Category Archives: media coverage of cycling

How to wipe that smug smile off my face

In which our hero learns that one problem with smugness is that too much of it can lead to some serious come-uppance.

If you read bike blogs, or talk with avid cyclists much you’ll know that there are three topics that never fail to bring out people’s opinions. I’m not talking boring technical roadie stuff like steel vs. carbon vs. titanium or Campy vs. SRAM vs. Shimano. The topics I’m talking about are Critical Mass, Bike lanes (and other infrastructure), and the advisability of everyone wearing a helmet. Here are (briefly) my takes on the first two. I’m rather grumpy today, so I’m prone to extreme positions. Also, I’m now incapable of shrugging my shoulders, which means I can’t really equivocate. I’ll explain my grumpiness when I get to helmets.

Critical Mass: (wikipedia if you need a definition). I participated in two CM rides in Edmonton. At first, it was kind of fun, riding in a big group, letting most of the traffic go by. Later, it seemed like the mass was just there to block traffic and piss people off. The most often expressed point of CM is that it is a “celebration of cycling.” I suppose that’s true in the same way a loud, drunken tailgate party is a “celebration of school spirit” in that it makes everyone who’s not on your side hate you even more, and embarrasses the people who are ostensibly rooting for the same team. If you go with the “spontaneous protest” justification and the point of CM is to convince people that “bikes are traffic” it’s a stupid fucking way to do it. Instead of CM, ride your bike everyday, everywhere you need to go. Encourage other people to do the same. CM is for bullshit wannabe revolutionaries.

Bike Lanes: Some bike lanes are good, some bike lanes are bad . I don’t need bike lanes in order to feel comfortable riding in the street, but it’s kind of nice to have them. I’ve biked in cities that have more lanes than Providence and it was pretty sweet. I’ve biked in cities with hardly any bike lanes and while it was certainly manageable, the worst part was the 45 MPH speed limit on some streets. A grid street pattern allowed me to stay off of those streets for the most part. Bike lanes (when constructed properly and kept clear of debris), can encourage more people to ride. When built incorrectly, they are a hazard. And the Park Slopers suing to get rid of the lanes on Prospect Park West are full of shit because those things make everyone safer.

Helmets: If you read about biking much, you’re bound to come across the “great helmet war.” The anti-helmet crowd says stuff like, “The Dutch don’t wear helmets, and they have some of the best cycling safety statistics.” Good for them, they also have the best cycling infrastructure and culture in the world. “That one guy in England found that when he wore a helmet, cars passed closer to him” Nice sample size there. “Bike helmets aren’t designed for the common types of accidents” Well then, let’s make them better. “Requiring helmets convinces people that cycling is unsafe.” Some people are stupid, what are you going to do? I’d keep going, but I think that this post does a better job of breaking down the arguments for wearing a helmet.

In the last year, I’ve sort of skirted around the edges of the “helmet wars” as I’ve read various bike blogs. I’m a bit conflict-averse, so I’ve avoided reading much of it. But I’d heard some of the intriguing counter-intuitive arguments and I’ll admit that they appealed to my scientific curiosity. Earlier this week, I found the video below on a bike blog called DFW Point-to-Point, and I thought, “well, maybe I’ll take a look at this anti-helmet stuff.”

I’d proceed with my usual frame-by-frame mocking of the video (a skill I picked up by spending too much time watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 in my youth), but I’m typing with one hand and don’t quite feel up to it today.

On Friday, I wiped out while riding my road bike on the East Bay Bike Path. It was a beautiful day, with a high predicted to be in the upper 60’s. I had a comp day coming to me, so it seemed like the perfect time to take the day off and enjoy a casual ride with Spouse. I even wore shorts. We were on a flat, straight section of the EBBP, completely  devoid of any gravel, twigs or debris. I had just mentioned to Spouse that we could ride side by side since there was so little traffic. I took a swig from my water bottle, and as I replaced it, I lost my balance. My bike got sideways, and I hit the ground hard, mostly on my left shoulder, but also on my left hip. My head also hit the ground, but I’m not certain of the sequence. I heard a snap, at the time I thought it was my helmet, but it was most likely my collarbone. I didn’t black out, but the pain took a few minutes to catch up with me. Spouse kept a level head and helped me get to the side of the path. She called our friend (and faithful commenter) Vanessa to help with the bikes, then we decided it was best to call an ambulance.

