Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance To The Radio

As you may or may not or may may not be aware, WBAI, the station that was broadcasting my radio show, has stopped broadcasting:

Hey, at least I got mentioned in the article:

Oh well, it was a good run.  Yes, my radio career was quite the thrill ride.  There I was, sitting on the couch eating Doritos a few months back, when the WBAI program director called and asked me if I wanted to be on the radio.  "Sure," I replied, brushing the crumbs off my gut and shuffling off to the shower, and the rest is history.  On one foot I'm sad that I no longer have a radio outlet on which to bloviate, but on the other foot I no longer have to schlep all the way to Brooklyn every Monday, so it all works out in the end.

Of course, WBAI is simply the latest victim in a long series of august enterprises I've successfully tanked.  For example, there was Islabikes, who sent me (well, my son) a bike to test and then shuttered their United States headquarters:

Then there was Renovo, and we all know what happened with them:

As for why this is happening, I have two theories:

1) Companies only reach out to me out of sheer desperation, and by the time they do they've already got one foot in the grave;

B) I am truly cursed and my touch causes even the ripest fruit to wither and die on the vine.

Either way, I imagine Tresca are like, "What the hell were we thinking?"

Speaking of the Tresca, while I may not have been blown away by its performance in a racing scenario, I'm not writing it off by any means, and will continue to experiment with it as time permits.  Unfortunately I don't have unlimited access to a wide variety of components, but certainly swapping wheels with my plastic bike is in order, and a saddle change as well as a swap to a longer stem with some rise would also be worthwhile.  I will say though that when, the day after the race, I hopped on my Plastic Fred Sled I was like, "Wow, this bike feels good:

Then when I hopped on my new-to-me titanium "Forever Bike" I was like, "Wow, this bike feels really good:"

I may not have a radio show anymore, but I'm in a pretty good place as far as bikes go, anyway.  And isn't that what's most important?

Finally, I've got a new column on the Outside website, and it's about how we should stop making such a big fucking deal about bike lanes already:

If the media constantly referred to toilets as "controversial" we probably wouldn't have enough of them either.


Il Pirata es Mort said...

Citizen Kafka is starting a bike blog

Anonymous said...

Threadless stem right? Just flip it over! - Mas

John Wares said...

crap I was coming here to get the new table of contents in latest Outside issue

Unknown said...

For what it's worth, I've quite enjoyed your show, particularly the "live on air" and "call in" aspects that force people to listen to you who otherwise never would. One might even go so far as to say it could make a difference and inspire someone to re-consider before plowing over a child on a bike and blaming them. Or the show could go so far as to make me laugh at angry callers while I'm at work. Either way, here's hoping you find another way to grace the airwaves one day!

Anonymous said...

A lot of folks* live 30-50 miles from their jobs in remote rural areas not served by public transit. Antiquate that, whydontcha.

*Granted, we're talking smelly WAL*MART shoppers in flyover country. When the Schiff hits the fan I'm sure you'll want to herd them all into FEMA re-education camps.**

**Have fun with that.***

***Molon labe.

mikeweb said...

I've seen some fairly controversial toilets in my lifetime.

Just sayin'

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Oh, man... the best part of the day is coffee and Bike Forecast... and the best part of the week is getting into the office and listening to the show on Mondays.

Kickstarter anyone?

Anonymous said...

You know I was just looking at your picture of the Tresca and it occurs to me that maybe the size you are riding is too small? The seat is impossibly high & the Handlebars are LOW!??

