Thursday, March 05, 2009

Take a Nap Fight Gear Jenny P.

"Hey Lee, there's something I never told you about me: I hate fuckin' cops"

-Boris (The Blond Body Guard with the pony tail in
the Mexican stand-off scene in True Romance)

Replace "Cops" with "Cars" and you'll get how I'm feeling today.

I try, I really do. I leave my house listening to nice, mellow music like Bon Iver, and then, shortly, it all goes to hell. I'm talking to you Mini-Van driver who couldn't deal with the fact that I was riding at traffic speed behind a slow going Semi-Truck coming out of Harvard Square this morning. You kept revving your engine and honking which was a combination of impotently pathetic and mildly annoying. You people.

But this made me feel a lot better, Governor Patrick signed a Bicyclist Safety Bill into law. Check out the Mass Bike site for more info. Most of the stuff is obvious, but the following two items are awesome:

3. Don't "Door" Bicyclists : Motorists (and their passengers) can now be ticketed and fined up to $100 for opening car or truck doors into the path of any other traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians. "Dooring" is a frequent cause of bicycle crashes and bicyclist injuries, and while motorists could already be sued in civil court or charged in criminal court under certain circumstances, they could not previously be ticketed and fined on the spot by a police officer.

4. Don't Cut Off Bicyclists After Passing : Motorists used to be required only to stay a safe distance to the left of a bicyclist (or any other vehicle) when passing; now, motorists are also prohibited from returning to the right until safety clear of the bicyclist.

It seems like pretty common sense stuff, but it's not.

This one is pretty good too:

7. Hey Douche-Bag Mini-Van Driver From This Morning : Suck it!

I think that's about all I've got unless I share with you the absurdity and ghetto-not-so-fabulousness of my current road bike situation. Let me see if I can get this straight. Miriam had a trainer incident a few weeks back. She hadn't swapped out the lightweight rear quick release for a crappy steel one. Mid-session it let go, she teetered over sideways, quite possibly knocking herself briefly unconscious. I am not kidding, hard to believe, but true. This process left her rear wheel in a far from rideable state. When spun it would hit the frame. Destroyed.

I grabbed her a wheel which was damn near un-road-worthy from The Shop. This was fine while she was still riding the trainer exclusively. When a nice weekend came and she wanted to go for a proper out of doors ride I grabbed the wheel off my De Rosa "The UD", realized I had to swap the cassettes (I am a 9 Speeder, she's a 10 Speeder) to get the job done...nuts. This was fine the first time, but the second time? Or the third time? Pain in the arse. I'll get that business sorted out someday damnit.

And get this. When I put the UD back on the road I had to dig in the basement for a set of brakes. Found a Shimano 105 or something and a Campy front brake. This was all well and dandy until I went to put the bike in the car. I needed to take the front wheel off. Here's the rub: Shimano has the release which allows you to open up the caliper to get the wheel out on the brake itself, Campy has that release on the lever, the caliper has no release mechanism. I had to deflate the tire to remove the wheel because I have Shimano levers and a Campy brake. And the Japanese and The Italians got along so well during WWII.

And that was all well and dandy until I went to pump up that deflated tire. The valve on the tube was a little 38mm job. None of the pumps at my house would do the trick. I had obviously thrown a tube in at The Shop and was able to inflate it with the aid of the compressor. I think my fingers just feel asleep...out of boredom. This is the lamest story I have ever told, but it's almost over. My fix for this was to grab the front wheel off my fixed gear, leaving the Lemond with its fork dropouts planted on the floor. This perverse little dance of swapping of the front wheel, rear wheel and cassette has been going on for weeks now.

I'm going to quit bikes and start running. Barefoot. Naked.

Are you still here? I guess I'll explain the title of the post. I was stumped for a title so I searched through the list of search engine Key Words which lead people to Big Bikes. That was one of the weirder ones, but they get weirder still. As you shall see in the future.


Cathy said...

No more coffee for you today ;)

gewilli said...

yes... stupid cars

with the path snowbound once again i'm back in the throngs of jackasses - but it is good - helps me realize that the vast majority of the drivers ain't total dumbasses

but man - the ones that are

oh lord do they ruin a good day

solobreak said...

Those middle six paragraphs sound like Reuter is ghost writing for you. Are you sure you're not him?

mikejoos said...

3. Don't "Door" Bicyclists :

i live close to the beach and during the summer it is deadly. tourist distracted by scantily dressed woman and drowsy form sitting in the sun all day getting in and out of there cars it's a recipe for getting doored. a tip that works pretty good is to look in the side mirrors as i ride, if i see anyone in a drivers seat i know i need to be a little more cautious.