X-rays confirmed that my collarbone was broken on my left side. I won’t bother you with the details of the ER right now (I have 4-6 weeks of no riding ahead of me, so i’ll need to stretch out the stories). I’ll just say that I’m glad I always carry with me: my ID, credit card, and insurance card. I didn’t have anything with emergency contact info on it, but I’ll be adding that to my kit for my next ride. Something else I always have with me: my helmet. Did it save my life yesterday? No, that would be an exaggeration. But it probably saved me from a concussion.

 

It's hard to see the crack, but it goes almost all the way through.

Fortunately, you can’t see the crack in my clavicle, but I can assure you that it is protruding much more than the other side. I’m not sure why I’m smiling, maybe it was the percocet.

Do you think it's kind of flirty how one of the straps keeps falling down?

I’ll be wearing this for the next several weeks, thus the one-handed typing. And one-handed eating. And one-handed just about everything else.

At the end of my recovery, i’ll get to buy a new helmet. They’re not perfect, but they’re the best thing we have for protecting our brains (along with not riding like an idiot). I can’t blame this accident on anyone but myself, really. I suppose I could try to blame it on the extraordinarily strong pull of the lunar perigee on the water in my bottle.

The so-called “Supermoon” woke me up around 3 AM this morning just to mock me as it passed across my window.

I’ll try to keep up with the blogging in the next few weeks, concentrating more on walking and transit. Until then, ride safe!

Video Evidence

If you drive a car, ride as a passenger in a car, ride a bike on a road where cars also travel, or live near a street where there are regularly cars, then I would highly recommend Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) Spouse got this for me shortly after it came out. [She's an amazing woman, that Spouse is.] Also, you should read Tom Vanderbilt’s Blog, How We Drive.

Tom Vanderbilt (what’s that, I can call you “Tom”, well okay, if you insist). Tom recently wrote an article for Outside Magazine (brought to my attention by reader, V) on some extreme bicycle commuters and the perceived strife between cyclists and motorists. aka “The Bikelash.” Tom doesn’t seem to see the issue as motorists vs. cyclists, but more us vs. them

We know that merely perceiving someone as an outsider is enough to provoke a whole range of things,” says Ian Walker, a researcher at the University of Bath who specializes in traffic psychology. “All the time, you hear drivers saying things like ‘Cyclists, they’re all running red lights, they’re all riding on sidewalks,’ while completely overlooking the fact that the group they identify with regularly engages in a whole host of negative behaviors as well.” This social categorization is subtle but dominant, he points out.

In other words, cyclists and motorists perceive themselves as distinct groups and perceive the “other” as monolithic. This is why I get unsolicited comments from acquaintances along the lines of, “you know, I’d respect cyclists more if they weren’t always running red lights and stop signs.” To which I respond, “Yeah, I hate those people.” Left unsaid by me: “And what do they have to do with me?  Would you like me to bring up the dozens of motorists I see every day breaking all sorts of traffic laws? What do they have to do with you?”

Tom’s article references a bike blog I hadn’t heard of before, the creatively titled: Jeff’s Bike Blog. Jeff specializes in video taping all of the cars that nearly hit him. I you are not currently “being Charlie Sheen” and feel like having some vicarious heart attack moments, I suggest you watch some of his videos.

Like this one that resulted in the cyclist getting a ticket:

Or this one where a passenger actually opens his door as he passes the cyclist.

And that’s why we need laws to protect cyclists from harassment.

Speaking of which, I know I’m always promising not to do it, but it’s time for a

HONK REPORT

So, I’m rolling down Canal Street, towards Steeple/Exchange. I’m still aways away from the traffic light when I see it turn yellow, so I stop pedaling and coast up to the light. A car pulls up behind me, and there is no one in the middle lane or the far left lane. For those of you from outside of the city, this is a three lane, one way street. At the intersection, the two right lanes are for turning right and the left lane is for going straight.

I’m where that silver car is, I’m pretty sure it’s a Mini Cooper (yes, I can spot a Mini Cooper from space). Just like a Mini, I’m taking up an entire lane, because it would be unsafe for a car to pass me without changing lanes. A car rolls up behind me, well after the light has turned red.

