The Low Road


Limp to the finish
April 25, 2007, 1:01 pm
Filed under: General

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Personally, I’ve never been able to find much humor in the possibility that spending too much time in a bicycle saddle will leave me with erectile dysfunction, as certain studies seem to show. So leave it to CycleDog to see the lighter side.



Bitch bitch, moan moan
April 23, 2007, 8:07 pm
Filed under: General, Uncategorized

Random bitching:

American cyclist’s nightmare: Approach to Edinburgh via Queensferry Road. Brutal traffic and buses that claim the shoulder; traffic circles rather than stoplights. And, oh yeah — the traffic is all going around it the wrong direction.

Most bruising hill: The ride to Penmar Park in Maryland.

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Worst moment on two wheels: The day before my wedding, I rode to get my wedding outfit. About five blocks from my house my suit bag got caught in the spokes — bike stopped, I didn’t. Not the fall that bothers me per se: What really gets me was the three or four drivers who slowed down but didn’t ask if I was OK. Turned out I broke my arm at the elbow. Wedding went on as scheduled — just couldn’t move my arm.

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Worst place to ride in greater New Haven: Dixwell Avenue near the Hamden Plaza. Clearly built with the four-wheel crowd in mind — can’t even walk across the street without risking your neck.



Spring has sprung (sort of)
April 18, 2007, 12:26 am
Filed under: General

After all this rain, those May flowers had damned well better be pretty friggin spectacular this year. Is your bike ready should Mother Nature ever decide to cool it with the British weather?



Blaming the victim
April 11, 2007, 8:34 pm
Filed under: General

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Dave writes: “It’s been a month — where that knee at?” So I guess I’ll give an update.

Tomorrow it’s four weeks since the folks at Orthopedic Specialty Group took my knee apart and put it back together again. I’m still walking around in a brace and using a cane to take some of the weight off. But I can walk unassisted if I want to and I’m not in pain anymore. I’m going to physical therapy three times a week. It’s helping. But I’ve lost some muscle mass in my right leg and I’ll have to build it back up. I now have just enough flexibility to ride an exercise bicycle. I’ll be mounting a real one real soon.

On to other matters. I’m reposting the following from the Elm City Cycling message board because I think people should see it. The writer is a member of the group, but I’m redacting her name unless I get permission to post it here.

I was biking on Temple Street Saturday morning heading toward the Med School. I stopped at a red light at Grove St, next to an SUV that was also stopped. The SUV driver then decided to take the right turn, without looking both ways, and while the light was still red. She ran right into me, crunched my rear tire pinned my leg into the bike, so that I have a beat up ankle and leg and a very painfully bruised backbone (from the seat smashing up into me…). She was responsible enough to stop and stay while a pedestrian waiting to cross the street let me call 911 on his cell.

What troubles me was the responding officers attitude toward the driver, who admitted to turning on red against (posted) laws and hitting me. He just gave her a verbal warning saying that he didn’t want to give her a ticket for hitting me. Then he turned to me, and by way of explanation for why he didn’t want to write a ticket (since of course she had hit me), he said that afterall, I had decided to ride my bike. (!!!)

I was in a lot of pain, my day was shot, my bike unusable, and I was looking at spending the morning at Urgent Care. But this really knocked me. I realized as I waited for x-rays, that I was seriously angry. This officer seemed to be blaming me for getting hit! A friend of mine said it was a lot like the old police attitude toward rape victims, blaming them for being out at night or for what they were wearing. Was this officer really saying that cyclists are acceptable targets? That’s how it felt. Or did the officer see the moving violation on the part of the driver as mitigated in some way because I had pulled up and stopped for the light next to her?

What is the NHPD attitude about these sorts of accidents? Would they have ticketed if she had freaked out and instead of slamming on the brakes when she heard me scream, hit the gas, and left me dead or bleeding profusely? Did he really see this as an ambiguous situation — that I was biking too aggressively? Was he just trying to be “nice”? If the last, this is really scary — does NHPD not understand that everyone who breaks a law and hits a cyclist but is let go with a verbal warning, goes away understanding IT IS NO BIG DEAL TO HIT A CYCLIST IN NEW HAVEN. What is going on here?

[name redacted]

BTW — the verbal warning was to not turn on red where it is posted, NOT to look out for cyclists.



Get a job
March 24, 2007, 1:04 pm
Filed under: General

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Good with a wrench? Our friends at Blue Collar Mountain Biking have launched a new site, “Get A Bike Job,” devoted to helping match enthusiasts with jobs in the cycling industry. The initial postings offer little within reach of my hometown, although I can think of at least one bicycle manufacturer with headquarters a short train commute away.



Rolling along
March 20, 2007, 8:36 pm
Filed under: General

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This guy straps a cam on his bike and then blogs his daily commute in the congested San Francisco Bay Area. Meanwhile, Bike Summer 2007 in New Haven, which some cognoscenti privately dismissed as a pipe dream not long ago, is starting to take shape. Elm City Cycling gives us a planning update.



Bicycle Bicycle
March 2, 2007, 1:39 pm
Filed under: General

Matt Feiner of The Devil’s Gear was kind enough to let me shoot some video at his shop this week. The resulting 30-second clip, an assignment for a graduate class I’m taking, does no justice to the topic: getting your bike ready for the season. In fact, I only give Matt enough time to say check your tires and make sure everything’s lubed before the screen cuts to black.

So (for liability reasons if nothing else) please don’t use this clip as guide to preparing your bike for the riding season. If you’re looking for that, read this instead. I expect later in the semester to revisit this topic and use more of the footage I took for this assignment.

I should add that the background music is Be Your Own Pet‘s “Bicycle Bicycle.” It’s probably copyrighted, but I claim fair use (and would point out to any overzealous lawyers that the band streams the song for free on its own Web site).

UPDATE: Slightly re-edited based on feedback from class.