Regarding bike lanes; it's basically a Catch 22. If you don't have them people won't ride, but building them doesn't mean people will ride. But, the other problem, the main problem in my view is traditionally how we think about bicycles in this country. Most of the friends that I have that are "cyclists" are "Recreational Cyclist". (Nothing wrong with that per se), but my riding a 33 mile round trip commute seems totally crazy to them! (Of course it is!), but, it's perfectly viable for the average person to ride 3, 4, 5, or even 10 miles for transportation; the chances of that happening without bike lanes is Near Zero.
To me just as I don't consider a guy with 4 bags of aluminum cans on a bike a "Cyclist" I really don't consider most people on $5,000+ Carbon Fiber road bikes Cyclist. Take away their ability to strap the thing to the back of their Ford Explorer and drive to their destination, take away their ability to ride in groups and chit chat and many of them wouldn't ride at all! It's basically a glorified piece of exercise equipment, Social outlet and not a real alternative to driving.
It's funny, many people I know who Commute or actively participate in using a Bicycle for transportation initially did it out of necessity. "Wife had the car", "car broke down". Etc. they see the bike in the corner of the garage and it's a light bulb moment. They try it and they say to themselves "wow, that wasn't too bad!"; "That was actually fun". I am sure in places like NYC, SF, etc. where it impractical to drive, buy-in is easier, but in Middle America the average person is going to need a little help, a nudge to get them to ride their bikes to Starbucks or to get a Sixer. So, honestly I think stat's showing that X many people own a Bike or X percentage of people rode their bike last year are just misleading and unfortunately don't necessarily correlate to Americans being open to the Idea of traveling by bike.
Of course the best way to push the idea is to be an example; (not to be too self congratulatory) but when I am out on my bike I try to stay aware of what I am doing and how I am coming across to others. If I can appear to be happy and gliding along effortlessly that's a bonus! ;-) - masmojo

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:54pm,

As I said in the last post, Tresca only do the bike in S, M, or L. The M is "my size" according to their sizing charts, and looking at the geometry of the L it would be too big. Seat is definitely not "impossibly high" (it's a compact frame with dropped seatstays so of course it looks that way). Stem is indeed pretty low (certainly not excessively so for a race bike), which is why I'd like to try a longer stem with more reach. But yes, certainly sizing isn't ideal here, which is why they're going to have a tough time competing with companies that offer a full range.

Anonymous 11:57am,

It's not that simple. Stem is already on the short side for me, flipping it will bring the bars up but reduce my reach. Need to try a longer, flipped stem. (An ungainly setup, alas.) This is why the S, M, L only sizing is limiting. (See above.)

--Tan Tenovo

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:26pm,

Rural people in low density areas obviously need to drive to their far-flung jobs.

At the same time, smart development and policy would provide them with housing closer to those jobs.

But it's easier to sell people cars and pay them shit.

--Tan Tenovo

Dan said...

Controversial problem:

BikeSnobNYC said...

...Anonymous 12:54pm,

Actually, I just looked again at the geometry for the L Tresca and it's not quite as large as I thought. I do think their sizing chart is a bit off and I'm probably right between sizes. Could very well be the L would be more comfortable, though ultimately I suspect either size would involve a little compromise.

--Tan Tenovo

leroy said...

Today is my dog's birthday.

I know this because when he arrived in Brooklyn as a scrawny rescue, he had tics, worms, and paperwork showing he was a little over a year old and, despite his protests, could in no way blame me for his riding fixed gear or whatever the hell it was that happened to his tail.

I also know this because he woke me this morning at 2:45, 4:30, and 7:30 to take him out, informing me that it's his potty and he'll try if he wants to.

He further opined "you would try to if it happened to you."

We may have to put the birthday cake on hold. But it's been a good 12 years.

mikeweb said...

@Anonymous 12:54pm

FWIW, years ago when I lived in the ex-urbs of Connecticut and worked at the bicycle shop in my town, my bike commute was about 3 miles *shorter* than my current one in Manhattan from Washington hgts. to Midtown.

And when in Connecticut I didn't live anywhere near the 'town center' where the shop job was either.

So as far as bicycles as transportation, to a large extent it's a case by case situation. But definitely, once someone has that 'lightbulb moment', they're almost always hooked for life.

Anonymous said...

You are to going concerns what the Grateful Dead was to keyboard players.

Anonymous said...

In regards to your Outside article: one way we are getting buy-in from electeds and (some of) the public is by stating the obvious about bike lanes - they are measures to improve health, safety, and welfare of the community, no different than other street infrastructure like curbs, gutters, and storm drains. Imagine people protesting a storm drain? You'd laugh them out of the room. We are doing the same thing with bike lanes.

Dooth said...

No Joy Division in Radioville.

Anonymous said...

@leroy 1:51

My kitteh Mister Grouchypants* wishes your goggie a tail-wagging good time on his birthday. May he live to elebenty-twenty in human years.

You know, fixed gear amputations are an actual thing. There's a picture (viewer warning) on Sheldon Brown's website. Stay safe, both of you.