HONK

Without turning around, I point to the “No Turn On Red” sign right next to me. I get another honk. I turn around and inquire as to the driver’s reading ability. He responds, “If you weren’t in front of me, I could have made the light.” This is A. untrue, and B. irrelevant. I respond, “Well go around me if you’re in such a hurry,” pointing to the empty lane next to him. “I can’t,” he says as another car approaches the intersection and eventually gets to the stop line in the middle lane. (If he had spent less time honking and kvetching, he would have had plenty of time to change lanes).I roll my eyes, and get ready for the light to turn green and prepare myself for an escape in case the driver gets “assaulty.” When the light turns green, I turn right and get into the second lane from the right on Exchange Terrace. The driver makes his right turn and pulls all the way over to the far left lane. If he was going to that lane, he should have started from the middle lane on Canal Street. I continue on to work.

I relayed this story to Spouse later in the evening and she came up with the perfect retort, “I’m sorry, you’ll just have to realize that when you drive your car, sometimes there will be another vehicle in front of you that won’t feel like running a red light.”

Spouse: she’s so smart.

The incident described above happened earlier this week. Then today, I had another similar incident. I was stopped at a red light on Allens Street in South Providence. I was as far to the right as practicable given that much of the right hand part of the road is covered in sand right now. As I was waiting for the light to turn green, a car came up behind me and honked at me. Evidently, I was in “their way.” I was slowing them down no more than if I had been in a car. While the light was still red, they pulled around me and turned right (there was no prohibition for doing so at this intersection). I smiled and waved and said, “Hey, how ya doin?” This is the attitude I have to remind myself to take. Sanguinity.

Going back to Jeff’s Bike Blog for a minute… I have a strange fascination for these instances of gratuitously bad driving where cyclists are almost killed or maimed. Maybe I like looking at this sort of thing because it re-inforces my smugness. Sometimes I feel like I get too much of a thrill from righteous indignation. It’s almost like these tales of motorist ineptitude (like every cyclist’s favorite bogeyman, Martin Erzinger), are a form of pornography. I can read through the comments section of these articles and feel an arousal in my ire region. I should give up this filthy habit in exchange for  looking at that other type of bike porn: pictures from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show!

photo by John Prolly of prollyisnotprobably.com

A seat cluster plus a matching nestled frame pump? My god, that’s just obscene!

photo by John Prolly of prollyisnotprobably.com

Two dirty bikes. Two very, very durrrrrty bikes.

 

They’ve been naughty.

Special Request for the DJ: Heart Attack Man

The New York Times is somewhat infamous for its “bogus trend” stories. Jack Shafer at Slate.com loves to write about these sorts of stories. All you really need are three examples, and wha-lah! le trend. (next one: misspelling french). These stories really stick out on the Times’ website because they run next to and look just as legitimate as a story about the economic conditions in Greece. However, they are a little less egregious nestled into the Style section with coverage of some band that records an album in a Central Falls warehouse or whatever. Worse than the “bogus trend” story is the “I’m going to make up a medical condition based on one study that I kind of looked at, even though I’m a journalist and not a doctor.” I present to you, from Jenny Hope at the Daily Mail:

The article cites a study about the “final straw” risk factors in triggering a heart attack. Some of the worst of these include: commuting in traffic, breathing polluted air, and strenuously exercising. It’s the reporter who came up with the idea that bicycle commuting must be the most dangerous thing because it combines so many independent risk factors. Of course, there’s nothing about bicycle commuting in the study… I think the author mentioned bike commuting just to troll for comments on the article. And of course, it this trolling was successful. I only scanned the comments, because they seemed to quickly get into a bullshit back and forth about cyclists not having a right to the road because they don’t pay “road tax” (this is in the UK, BTW). If you don’t know why this argument is bullshit, please leave a comment below.

There was one particular comment that caught my eye:

So … the problem is that pollution in our cities is increasing the possibility of heart disease? And low levels of fitness are also increasing this? Hmmm if only there were some way of reducing the amount of pollution whilst improving peoples fitness levels. Any ideas, anyone?

