Monday, July 15, 2019

RTMS to Tan Tenovo

So not only am I still on the radio, but I officially* have the #1 bicycle-themed show in New York City in the coveted 10am Monday time slot!

*[Disclaimer: when I say "officially" I mean I've decided this must be true.]

Furthermore, I've asked WBAI to make it available as a podcast, but until that happens all shows are archived on their website, and you can also listen to this morning's episode right here.

Thank you for bearing with me while I explore the antiquated medium that is terrestrial radio, because blogs weren't outdated enough.

Speaking of this blog, obviously Rip Torn (or, more accurately, his mugshot) emerged as sort of an unofficial logo for it during its heyday:

Here's the story of how that happened.

Anyway, owing to this association, a number of people were compelled to notify me through various channels of Rip Torn's recent passing, even though it's 2019, we all have phones now, and on top of that I spend a lot of time on Twitter, which means I find out when famous people die immediately, just like you do.  Still, I can't deny that his death does represent the end of an era as far as this blog is concerned, even if I did think he was already dead, which I suppose also says a lot in and of itself.  Indeed, it was on Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 that I hit the "publish" button on my very first blog post, and here we are 12 years later, my posts serving now largely to point you towards my other outlets, including my Outside column, and the Bike Forecast, and of course now my radio show.  All of this is to say that in the wake of Rip Torn's death I did take a moment or two to reflect on the fact that I arrived upon the scene an upstart anonymous bike blogger with a cutting sense of humor, and I'm now an an overexposed bloviator who halfheartedly entertains the anecdotes of people who call into radio shows and who can't even get upset about people who salmon in the bike lane anymore.  (I really can't.)

In other words I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.

Speaking of my erstwhile sobriquet (that being RTMS, or "Rip Torn's Mug Shot,") not too long ago it gave way to "Tan Tenovo," which of course refers to the unintentionally comic rendering of my bike's make and model on ticket I got while riding my erstwhile Renovo over a year ago:

Well, I pleaded guilty to the alleged offense, and it now occurs to you that I'm remiss in reporting to you that on Friday, July 5th I appeared in traffic court on Fordham Road in the Bronx to mount my defense.  Given that this was right in the middle of a long holiday weekend I admit I had hopes that the ticketing officer would be a no-show, but show he did, and presumably everyone there in the courtroom had felt the sting of his ticket-writing pen.  (I'm assuming I was the only cyclist there, but I don't know for sure, since I was the second person called and I left immediately after the proceedings, as you will soon read.)

After the judge dismissed the first defendant's case due to what seemed to be sloppy note-taking on the part of the officer, he then called me to the stand.  Haltingly, the officer read from his notes, explaining that he had been driving behind a motorist (he kept calling me "motorist") who did not stop for a red signal.  So he stopped said motorist-er, cyclist-in a safe location and duly summonsed him. 

Now, I should point out that I have no recollection of what color the light was, for the simple reason that I didn't look.  I was fresh off of negotiating a very tricky stretch of road, and I was almost home, and as I approached the intersection in question my priorities were as follows:

  • Get home safely
  • Not inconvenience any pedestrians
  • Get home safely
In light of this, as I approached the intersection in question, I saw there were no pedestrians in or near the crosswalk, nor were there any motor vehicles approaching.  And so I made a right turn--on what, according to the officer, was a red light.

That's when I heard the blip of sirens, and next thing I knew I was proffering my ID.

Anyway, as the officer recounted this, I realized I didn't have much of a defense, since if he had in fact been right behind me I couldn't very well claim he didn't see what color the light was.  Therefore, when it came my turn to question the officer, out of pure desperation I opened up a line of interrogation about the configuration of the street.  Specifically, the officer could not say whether there was or wasn't a bike lane on the street on which I was riding (there was), which confirmed my own suspicion that the NYPD are physically unable to see bike lanes, and which would explain why the precinct in which I was ticketed has issued zero (0) tickets for parking in bike lanes since 2018.  I then introduced a new line of questioning about why he didn't use his siren to go through the red light I had supposedly run, but the judge was unmoved--in fact, more than that, he was annoyed.  Swiftly, he found me guilty, and ultimately I alighted back onto Fordham Road $190 poorer.

On the way home, it occurred to me that losing in traffic court is almost exactly like getting dropped from a bike race: you feel embarrassed, you're out a bunch of money, and you keep going over what you might have done differently.  In any case, in retrospect it was all worth it just to hear the officer testify in court that I had been riding a Tan Tenovo bicycle, which gave me a secret little thrill.

Moving on, this weekend I got to spend a little more time on the Jones LWB Plus Complete:

As I mentioned back on July 4th, I'd been forming the impression that the LWB is sort of the galloping horse to the SWB's wild boar, and my last ride only reinforced this notion.  While I was less inclined to change lines on the LWB, there was also less need to do so, since it rolls so easily over roots and rocks.  And inasmuch as I'm a two-wheels-on-the-ground rider more than I am a throw-the-bike-around rider (or, if you want to get technical, a "woosie") I'd say at this point I'm partial to the LWB. 

Then again, I'm the guy who's been commuting on a State Core millennial special:

Call it a midlife crisis, but I've been enjoying this bike (except for the Vans grips, which feel like someone standing on your hands while wearing a pair of vans), and I'm also still pleased with the Two Wheel Gear briefcase:

I'm pretty sure that every single street in the Bronx is currently being resurfaced, and if this thing can stay securely on the rack through all of that than I suspect it can handle pretty much anything.


Anonymous said...

Podiating yo.

And actually commenting: you are an idiot for paying that ticket. Misspelling the vehicle make as Tenovo makes the ticket jurisdictionally defective, thus the ticket must be dismissed.

This is true of all factual info on all tickets- because traffic court is a summary part, the bad guys are held strictly to their pleadings.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I'm an idiot, but not for that reason, they'd never have thrown it out on that basis.

--Tan Tenovo

Anonymous said...

A jurisdctionally defective ticket must be dismissed.

A ticket, especially on a vehicle with no license plates (thus identifiable only by info officer records) with inaccurate vehicle make info is jurisdictionally defective.

QED, yo. Other lawyers will probably agree soon.

wle said...

go tan tenovo!

i also lost in traffic court in atlanta,
for not stopping for a ped crosswalk with no one in it,
then disobeying the motorcycle cop i didn;t see,
patrolling this unbusy crosswalk,
assuming he would be too lazy to go over to the motorcycle and give chase (he wasn't),
then pretending not to hear some kind of bull horn thingy he was yelling through,
then turning onto a side road pretending he must have been chasing someone else,
because i didn;t do anything anyway,
then hoping he wouldn;t come to court because they never do (he did).

$100 plus annoyed judge..

Steve Barner said...

Not to mention that the bike is now gone to the left coast, and the company is defunct so there is no evidence that the spelling on the ticket is incorrect. With the cold winter, past, the few Renovos left in the northeast were almost certainly chopped up with artisinal hand axes and burned in Vermont Castings woodstoves both for heat, and to stop their incessant creaking, once and for all.

Anonymous said...

hey there snob,

in relation to the jones lwb and/or swb, did you opt-out of the truss for any reason?


BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:36pm,

Where do you practice law?

Anonymous 5:17pm,

The Jones bikes I'm testing are his completes, they come stock with the unicrown fork.

--Tan Tenovo

John said...

Snobby - you are a media celeberty and should have treated your court appearance as an opportunity! With a meer snap of your twitter fingers, I'm guessing you could have summoned 1/2 dozen of NYC's most pungent barristers, along with a phalanx of psuedo-journalists. I'm thinking the legal team would be in loafers, bike shorts and tweed, the blogspherists could have dressed as Jimmy Olsen or Peter Parker and everybody would be objecting, approaching the bench and maybe recreating some classic Night Court scene... (Is Bull still alive? he could replace Rip Torn I think)....

All in all, a missed opportunity to flex your celebrity muscles

Anonymous said...

"You can listen to this morning's episode right here!" [grabs crotch]

Are we not gonna talk about the WCRM era? Can't get from RTMS to TT without passing through WCRM!

Anonymous said...

"You can listen to this morning's episode right here!" [grabs crotch]

Are we not gonna talk about the WCRM era? Can't get from RTMS to TT without passing through WCRM!

Anonymous said...

The trope ‘you can’t fight city hall’ doesn’t stay around because it’s false. Just sayin. You’re a lot calmer than I would be. F**kers

DC said...

The Award of Excellence reminds me of the Yuck sticker

crank said...

Onya RTMS. I've been to court twice because *gasp* I didn't wear a fucking helment. One I lost and paid more (added court costs, so like $260AUD) and one I had dismissed. Stick that in your plastic beanie you goddam helmet fondlers! You are nothing but automotive industrial complex apologists! Stop pretending it doesn't deter would be casual riders.

(I've also just paid two out of pocket ($200 each) because I just couldn't be bothered go through the rigmarole of court).

Today's post and comments gave me a good chuckle and warm tummy feelings.

Specifically, the officer could not say whether there was or wasn't a bike lane on the street on which I was riding (there was), which confirmed my own suspicion that the NYPD are physically unable to see bike lanes, and which would explain why the precinct in which I was ticketed has issued zero (0) tickets for parking in bike lanes since 2018.


HDEB said...

Bacon glazed donuts please : )

Lyle said...

Next time get a lawyer when you get a ticket. If anything it will be entertaining. I have seen people use them in traffic court to keep points off their license. I have also been following your review of the jones bikes. I have a SWB spaceframe and love to ride it everywhere. I agree with your review of the two bikes.

Beck the biker said...

Tan - caught the first half of your show this morning..loved the NYT article read from the 1870s. I don't know if your considering the non-bike riding public radio listener, but the early history of the bike in New York City might have broad appeal to the NPR hoi polloi. There's so much there - Teddy Roosevelt, bike squad! the fight for Central Park... i've read the first uniform New York State traffic code was written in the 1890s for bike traffic, not motor vehicles. Sharing the intertwined history of the bike with listeners could put your show in the best bike radio show between 8 and noon. Or bigger. There's a lot of material with broad cross-appeal, as i listen to the last half of the show hearing your read of the 1910 article... more of those early anti-car articles would be fantastic too...get the locals all riled up about the hazards to pedestrians.


i was out riding before the show out here in timber country, and thought about your likely commute to the show, as i faced riding the same stretch of road not one, but two cougar darted out onto right in front of me last week, on one of the few good paved roads around these parts for loops... I was like - man, I'm kind of envious of all the traffic and choices BSBNYC faces, versus this cougar crap.

Your reviews of the Jones LWB make it sound ideal for the back roads around here, but now i'm thinking it's going to make a rider look too much like a galloping horse.

cyclejerk said...

I was contemplating the Jones LWB, but as I'm old and arthritic, opted for a cheapo Radwagon E-bike. Fairly close in price, and now I can haul my granddaughter along without mounting a child seat. Wonderful.

George Krpan said...

I see that the LWB comes with the new Jones grips. I just received some. I chose the "soft" option. They are clear and look very cool. I was using the ESI Extra Chunky and found them to be too hard. It's interesting that Jones chose to go with 34mm diameter, same as ESI Extra Chunky. The Jones are definitely softer and more comfortable, but, they don't fit the bar tightly and squirm a bit.

urchin said...

Ah, memories of times gone by.
Please stay just a little Torn for old times' sake.

Cyclist and PBS hoi polloi said...

I can see it now - Ken Burns will come a knocking to do a documentary on bike riding in NYC circa 1860 to now, and you will and Doris Kearns Goodwin will be the celebrity pundits!

Anonymous said...

Those Vans grips DO suck!!! I bought a pair years ago now and threw them away after a couple of rides so I wouldn't contemplate ever using them again. Hands ain't feet I guess.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:55pm,

Yeah, I just cut them off today.

--Tan Tenovo

Anonymous said...

I received 3 traffic tickets in NYC in my last 2 years there on my bike. All total bullshit. to add insult to to injury, one was in front of trump tower shortly after the election, where the cross street was closed to traffic. I stopped checked for pedestians and then rolled through at like 3MPH and a NYPD stopped me and wrote me a ticket. I asked him how it felt to be given Trump Tower duty. He didn't appreciate that. After daily commutes for over a year in SF i haven't been so much as looked at by a cop here. They have bigger fish to fry, not that the NYPD doesn't but BDB is pushing his anti-bike agenda and needs to fund his daily motocade to his gym in brooklyn for his 10 minute workouts. Why is he running for president bu the way? Who in thier right mind would financially back him, when he has exactly zero chance of winning, and is a fucking idiot. Not as bad as DT, but not far behind.

leroy said...

My dog asked me if you raised the defense that the ticket was defective because Marble Hill isn’t in the Bronx.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Steve Vaccaro laughed it off so I didn't bother.

--Tan Tenovo

Anonymous said...


huskerdont said...

I want a tax break for a regular, none-E, titanium bike. That is all.