The Indignity of Commuting by Bicycle: Choking

Further to yesterday's post, a number of commenters expressed disappointment that I included a "spoiler" of the day's Tour de France stage result.  Here is one example of this disappointment:

In my defense, even though I said in that post that I usually observe a "no-spoiler" policy, I've never actually consciously followed such policy--it just seemed like a funny thing to say before including a gratuitous spoiler.  Even if I did follow such a policy, many commenters do not, and I've certainly learned the results to many a stage by reading the comment section of my very own blog.

Furthermore, I'm surprised to learn that, in 2012, what with smarting phones and computers and LCD screens everywhere you look, the concept of the "spoiler" is still even relevant.  It would seem to me that, if your goal is to avoid learning anything about one of the world's biggest sporting events in our modern-day society what with its Orwellian preponderance of screens, your only recourse would be to go live among the Amish for three weeks.  At the very least, it would seem foolhardy to actually visit a bike blog, where it's pretty likely the subject of the Tour is going to come up.  (And yes, this is a bike blog--or at least it has the word "bike" in the name.)  I'd suggest that maybe you'd be safer sticking to the adult websites during Tour time, but even then who's to say you won't log on to "Wet Hot Bunions" and find a salacious pictorial based on the day's stage results?  (I hear Thomas Voeckler has a sexy case of hammer toe.)

Most of all though, I was amused to note that the comment above came in at 11:45pm, something like 14 hours after the race ended.  I mean, just how long are we supposed to keep mum about this thing? Not posting spoilers is one thing, but by dinnertime it's just plain censorship.

At any rate, I acknowledge that there are still people who think it's "bad spondee" to post Tour results, in the same way that I acknowledge that there are still people who prefer the tactile experience of faxing to the strange and mysterious forces of email, and I'll try to avoid doing it again, but I can't promise anything.  And while I'm certainly not happy that some readers were upset, I also don't feel particularly bad about it, so "sorry" isn't the right word for me to use here.  I'm tempted to invent a new word for not being happy that people are upset while simultaneously taking no responsibility for it whatsoever, but unfortunately "spondee" is already taken.  Then again, I suppose there's already a word for what I am, and it's probably "asshole."

Speaking of the Tour de France, I won't spoil today's results (Fofonov!), but I will say that I've really started to warm to Bradley Wiggins, the guy who likes to say "cunt:"

At first I thought he was just some guy with funny hair, but as I get to know him better I started to realize just how badly I want a foul-mouthed Englishman with no tact whatsoever to win the Tour--and go pee-pee all over anyone who asks him an annoying question in the process.  Wiggins makes Cadel Evans look affable, which is a difficult yet immensely entertaining thing to do. Or, as Wiggins himself puts it, "I'm not some shit rider who comes from nowhere."  And as far as the whole "Cuntgate" controversy, Wiggins would like you to know that "I didn't lose my cool. I just said what I mean. If I'd lost my cool, the table here would be on the ground."  Indeed.  I understand he can also tear fruit machines apart with his eyeballs.  In any case, with any luck, at least one table will actually get toppled before this Tour is over, and silverware and cunts will scatter all over the place in a cacophony of British indignance.

I only wish I had Wiggins's gumption when it came to interviews, especially this morning, when I went all the way into the city (sigh) to be on some Canadian TV show.  (Though I suppose that's better than having to go all the way to Canada, where if I were to get hurt someone might be liable to give me medical treatment for free.)  The show was apparently something called "AM Express" on CTV, and because I had completely let myself go since finishing my BRA tour this spring I decided to do the good people of Canada a favor by first getting a haircut.  So I went to a place where they make haircuts happen, and who else should be there having his hair cutted but "A-list" celebrity Sinbad:

That was how I knew I had chosen wisely.

After my Uzbeki barber finished etching the New York City skyline in my hair, I continued up to the studio, where I docked the Scattante with the sort of confidence and swagger that would let any nearby cunts know that, should they attempt to appropriate it, I'd be more than happy to upend a table in their general direction:

Then I went inside to wait:

As I understood it, the subject of the discussion was going to be the sorts of issues raised in this article:

Therefore, I was prepared to take issue with passages like this:

Crashes have ignited controversies in New York, Toronto, and London. In Philadelphia, bicycle/pedestrian collisions killed two pedestrians and left another with a fractured skull in 2009. This spring, a San Francisco biker struck a 71-year old pedestrian as he crossed the street. The man died a few days later.

One fatality is certainly too many, but I can't help reading that and wondering why there's not similar outrage over the thousands of people who are maimed and killed by cars.  I guess by now we just take it for granted as a cost of doing business.  I was also going to express my irritation with this:

Not just because I think it's ridiculous that cyclists should be held accountable for the behavior of their fellow cyclists like a bunch of third graders, but also because the person who actually gave the quote obviously said "worst," not "worse."

Anyway, eventually I was ushered upstairs and put in front of the camera:

At which point a disembodied voice in my ear asked me a bunch of non-questions to which I could only give a bunch of non-answers, and then I got back on my Scattante and headed home.

Of course, it was only then that I had my "Jerkstore" moment and realized that I should have explained to the interviewer that any cycling-related problems they may be experiencing up there in Torontee (he kept mentioning Torontee) are due entirely to that idiot Rob Ford:

(Rob Ford the Hutt, of the Toronto Hutts)

But alas, I choked--or, more accurately, I didn't even get the chance to choke, because I didn't think of it in the first place.  Anyway, as I rode along kicking myself I thought about the conversation I had expected to have but didn't, and I observed the usual range of misbehaviors: the pedestrians standing in the middle of bike lanes; the cyclists salmoning and rolling through busy crosswalks; the drivers speeding through red lights...  As I contemplated it all it was clear that pretty much everybody had an equal disregard for the "law" (such as it is), but between, say, the doofus salmoning in the bike lane and the UPS truck driver who ran a light at 30mph while clutching a paper bag in his teeth and rummaging around underneath his dashboard somewhere, I'd have to say it was the latter who probably poses a bigger danger to the general public.  Oddly though, I have yet to see an article about how UPS drivers flout the law, or read a comment like, "The worst thing for a UPS employee is to see some other UPS employee dangerously blow through a red light.  It's just the worse PR."  Then, as I headed towards Times Square, I watched as a truck driver turned right onto the separated pedestrian/bike path while bypassing the car lanes entirely:

As we both watched, the guy in the red jumpsuit commented wryly, "The cop is sitting right there, too," and sure enough he was: 

Though the cop didn't seem at all concerned, as he was most likely waiting to see if he could ticket me for some imaginary offense, such as adjusting my "pants yabbies" in the summer heat without first donning latex gloves.

Of course, it's true that inattentive or reckless cyclists can be dangerous, but it's also true that it's not always their fault:

Nice tits!- 1st Ave & 6th St. - m4w - 28 (East Village)
Date: 2012-07-12, 1:02AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

You were the girl in the see-through shirt and no bra on 1st Ave and 6th St. I was the creep on the bike who almost crashed while staring at your tits. Just wanted to say thank you for making me love this hot summer weather again. 

At least he wasn't staring at her bunions.

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