*Two pair just in case

Anonymous said...


dnk said...

@leroy -- happy birthday to your wise dog.

NY TIMES said...

Cars Are Death Machines.
Self-Driving Tech Won’t Change That.

Matt said...

Wow Snobby...I'm pretty sure your article on bike lanes is controversial. Just sayin.

HDEB said...

Posting to a blog on Yom Kippur is controversial ; )

Beck the biker said...

Amy Goodman mentioned WBAI pulled the plug during Monday's Democracy Now show two hours before your show was scheduled to go on the air, and that monday went right out the window. I had begun to enjoy the fussilade of bike critics you drew out of the woodwork. I'm convinced a couple of those callers were the same guy trying to unconvincingly disguise his voice while he railed against the rule breaking bicyclists terrorizing all five boroughs. Well, probably frees you up for more mileage on mondays now that the radio gig is finished. Shop it around, maybe there's another station looking for a counterpoint broadcaster during the morning rush hour timeslot. "it's clear sailing along the west side greenway from the GWB all the way to the Javits, then tourist congestion slows it down to the Chelsea Piers, but still moving faster than the car traffic. Cross town's lousy."

huskerdont said...

So WBAI is gone for good, no hope of coming back? I remember a few years back the Pacifica station in DC, WPFW, went off the air for a bit but came back. Commercial free and listener supported is great but can be tough going.

Surprised no one is objecting to this bit:

"To me just as I don't consider a guy with 4 bags of aluminum cans on a bike a "Cyclist" I really don't consider most people on $5,000+ Carbon Fiber road bikes Cyclist."

I suppose what saves it is the "to me" qualifier.

"Definition of cyclist: one who rides a cycle"

I suppose that isn't quantified or quantified, so I guess if you don't ride 24/7 at at least 20 mph, you just do not count; ergo, there is no such thing as a cyclist.

Anonymous said...

"I guess if you don't ride 24/7 at at least 20 mph, you just do not count; ergo, there is no such thing as a cyclist."
Jan Heine perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Check out the controversy that happened with bike lanes in Providence last month. They are actually removing them...

Too Wide to Ride said...

Thanks, anon 2:06pm!

“The roads were so narrow that I personally was almost involved in a head-on collision,” he (David Salvatore) said."

Uh-huh. Then you are a driver who should be removed from public roads.
Incompetent drivers are worse than cyclists TAKING UP MY ROAD, GITTIN' IN M'WAY!!!

However, I personally am not a fan of two-way bike lanes, especially when they become single lanes, and no lanes at points. They have a two-way bike lane leading into a no-lane section then single lane section. That seems a bit like a forced head-on, so maybe David Salvatore was riding a bike, not driving. Engineered conflict is piss-poor design.


link w/ video

JLRB said...

Dear Snob - Given your track record, please come to DC and work for Trump.

Which hunt?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of being set for bikes, after many years and many bikes I feel that my stable is finally complete.

- Moots Vamoots DR (road)
- Specialized Diverge(trails)
- All-City macho man flat bar (commute)

Why have 1 bike when you can have 3?

dancesonpedals said...

Wither the Milwaukee?

wle said...

happens to me too.

I have 4 road bikes, and every time I switch between them
(usually because the current one needs something fixed),
I think "Now THIS is a great bike!"

I think I just like all bikes.

I've also got a hybrid, a mt bike and 2 folding mt bikes and it is the same thing.
"Now THIS is a great bike!"

wle said...

sorry about the radio gig, how come they don't just go to live streaming or something?


mikeweb said...

JLRB @ 5:20pm is on to something.

How does assistant deputy secretary of transportation sound?

On the downside Snob, you'd have to report to Mrs. Mitch McConnell.

leroy said...

Dear dancesonpedals @11:30 PM -

I was commuting and running errrands on my fendered Milwaukee that now also sports a rack for a pannier and was thinking "Wow, I really like this bike. It rides like buttah."

Okay, my dog added the second part. And he may have said I ride like a buttahball, but still....

If we marshall the Tour de Bronx again at the end of the month, I'm calling dibs on the Milwaukee. He can have the carbon sled.

Anonymous said...

Re: Outside article - Are you playing the "Fake News" card?