesses too.

Very Slim Pickens said...

“just not dangerous to human peoples.” Obviously you’re not talking about the snake in the White House.

Knilchbeppo said...

Is it possible that "safer" helmets might encourage more people to ride, with all the associated benefits?

BikeSnobNYC said...



You think there's a vast untapped reserve of potential cyclists out there just waiting for better helmets? I don't.

--Tan Tenovo

P. Bateman said...

here is what i think i would do to ensure first dibs...

find out the hotel that snob is staying in...go there around 1am the morning before the race and pull the fire alarm.

While he is outside in his pajama jorts...grab his car keys, wallet, pillows and mini bar snacks.

they'll determine its a false alarm but you can now easily ride away in his rental car with both bikes and all that other loot you nabbed.

you can then call his hotel once you're a safe distance and say...dibs mother fucker. enjoy sleeping on no pillows.

its one way to skin that cat i suppose.

Knilchbeppo said...

Snob, no I don't either (mainly because "vast number of cyclists", potential or otherwise, is oxymoronic unless we are talking about China pre 1990), but there are bound to be many that would consider it if they got convinced somehow that it was safer in general for them to do so. If a "safer" helmet helps bring that argument home, why the fuck not? Who cares if the thing actually works.

Drock said...

What helmet pressure you runnin’

BikeSnobNYC said...


The average person was not questioning the efficacy of helmets before MIPS and WaveCel came along anyway; most already assume they work thanks to the constant helmet messaging. Like I said, I really don't think anyone's sitting around waiting for the helmets to get better before they ride a bike.

--Tan Tenovo

Grump said...

In the last 37 years, I have crashed innumerable times. In that same time period, I have broken one helmet. To test out my helmet theory, I crashed last week. Four broken ribs but not a scratch on my helmet. (damn 7800 crank snapped)

Anonymous said...

it's well documented that tan tenovo will only wear a wooden helment, bamboo to be more specific. i wear one because it's been so long that i don't know otherwise.

huskerdont said...

Very Slim Pickens:

No, I have actual respect for real snakes. Using the term on the current PA Avenue occupant would be a disservice to snakes.

HDEB said...

I'd never wear that Trek Wave Cell Helmet, it is hyper geeky. Yesterday I gave away one of my bikes, I form attachments with inanimate objects so that was big.

Pist Off said...

None of this incremental helmet tech significantly helps cyclists who get smashed by SUVs. That’s the obvious safety tech we need- separating auto traffic from bicycles makes all cyclists much safer.

I welcome safer helmets, but certainly don’t believe they’ll increase cyclist numbers. Right now helmet safety is all in whose marketing you believe, until there’s a solid testing standard with scientific validity. MIPS seems to have a respectable scientific basis and medically educated leadership, and it’s available in mid-priced helmets. Meanwhile, Trek is pricing Wave Cell at the upper upper end of the market. Their only wave cell mountain helmet, with a bit more back-of-head coverage, is $299. There’s one dorky wave cell commuter lid and one generic roadie lid each for “only” $149. So the price premium is large and the self-funded science behind their bold safety claims is murky. To be fair, Virginia Tech independent testing put Trek WC helmets at the #1 and #3 spots of their recent safest list, but MIPS models are in slots #2, 4, and 5 with very similar scores.

Anonymous said...

Pist Off @ 11:56 am

You got it! It's the cars (SUVs), folks. It's the "distracted" driving (aka driving drunk while not actually being drunk). It's the giant front hoods that are hard to see over. It's all of these things and more so. I have heard from so many people that they are afraid of riding a bike because of the crazy drivers.

Helmets are not the reason people will suddenly get on their bikes.

PS, in the '70s I rode a bike to school everyday, along with 100's of others, and none of use ever wore a helmet.

JLRB said...

Snake! Snakes are the secret ingredient in the WaveCel helment.

(I am catching up on a week's worth of prolific posts - I picked the wrong time to fuck off)