This comment perfectly illustrates how bike commuting does not put cyclists at risk of a heart attack: our own smug sense of self-importance helps to create a protective layer of positive “vibes” encasing our heart, and ensuring its proper function. Plus, we’re like in hella good shape.
If Jenny Hope was just combining a few random “final straw” heart attack triggers, I think she really missed the obvious:
Other risk factors included negative emotions (3.9 per cent), anger (3.1 per cent), eating a heavy meal (2.7 per cent), positive emotions (2.4 per cent) … sexual activity (2.2 per cent)… cocaine use (0.9 per cent).
So the real risk factor for a heart attack is
being Charlie Sheen.

Front Page News: Snow Gets In The Way of Driving

The front page of today’s non-virtual Providence Journal featured dueling stories on the effects of the recent storms: Shoveling is not for weak of heart, and Mounds make getting by impossible. The first covers the perennial issue of people having heart attacks because the only exercise they get is shoveling the driveway once a year. The second covers the effect of snow mounds on driving. Some roads have been narrowed by as much as 4 feet. This makes drivers slow down. [Jeff Nickerson at GCPVD explains why this isn't such a bad thing.] The ProJo doesn’t seem to have much coverage of my favorite snow removal issue – the lack of proper sidewalk clearance. It is briefly mentioned in a reader comment to the “Mounds” story. I’m tempted to throw my own comments into the mix, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to hit the exclamation point key the minimum 5 times required to submit a comment to the ProJo. Buried on page A7, there is a brief mention of sidewalk clearance and its effect on mail carriers in the story, Weather slips up mail carriers. [aside: for these 3 stories, the ProJo reporters talked to doctors, firefighters, bus drivers and mail carriers - it's like the ProJo imagine the same occupations that a three-year old knows] From the article – “And three other carriers walking in streets because sidewalks were not cleared were struck by passing cars, [a spokeswoman] said.” I wonder if anyone is bothering to keep track of the non-mail carriers who are struck by cars because they have to walk in the street. Remember folks, AWOTRS BRIML SYCJOW! Evidently, this spokeswoman is for RI and southeastern MA, but there is no time frame given. Is that 3 mail carriers hit from the last storm? Three this entire winter? Didn’t the reporter learn about the 5 W’s?!?!

Looks like I’m almost ready for the ProJo comments section.

Speaking of blind rage, a cyclist in London keeps his helmet cam on all the time.

Looks like a good idea when dealing with the White Van Man of London.

Winter Riding Tips / Video Round-Up

One of these days, I’ll get a helmet cam and create thrilling videos of my daily commute for all of you to enjoy. In the meantime, I’ll present you with three cycling-related videos that were recently posted on the internet.

The first is an earnest, but fun look at winter cycling tips in Chicago:

BikeSnobNYC did his usual job of mocking the video frame by frame, so I won’t attempt that here. I’ll just point out that the video was shot and edited by my former classmate, Elizabeth Press, seen here in the middle of putting on layer after layer of winter clothing.

This video does bring up the issue of cycling in the winter, something I have not yet addressed. It seems like many of the “other” bike blogs have already addressed this in earnest, prescribing all manner of wool (both technical and traditional), silk, gore-tex, gore-mex, splats, &c. My commute is very short, so I’m not sure that I have the best advice to give w/r/t winter cycling, however, I lived in the frozen wilds of Edmonton Alberta for two winters, where I did pick up a thing or two. Actually, I picked up four things during my Canadian exile that I consider essential to my winter commute.

Thing 1: Waterproof Pants.

These aren’t the exact ones I have, but they look pretty close. I prefer waterproof pants that go over whatever I’m wearing to the office that day. Then I just whip off my pants, and I’m ready to go. So to speak. These are useful in warmer seasons as well because I don’t really like getting my pants soaked by the rain.

Thing 2: Face Mask

I wear this when the temperature gets below 30 degrees or so. That’s not such a low temperature, but my ride includes speeds up to 25 miles an hour, so there is often more windchill than one would experience while walking.  Some riders might prefer a Balaclava.

Thing 3: Thin Balaclava, Headband or Skull Cap

I have a thin balaclava that I fold up over my head so that I get a thick layer around my ears, but a little bit of a stovepipe effect to release heat out the top of my head. Some people prefer to just have a headband to keep their ears warm, then have a full stovepipe out the top of their helmets. These people are crazy.

Thing 4: Lobster Gloves

These provide the warmth of mittens, and the dexterity of a lobster. Some people just use mittens, although it can be difficult to use some shifting systems without lobster-levels of dexterity. