Thoughts on a Santa Clara County transportation tax 2016

After the success of transportation funding measures earlier this month in San Francisco and neighboring Alameda County, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in Santa Clara County began scoping out a proposal for a new transportation tax for the rapidly growing South Bay that the call Envision Silicon Valley.


San Jose / Santa Clara Bike to Work Day May 8 2014

VTA funding backgrounder

VTA is the transportation planning and traffic congestion management agency for Santa Clara County, California, which is located at the south end of San Francisco Bay. The agency operates bus and light rail public transportation, and manages funding, design and construction of the highways in this region.

In addition to the various funds redistributed out to local agencies by the Federal government and the state of California, VTA currently collects a number of local sales taxes.

  • ¼¢ Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds mostly go to transit operations. 2% of this TDA tax — about $1.5 million annually — are earmarked for “Article 3″ bicycle and pedestrian projects.
  • 1976 Measure A ½¢ funds transit operations.
  • 2000 Measure A ½¢ for public transit capital improvement and operations expires in 2036.
  • 2008 Measure B ⅛¢ to fund operations and maintenance for BART Silicon Valley. Expires 2042.

East Bay and San Francisco Transportation Funding 2014

In California, any new tax or tax renewal requires a two-thirds supermajority to pass and become law. San Francisco’s Proposition A, allows the city and county of San Francisco to borrow up to $500 million for transportation projects and increase property taxes to pay for the bond obligations. This bond measure is tied to the city’s 10 year transportation improvement plan, so spending will primarily be on improvements that will benefit cyclists, walkers, and those who ride public transportation. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition endorsed Prop A, which passed with 70% earlier this month.

Alameda County voters also endorsed their new transportation tax, Measure BB, with 70% of the vote. Bike East Bay endorsed this measure, pointing out that 48% is dedicated for transit, 11% for biking and walking, and 9% for freeway projects. This is encouraging given that 83% of trips in Alameda County are made via automobile.

Envision Silicon Valley Stakeholder Meetings

Emboldened by these successes in nearby communities, VTA are now planning a similar transportation tax for the South Bay and have met with stakeholder groups. I’m encouraged by what I see so far. In their meetings with community organizations, representatives from these organizations have specifically asked for more frequency in low income communities, retaining BART Alum Rock, improving transit for all users, and better bicycle infrastructure for those using transit and those who don’t. These community groups also specifically listed out “improve air quality near highways in low-income neighborhoods” and “against freeway widening.” These “community groups” aren’t radical environmental groups asking for these things, but organizations such as La Raza, disabled advocacy groups, a group representing South Asians, and the African American Community Services Agency.

In another stakeholder meeting, representatives from transportation advocacy groups and chambers of commerce gave their input. Again, I mostly see good stuff in those notes, with a focus more on the benefits for employers and businesses: “Remember why we need transit – work, entertainment, personal travel/errands,” “Take into account the need for Silicon Valley employees to access the county on a daily basis from other counties within the region,” and so forth. The only mention of car traffic was in the context of bad congestion and “total gridlock,” although this was followed by a suggestion that any new transportation funding plan should “maintain existing transportation system.” If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.


Silicon Valley Highway 101 Traffic Hell

Otherwise, there’s lots of happy stuff about improving the cycling network and safety for cyclists and pedestrians. This chamber of commerce group also talked about improving last mile connectivity, especially for seniors and the disabled.

One interesting note caught my eye — “anti-displacement strategy for those who are forced out of areas where there is more transit because housing is becoming unaffordable” — suggesting that some stakeholders understand that transit is a path to gentrification commercial growth.

I like the direction the discussion is going, with an emphasis on active transportation over “maintaining the existing system” and a realization that continued economic development in the South Bay will absolutely depend on more efficient and smarter modes of transportation. They’re probably already looking at it, but I encourage VTA to look at AC Transit’s Measure BB and their outreach efforts as a possible model of this effort.

