Never mind the rain. I'm riding my bike to the @TheAcademy Awards. Pardon the helmet hair. pic.twitter.com/roVFW9qViG
— Ed Begley, Jr. (@edbegleyjr) February 22, 2015
That's great and all, but why no fenders? See, to me it undermines his entire message, since it give the impression that he doesn't do this sort of thing routinely. If he did, wouldn't he have fenders? Plus, it's a black tie affair, so if you insist on wearing a helment you should at least find one shaped like a top hat:
Then again, I suppose the extreme non-pretentiousness of his bike makes up for its fenderlessness. Downtube shifters and a kickstand?
Not to mention a quill stem, a frame pump, and a frame from...Performance?*
*(Upon closer inspection it's a Klein Performance, so that's 1,000 Retro-Fred points to him.)
Now that's impressive. The helment-mirror-and-pant-cuff-retainer set must have been beside themselves, because that bike rolling on the red carpet is the bike co-op equivalent of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.
Unfortunately, most members of the helment-mirror-and-pant-cuff-retainer set don't own TVs, so they probably missed the whole thing--unless they were listening to an NPR simulcast while scarfing quinoa chips.
As for me, I rode on the white carpet once again this past weekend:
And I was feeling pretty damn impressed with myself too--until I ran into this guy:
Speaking of being humbled (if by "humbled" you mean "flattened"), New York City drivers continue to take "Vision Zero" literally:
The bus driver stayed at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing, though no arrests have been made.
So a driver operating a bus with filthy windows kills a pedestrian in the crosswalk? How will the NYPD ever solve this baffling mystery?
Hopefully they'll find the cyclist responsible.
But design is only half the problem. Less obvious, but no less consequential, was the legal shift through which society absorbed and dismissed the hazards of urban driving, exonerating individual drivers for crashes, even when they killed pedestrians. (In New York City, for example, 95 percent of traffic fatalities do not lead to arrests.)
This was not a quiet procedure. The early years of the automobile saw riots and vigilante justice over car crashes in major cities. There were proposals to outfit the “devil wagons” with mechanical speed limits. Woodrow Wilson once famously predicted that cars, realizing the violence of economic inequality, would bolster the cause of socialism in the United States.
Yet it has been nearly a century since drivers were regularly blamed, let alone penalized, for automobile violence. In concurrence with changes in city design, an evolving consensus made driving legally protected — and walking (and riding a bicycle) legally vulnerable.
The bit about how 95 percent of New York City traffic fatalities do not lead to arrests actually surprised me, since it seems more like 100 percent. I was also intrigued by the mention of Woodrow Wilson, and indeed it turns out that he used to be a bike touring dork:
What’s far less well known is that Wilson was an ardent cycle tourist, who spent long vacations cycling around Britain, one time in the company of America’s most experienced State Department official, a Washington D.C. insider who spent sixty days a year cycle touring in Europe.
It’s highly probable that Wilson’s interests in good roads started when he was a cyclist, during his earlier career as a law and politics professor at Princeton University.
In fact, before he was elected, the press speculated that his hobby would inspire all of Washington to go Fred:
"If Gov. Wilson goes out much awheel, it will not be long before ambassadors and ministers and secretaries and military attaches will also be pedaling along the sleekly-oiled roads."
Did somebody say "sleekly-oiled roads?"
Anyway, in a sense this turned out true, because Wilson's legacy of Presidential bike-dorkdom survived well into the 21st century:
Not to mention Jimmy Carter's Rivendell:
And let's not forget our Secretary of State, who is the living lock-armed embodiment of the Fredly ethos. Here he is riding with Jonathan Vaughters:
Legend has it that during the visit Vaughters gave Kerry a tuft of his sideburn hair, which Kerry then surreptitiously sprinkled into the palm of Lance Armstrong:
We all know what happened next, so if I were Vladimir Putin I'd be careful:
As for Woodrow Wilson, despite his affinity for cycling it seems that once he became President he got with the program and started running over kids with his car:
Young Crawford was greatly cheered when the President told him that he was to have a new bicycle with the President's compliments.
"I didn't know it was the President's car that I ran into," said the boy, shyly, to his distinguished visitor.
"I rather thought it was the President's car that ran into you," answered Mr. Wilson, smilingly.
Awww, isn't that cute?
See, people were more fatalistic back then when it came to kids. If Polio didn't get you then the president's Pierce-Arrow did.
Lastly, here's some cheerful news:
A Chilean man who began an around-the-world bicycle journey four years ago and was closing in on a Guinness distance record has been killed.
Juan Francisco Guillermo was hit by a passing pickup truck while stopped on the side of a highway in rural Thailand. His Singaporean wife and 2-year-old son, who were traveling with him, sustained minor injuries.
Though it would seem that even rural Thailand is more evolved in New York City, at least when it comes to charging drivers:
The newspaper said the driver of the truck, who was unhurt, was charged with "careless driving resulting in death and injury."
Wow, you can do that there?
Here they would have ticketed the victim.