Friday, 7 May 2010

BSNYC Friday Fun Culture Summit!

If you're riding your bicycle today, you may be shocked to find things pretty much as you remember them being yesterday. This is remarkable considering the fact that the "Bike Culture Summit" took place last night, and sadly the only conclusion I can draw from this is that the summit did not, for all its promise, change the world of cycling irrevocably. Alas, gone are the days of the Constitutional Convention, and it would seem that a roomful of white people can no longer alter the course of history.

Arriving early at NYU's Wasserman Center Auditorium, I set about killing time by test-riding the Kona something-or-other that was to be given away in a raffle later that evening:

As I shifted across the cassette and gleefully rang the bell I accidentally wandered into a nest of students:

This glimpse of academia filled me with horrifying flashbacks of boredom and bad grades, and and so I returned to the relative safety of the world of bike dorkdom. Here are the legions of the nonplussed, waiting to listen to a bunch of bloviating:

The prologue to the "summit" was a comic short film which was also full of unironic sidewalk riding:

Then the actual "summit" part began, and it quickly devolved into statements-disguised-as-questions in which people aired their sundry grievances. (If you've ever lived in a co-op apartment building and attended a meeting, it was exactly like that, only the heated diatribes were about correct intersection behavior instead of where to put the fern in the lobby.) This is not to say that my fellow panelists David Herlihy and Caroline Samponaro are not smart and insightful people (they most certainly are) or that the audience members did not make excellent points (they did), or that I do not share many of these grievances (I do). It's just that it felt less like a "summit" than like the Streetsblog comments section come to life.

Still, I was honored to sit next to two people who are vastly more qualified than me, and I very much enjoyed meeting people and talking with them afterwards without stuff like hand-raising and microphones involved. Thank you to all who attended, and thanks also to all at Transportation Alternatives for having me and for organizing the event.

Anyway, after the "summit," I headed homeward and witnessed something truly remarkable. As I waited at a red light, I was shoaled by a young gentleman with visible tzitzit. He was soon joined by a young lady on a Surly Steamroller whose riding style evoked a foal's wobbly uncertainty of hoof. As she rolled to his side, he grabbed hold of her so that she could stay upright without removing her feet from the toe clips. Then, once no cars were in evidence, he took her arm and literally flung her madison style, after which he set himself in motion caught her, and subsequently passed her. Here they are shortly after the fling:

Presumably, they repeated this at every intersection, and I very nearly called TA and asked them to reconvene the "summit" so that we might discuss the ramifications of this bizarre and vexing behavior.

Speaking of being vexed, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see somebody who is not very mechanically astute evaluating a Walmart bicycle.

Thank you very much for reading and forwarding quizzly items, ride safe, and always be a "summit of one."


1) "These Fools Be _______:"

2) Fill in the blank: "Sam Wakeling covered 453.6 kilometers (281.85 miles) on a ________ in a 24-hour period at Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom, from Sept. 29-30, 2007."


(It's a pictogram.)

3) When I next visit Portland, I can expect to get:

(Straight chainline at expense of dish.)

3) Sugar has officially joined babies and milk as a unit of bicycle weight measurement.

(It's ironic 'cause his name's Beard but he doesn't have one.)

4) Which piece of ironic sports memorabilia is currently available on eBay?

6) Why is the owner of this "incredibly fast" recumbent bicycle selling it on Craigslist?

--He got a newer, faster one
--It is so incredibly fast that he simply cannot ride among uprights
--He's building up a Cinelli "MASH" and needs cash for Aerospokes
--He's through taking things lying down

7) Who is this?

***Emphatically Not-Safe-For-Work Buttock-Tattoo-Themed Bonus Question***

What does this emphatically not-safe-for-work buttock tattoo say?


Post a Comment

Ping Blog

Step 1
Blog URL:

Blog Title (optional):

Blog RSS Feed (optional):

I agree with terms of service.

Step 2
Copy the following code and put it on your blog/site to help our blog ping tool track your submission (Need help?):

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Best Buy Coupons