For more about Envision Silicon Valley and read those stakeholder meeting notes for yourself, visit the VTA blog: Stakeholder Groups Share Principles, Help Envision Silicon Valley.

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BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz And Thanksgiving Recess Announcement!

Everybody knows that October 13th was Thanksgiving:


But did you know the holiday has an obscure counterpart down here in Canada's Taint?


("Here, enjoy some smallpox.")

Yep, it's true!  We've got our own Thanksgiving, commonly known as "American Thanksgiving."  The whole shitshow goes down on Thursday, November 27th this year, and that means I'M TAKING THE WEEK OFF, SUCKERS!


(Suckers.)

In other words, after today's post, I will not be posting again until Monday, December 1st, at which point I will resume regular updates.  So please mark your calendar:


(Holy shit, the puppy's driving a car!  How fucking cute is that?  I hope he doesn't crash into a tree and get decapitated when he goes flying through the windshield--though that would make a good image for January.)

And if you're wondering why I need a whole week off, it's because I'm planning an amphibious assault on the Walmart in Valley Stream for Black Friday, because the early bird gets the deeply-discounted Chinese goods, and the late bird gets trampled to death:


When it comes to giving thanks, Canada could learn a thing or two from us.

Of course, if you don't want to get trampled this Black Friday, you should just sit back and do all your holiday shopping from the safety of your computer:


You know what they say: if it's not a gift from the BSNYC/Walz Caps Collection, then it totally fucking sucks.

Also, I have coffee, because people love coffee, and I love people.

Meanwhile, here's a bit of good news for once from [stifles laughter] America's Most Bike-Friendly City:


Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says the Department's "Bikes on Bridges" campaign will look for ways city bridges can accommodate more bikes and boost safety.

The proposal will be announced at a City Council hearing Thursday afternoon.

Trottenberg said the study will focus on the 16 bridges connecting northern Manhattan and the Bronx. "That's one area where I really heard loud and clear people wanted to get improved cycling experience over the Harlem River," she said.

It's about time.  Over the past decade and a half they've lavished a tremendous amount of attention on the East River crossings, and it's getting to the point where they only way to improve them further would be to have volunteers throwing rose pedals in your path as you ride.  So I'm glad it's finally occurring to them to get around to the rest of the city.

And while we're on the subject of New York City bridges, let's all say Happy Birthday to the Verrazano Bridge, which turned 50 today:




Let's also remember that, 50 years later, you still can't walk or cycle over this bridge, so maybe one day they'll get around to changing that--after the Harlem River crossings of course, which are far more important.

Ahem.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right, well, that's just terrific, and if you're wrong you'll see incredible speed.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and Happy Thanksgiving.

I love you,


--Wildcat Rock Machine








(What a freaking nerd.)

1) The 21st century equivalent of "Schrödinger's cat" is "Bono's helment."

--True
--False






(Identifying yourself by airport code: the calling-card of the entry-level city.)

2) Portland, its cycling heyday far behind it, is giving up on bikes and moving on to:

--Cars
--Motorcycles
--Unicycles
--Skateboards







3) This new pedal harnesses the mediocre foot-retaining power of:

--Velcro
--Silicon-based adhesives
--Magnets
--Golden plates







4) "Helmetor" is:

--A vehicular-cycling superhero
--The name of the comet upon which the Philae landed
--The term for the party fitting the helment, as opposed to the "helmetee," who is the party receiving the helment
--A plastic hook thingy





5) What is this?

--A cycling-specific coffee filter
--A moisture-wicking brimless cycling cap for people with tiny heads
--A cat diaper
--A bag for your nuts






(David Byrne: The Janet Yellen of Gentrification)

6) David Byrne says everyone should move to:

--Philadelphia
--Detroit
--Minneapolis
--Des Moines





("The Biktrix Juggernaut must be stopped!")

7) What is a "Biktrix Juggernaut?"

--An electric fat bike
--A Lollapalooza-like tour featuring artistic cycling, BMX stunts, and the gravity-defying bicycle stylings of Danny MacAskill
--The media's term for the cultural phenomenon of young over-educated white people flocking to Des Moines
--The media's term for former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan



***Special Theft Prevention-Themed Bonus Video!***



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Pedicab Drivers Dwindling in NYC

pedicabAaah New York…always trying to find a way to get over on the tourists.

According to this summary by AnimalNYC, a number of pedicabs drivers were price gouging riders, culminating in one ride costing $500. In response, NYC stepped up regulations on pedicab drivers, creating something of a disincentive to get in the business or stay in the business. Let’s hope this is just a weeding out process and ownership / ridership rebounds.

As AnimalNYC detailed:

Since the city has tightened regulations and cracked down on pedicab drivers, the number of pedaling transit providers has taken a steep dive. Only 903 drivers decided to renew their license this year. That’s down from 1217 at the beginning of 2014.

After an incident in which some tourists were charged $500 for a short pedicab ride, there has been increased scrutiny on the service: Regulations were put in place requiring drivers to charge by the minute, post visible prices, and use timers approved by the city.

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Autumnal Yellow Backdrop

The best part of autumn. Leaves blanket the city like a duvet, providing a splash of welcome colour...

For the full photographic glory and the rest of the text, you know where to go. The Original Cycle Chic awaits.
Categories: autumn, bicycle fashion for men, fashionable gloves, yawn | Leave a comment

Best Bike Tours in Amsterdam

Bicycles lining a bridge over the canals of Amsterdam

The Dutch capital of Amsterdam is widely celebrated as the world’s most bicycle- friendly city. Subsequently, in order to further promote cycling, visitors have the chance to explore the city’s main sites and attractions on a unique bike tour. If you have plans to spend your holiday in Amsterdam, you can find an accommodation on hotel booking websites such as venere.com. With this in mind, here is my guide to the best bike tours in Amsterdam.

The Amsterbike Hermitage Package Tour
This wonderful cycling option is great value for money and includes a 2-hour bike tour of the city, featuring all the main attractions as well as a visit to Amsterdam’s Hermitage.  The Amsterbike Hermitage package tour lasts for 3 hours in duration and is run by an extremely experienced English-speaking guide.

The Amsterdam Historical Bike Tour
This brilliant historically themed bike tour will enable you to explore Amsterdam with particular emphasis on the city’s colourful past. The tour will be led by a well-informed and interesting guide with locations to visit including Anne Frank’s house, the Canal District and Chinatown. The tour lasts for 3 hours and ends at the city’s oldest pub!

Mike’s Bike Tour: City Tour
This fun, interesting and educational bike tour of Amsterdam enables you to discover the city whilst learning all about the Dutch capital’s fascinating history and rich culture. The Mike’s bike tour will be led by a knowledgeable and personable guide who will be on hand to answer your questions and provide information on all the sites that you will see during the tour.

The Amsterdam Bike Culinary Tour
This delightful guided culinary themed bike tour is a fantastic way to learn all about the country’s traditional cuisine. This tour will see you visit numerous eating and drinking establishments, where you will have the opportunity to sample various Dutch specialities. You will then be able to burn off any additional calories once you’re back on your bike!

The Architecture Bike Tour
This themed bike tour will see you visit the city’s most significant and striking architecture. You will have the chance to admire and explore the De Amsterdamsche School and the celebrated “Ship” alongside other architectural masterpieces. You will be accompanied by an informative guide throughout the duration of your bike tour.

There are so many fantastic bike tours on offer in Amsterdam that you and your family and friends will most likely be spoilt for choice during your visit. From the classic attraction tours, to off-the-beaten-track options, themed tours and further afield cycling excursions, there really is something for everybody. Not only are bike tours fun and healthy, but they also provide a new and interesting way to explore the fabulous city of Amsterdam.

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The incorporation of San Jose Bike Party

Last year, an attorney began contacting San Jose Bike Party organizers, volunteers and riders while preparing a lawsuit against a shopping center where a Bike Party participant injured herself during one of the monthly night rides. This conversation prompted a few in the cohort to talk about ways to protect themselves from liability.


Official SJBP Megaphone

Incorporation became a reality in the spring of 2014, when attorney and SJBP organizer Joe Tate filed the papers. A few regulars went along with Tate’s plans, while others objected because it goes against the anarchic spirit of Bike Party. Since then, the ride itself continues to evolve, with no evidence of a “corporate” feel, sponsorship, or any of the other bugaboos that some people seem to fear. I believe this is a good move, and I trust the people involved in incorporation.

San Jose Inside published the story on incorporation yesterday, igniting continued debate on the merits of “going corporate.” The story seems mostly accurate, though I have a couple of minor quibbles:

  • Tate says that secretive action was made because he and SJ Bike Party, Inc.’s board of directors would rather the legal structure take shape in the background.” I don’t know if I’d call it “secretive.” I showed up for the first 30 minutes of one volunteer meeting this year (I wanted to see Tate’s new “Raven” bikes) and I knew about these plans, although I’m also close to several of those involved in organizing San Jose Bike Party.
  • The article doesn’t really claim that Bike Party was inspired by Critical Mass, but it does seem to imply it. I think the initial organizers (Nick and Amber) were inspired more by the Midnight Ridazz rides in Los Angeles.

As you’ve probably heard, Bike Party has expanded to hundreds of locations around the world. We have a Bike Party on three Fridays of the month somewhere in the Bay Area, as well as one in Santa Cruz, each with their own vibe. San Jose regroups now feature food trucks, vendors selling bike lights and t-shirts, mobile bike repair, and dance floors complete with disco lights and professional DJs.

I personally regret that some of the family friendliness has gone by the wayside but it is what it is. SJBP draws a fantastically diverse crowd for a 25 mile bicycle ride. People of all ages and every ethnicity, economic class, and gender identity represent at San Jose Bike Party.


San Jose Bike Party No Pants Ride July 2013

San Jose Bike Party rolls this Friday night with a Las Vegas theme. The November ride begins and ends on South 10th Street near Tully Road, looping up to downtown San Jose, over to Race Street via Auzerais, skirting the city of Campbell on Bascom, down to Cambrian Park via Union, and back to the start on Curtner. Have fun and stay safe.

Categories: san jose | Leave a comment

Pedals, tacos and Solange rides a bicycle

Gabriel Harris sad cyclist

Reminder: SF Bike Expo is THIS WEEKEND at the Cow Palace.

With so much to be happy about, why does Gabriel look so sad?


Gabriel wanted tacos, but because he biked through the drive-through at Taco Bell, he was denied service, refused to leave when asked to do so, and was eventually arrested. Cheezburger has the scoop.

More important bicycle news below the photo of Solange Knowles and her fiancee Alan Ferguson as they get ready to bike to their wedding in New Orleans, LA.

ICYMI: Bono’s Central Park bicycle crash hurt him a lot more than his band originally let on.

Devilish running dog lackey of interloping foreign imperialist western oppressors dares to impede legitimate motor vehicle traffic in Beijing.

Santa Cruz County California: Pedestrian traffic upgrades planned for Soquel schools.

Read about adventures in tracking down stolen bike chop shops in Hillsborough, OR.

If you don’t want thieves to know where they can find high end bikes when they follow you on Strava, enable the privacy zone. Consider also that they can probably find your home address via other means.

For those of you with monster cyclist thighs, have I mentioned Keirin Cut Jeans yet? 12 days left to this Kickstarter for jeans you can ride a bike in. Available for men and women. Estimated delivery in February, 2015.

Keirin Cut Jeans

Pub Pedals (show below) are another take on googaws meant to enable using regular shoes on clipless pedals. These are designed for use on Eggbeater pedals by sliding on and snapping into place. And they come in colors!

Pub Pedals

The psychology of road rage.

American grocery chain Safeway will sponsor a pro continental team.


SF Chinatown goes after those space hogging sidewalk placards.

Cycling Book Club

I can recommend any and all of these books.

More transportation related headlines at Streetsblog SF.

Arlington VA budgets to plow bike trails this winter.

Obligatory cyclist photo in a news story about lake effect snow.

Obligatory photo of a cyclist “braving the cold temperatures” in a news story about the arctic chill.

Here’s Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson again, this time astride their bikes.

 

Tell me: How sad would you be if couldn’t bike for tacos at 3 AM? And DON’T FORGET: SF Bike Expo is THIS WEEKEND at the Cow Palace.

 

 

Categories: book, celebrities, celebrity, Quick news | Leave a comment

Hail Fellow Hel Ment.

As readers of "Rolling Stone" already know (just kidding, nobody reads "Rolling Stone" anymore), details on Bono's bicycle crash in Central Park have finally emerged, and they are not pretty:



While riding his bike through New York's Central Park on Sunday, the singer attempted to avoid another rider and was involved in what doctors have called a "high energy bicycle accident." Bono was rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Emergency Department and underwent "multiple X-rays and CAT scans" followed by five hours of surgery. 

So who was this other rider?  A Strava segment-hunting Cat 4?  A weaving tourist on a rental bike?  David Byrne and Matthew Modine salmoning on a tandem?  We may never know.  One thing we do know though is that Bono is in pretty bad shape:

The singer suffered numerous serious injuries, including a "facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye," three separate fractures of his left shoulder blade and a fracture of his left humerus bone in his upper arm. The latter injury was particularly damaging, with the bone shattering in six different places and tearing through his skin.

I was sorry to hear this and wish him a speedy recovery.

Of course, whenever anybody is injured on a bicycle, regardless of the circumstances or the nature of the injuries, that means it's time to CUE UP THE MORONS!


Bono suffered injuries more serious than originally reported when he crashed his bicycle in New York’s Central Park on Sunday — and the extent of those injuries suggest the 54-year-old U2 singer may have been riding without a bicycle safety helmet.

Oh shut the fuck up.  The only injury a foam hat might have mitigated was the one to his face--and even then, according to the Snell Foundation, a helment is basically 50% effective in that department.  So basically what this means is that it's exactly as likely that Bono was in fact wearing a helment, which means that Bono's helment is basically the equivalent of Schrodinger's cat.

Plus, the same idiotic "article" then goes on to say this in big letters:

Injuries To Upper Left Arm Appear Most Serious, Broken In Six Places

But yeah, by all means, keep fixating on the helment.

I'd hate to think that, should I meet my fate out there on the mean streets of our metropolis, the media would speculate on my hat status in a similar fashion.  Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, I've already composed my epitaph:


Sure, I do wear a helment a lot of the time, but I also know it's impossible for anything bad to happen to me while I have one on, so the epitaph will surely be accurate.

And if I must go, please let it be this way:


("The victim was not wearing a helment, and says to blow him."--The Daily Victim-Blamer)

Anyway, my biggest fear in all of this is that it turns out Bono was not wearing a helment, he gets all contrite about it after his recovery, and starts advocating for helment laws just as vigorously as he promotes his charity work.

Now that would really suck.

Speaking of helments, designers continue to attempt to disguise them as hats, and here's the latest attempt:



It's certainly better than some of the other ones I've seen, but it still makes you look like you're riding a horse:


See?


Not that there's anything wrong with that:


Now that's what I call "portaging."

Meanwhile, up in Halifax, a reader tells me the undead corpse of Margaret Thatcher is tryijng to get a bike licensing scheme going:


A Dartmouth councillor thinks it's time to consider licensing adult cyclists who are 18 years old and older.

"I think there would be more control over what they'd do. They'll be identified," said Gloria McCluskey.

"You're out there and you see them — no helmets, no lights."

McCluskey said the money raised from the licences could be used to pay for more bike lanes.

Hey McCluskey:

If you see them, then what's the problem?

Idiot.

Not to mention they already tried that and it didn't work:

But the co-owner of Cyclesmith, a bike shop on Agricola Street in north-end Halifax, said he remembers when the city used to issue bike licences in the 1970s. Mark Beaver said the program was shut down because it cost more than it brought in.

Then again, they didn't have the "Smart Hat" back then, so there's that:


Sometimes the technology just has to catch up with society's desire to oppress--though evidently the schmuck who came up with this thing still needs money:



We have the skills to fully develop smart hat and we are looking for interested parties to assist us in modest funding, co-developing & branding this exciting new product together.

Oh, please, let there be a Kickstarter!  Pleezpleezpleezpleez...

By the way, when I plugged the term "Smart Hat" into a popular Internet search engine, the first thing that came up was this:


I'm fairly certain that's what Bono was wearing when he crashed.

Lastly, even though cycling may be stagnating in Portland, and even though they're only the #4 bike city now, and even though nobody even cares about Portland anymore now that there are cooler white people cities like Des Moines, they're not giving up.  Well, I mean yes, they're giving up on bikes, but they're not giving up on being #1 when it comes to riding around town on non-motorized stuff with wheels.  Instead, they're moving on to skateboards:



As we wrote last year in an interview with the group’s founders, the rise of skateboard transportation has been driven in part by rapid advances in skateboard technology. And as NWSC members Cory Poole and Tessa Walker explained in a podcast episode last winter, that’s only one of the parallels between the skateboarding and bike transportation movements.

Wait a minute. "Rapid advances in skateboard technology?"  It's a freaking board with wheels.

Let me know when they're using skateboards to deliver soup.
Categories: cycling | Leave a comment

Road Rage Psychology

rageI’ve always felt the argument that one rule-breaking cyclist (“You ran a red light?! Now we’re all gonna die!!”) is what compels drivers to hate all our collective guts, is very weak. Human nature is far more complex and subconscious than this, as is argued by BBC writer, Tom Stafford, as he pulls from evolutionary theory and social psychology to give a more thorough explanation of this road rage phenomenon. He explains,

…It’s not because cyclists are annoying. It isn’t even because we have a selective memory for that one stand-out annoying cyclist over the hundreds of boring, non-annoying ones (although that probably is a factor). No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order…

… Humans seem to have evolved one way of enforcing order onto potentially chaotic social arrangements. This is known as “altruistic punishment”, a term used by Ernst Fehr and Simon Gachter in a landmark paper published in 2002. An altruistic punishment is a punishment that costs you as an individual, but doesn’t bring any direct benefit. As an example, imagine I’m at a football match and I see someone climb in without buying a ticket. I could sit and enjoy the game (at no cost to myself), or I could try to find security to have the guy thrown out (at the cost of missing some of the game). That would be altruistic punishment.

I don’t think there is much of a cooperative answer to this problem of cyclists avoiding generally accepted traffic laws, in part as a way of protecting ourselves, but maybe this theory can help you shrug off the haters as you circumvent the moral social order next time the light turns red on you.

Via BBC Future

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This Wednesday is Your Wednesday, This Wednesday is My Wednesday…

The Hall of Useless Bike Inventions is littered with crap designed by people trying to "improve" an already perfectly functional piece of cycling equipment that simply isn't for them.  All those anatomic seats, for example?  Simply the product of riders who won't accept that they belong on a recumbent:

Or how about that rolling hernia truss?


Same thing there: deep, deep recumbent denial.

