Sunday, November 21, 2010

the law of the land

Cranksgiving is happening in New York City. It's a charity ride where participants can donate money and also win prizes.

There are people who are offering cranks to those not much interested. In the DC area there have been quite a few flashers offering their cranks for public viewing. The only thing I can figure is these people aren't aware that you can ride naked with a bunch of other people and nobody will report you to the police. Just go get yourself an old bike and a long coat and ride along with the occasional flash and you're good to go. Blend in sort of thing. Same results but no jail time.

On two occasions this past summer I had teenage drivers yell at me to get on the sidewalk. This is in Maryland. At a stoplight one of them continued telling me that it's the law, I have to ride on the sidewalk. Now, I don't live in Maryland but I have read the bike laws a bit and can say with certainty it's not the law. In Maryland you have to ride on the street. I mentioned that if one is going to quote the law one should know it. Knowing what one is talking about gives the argument much more weight. Kids these day.

I thought of those two kids last week when I encountered the law. The last two blocks of my commute I take the sidewalk (in DC, where it's legal except for the business district). Last week a cop got out of his car and was crossing the sidewalk to go into a store and so I slowed as he crossed in front of me and he told me it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk. I was under the impression that knowing the law was kinda their business, what with all the upholding and such. I didn't mention the quote the law/know the law thing, him being a cop and all. Cops these days.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Oslo is taking your crap. They're not only taking it but propel you on your way with it.
I hate getting behind buses because of the smell. I can't help but wonder...

Today was a holiday so I went out riding. Weather was great. Rode over to the capital, visited a new bike shop and had some lunch.

On the way home I was taking the CCT out of Georgetown and heard some strange clicking noise on my front wheel. I slowed a tad to see if I could hear it better, leaning down a bit. I strayed a little but stayed in my lane. Stopping would have been too much to ask I suppose.

As I was concentrating on the noise a bunch of RT's (real bikers) were concentrating on giving it the gas, they came whizzing by me down the middle of the path. Not to the left but down the middle. Inches from me. One of them yelled "get the fuck over!" and when I said something like "huh?" another suggested I "learn how to ride!".

I'm not sure but I believe that being upright and going in a fairly straight line puts me in the category of riding. Perhaps there are maneuvers I've yet to master but I think if you were to see me going along you could say with confidence "he's riding a bicycle".

As to getting the fuck over, I hadn't the foggiest of where over was located. I could go over into the left lane but that's against the rules and would be bad form. Over to the right lay some nice grass but I wasn't on my mountain bike so he couldn't want me to go there. As much as I would have liked to help I simply did not have enough data to work with.

However I am gifted with a singular wit and so I offered that they should just get in fucking cars and be done with it. I thought this clearly a notch above "YOU learn how to ride!" and I was feeling rather pleased with myself when one of the last ones posed a question. "What did you say?" he inquired.

For some reason my wit went from singular to dim and I muttered some inanity at which point a few more pleasantries were exchanged and then they stepped on the gas and were gone.

Ah, so that's what they mean by learning how to ride.

Another beautiful day in the nations capital.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Occasionally something silly grabs on and won't let go and insists on dying a long slow death.

Beanie babies

What is hip now will turn to scorn. Your friends will draw away from you. "That is so yesterday" will haunt your every step.

That's the problem with these things, today's cleverness is tomorrow's stupidity. Where ever you go there will be murmurs: "What was he thinking to do such an idiotic thing?".

No, if you're going to go off and do something idiotic it's best to do it on the dl. Something like the ThermaJock:

When out riding along in freezing weather, with the howling winds and the nose in need of a good absorbent and the tips of fingers and toes turning a nice shade of coal, it must be quite comforting knowing that your crank, which is nestled in one of the 3 warmest parts of the body, has that added layer of protection. 

This will never come back to bite you. Where one would brag about the new Karaneige collection they just purchased one is not likely to go showing off the latest in crank warmers. "Dude, you gotta see this!" will never be received by your friends with a hearty "Wow! Hey, can I try it on?".

But these good folks have missed an opportunity here. What is needed is an armpit warmer as well, another very warm part of the body that is being overlooked. The ThermaPit. They could sell a combo pack and call it the ThermaTool.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The arm of the law

Apparently in Long Beach you can be cited for violations even though the city was not able to help you meet your requirements to avoid those violations.

The Long Beach police stopped one of those mass ride things and ticketed people and took many bikes because of violations, including unlicensed bikes. You have to get your bike registered with the Fire Department but they ran out of stickers for the year so couldn't inspect any more bikes.

So there you are riding about as though all is well when the arm of the law reaches out and grabs you. It doesn't matter that another arm had run low on inventory and failed to ramp up for demand.  No, this arm doesn't know about that arm and this arm is usually of the few words type. Pleading your case won't do so you'll have to plead your case to another arm. That would be the same arm that found a 4 year old can be sued.

It turns out that if you've reached your 5th birthday, give or take a few months, you are quite capable of negligence and can be held accountable for your actions.

I hope the little buggers use their little arms to pull out their squirt guns and give them the ol' what fer before making a daring dash to freedom.