Clipless pedals are another invention that work quite well for what they are, but are not for everybody.  If you enjoy the sensation of having your shoes attached to your pedals for certain types of riding, there are many different proven styles of clipless pedals from which to choose.  Or, if you find clipless pedals annoying or useless, which they arguably are in plenty of scenarios, you can always just say "Fuck it" and ride with any of the gazillion styles of flat pedals out there.  And then you've got all sorts of toeclips, straps, bits of nylon and Velcro, and so forth if you want something in between.

Done, and done.

Nevertheless, there are some people who insist on using clipless pedals even though they don't like them, and now one Kickstarter is harnessing one of nature's greatest unsolved mysteries to create an alternative foot retention system:


I am referring, of course, to the magnet.  Behold: The Maglock Magnetically Locking Bike Pedal!




Here are the Maglock inventor's issues with regular clipless pedals:

1) Tough to clip out:

No it isn't.

2) Tough to clip in.

Also no.

3) There's a steep learning curve.

It takes a few rides really, not a big deal in the context of a lifetime of cycling.

4) Not all clipless pedals are adjustable.

Yeah, but a lot of them are, so if you want adjustable pedals just use those.

5) The existing clipless pedal isn't compatible with street shoes.

Isn't that the point of them?

By the way, I have a sincere question: the inventor lives in Salt Lake City, he's suspiciously clean-cut for a mountain biker, and he's got a shirt with a collar on it:


("I am now going to eat this Maglock.")

So is he a Mormon or what?

I just like to know what I'm dealing with here, that's all.

Anyway, instead of just not bothering with clipless pedals because he finds them to be a pain in the ass, he's gone ahead and made these magnet pedals:


"Instead of having to twist your foot, all you have to do is pronate it and it will pop right out."

Seems to me any pedal that releases when you "pronate" your foot isn't offering you the type of foot retention you'd find useful for mountain biking anyway, and so you might as well just use flat pedals and be done with it--though I do think they'd be great for triathletes:



Clipless pedals serve absolutely no purpose for triathletes other than making it even more difficult for them to mount their bicycles.  I'm not sure why they haven't realized this and simply started riding in their running shoes, but apparently they think clipless pedals "legitimize" them as athletes somehow, so a remedial idiot-proof magnet system with no real performance benefit seems like it would be perfect for them.

Speaking of gratuitous retention, here's a helment hook called the "Helmetor®:"




This is a problem, really?  I thought everybody knew this is how you hang a helment from your bike while not riding:


I do like the name Helmetor® though, since it sounds like some kind of vehicular cycling superhero:



And if you like bike advocacy jokes you'll love this cartoon:


Huge nerds are already debating the accuracy of Forester's wardrobe on Twitter, so you know they nailed it.

And here in America's Number One Bike-Friendly City According To A Magazine Based In A Pennsylvania Borough With 11,000 People In It, things continue to get better for cyclists, and the new 20mph speed limit in Central Park should help with the constant police attention that makes this such a great place to ride a bike:


Yes, in most discussions of the new speed limit the subtext seems to be that it's because of all those killer cyclists:

In late September, Jill Tarlov, 59, died from injuries she sustained when a cyclist crashed into her in a crosswalk on West Drive at West 62nd Street. About a month earlier, a 75-year-old jogger was killed after being hit by a cyclist on East Drive at East 72nd Street. This past weekend, U2 frontman Bono hurt his arm while cycling in the park.

DNAinfo reported last month that within Central Park, 35 people had been hit by cyclists in Central Park while only one had been hit by a car so far this year, according to police. 

Oh, please.  It's totally irresponsible to imply that the old speed limit was responsible for Bono's crash.  Not only do I doubt Bono could crank that Specialized up to 25, but I also happen to have it on good authority that he hit the deck after his jersey snagged on his Helmetor®.

That's not to say I'm not for a safer Central Park, or that there aren't a bunch of bonehead cyclists in it, but given all the police activity there recently I'm relatively certain I'll never attempt to ride in there ever again.

Aw, fuck it, I'm just getting one of these:



Now that's vehicular cycling.

Categories: cycling | Leave a comment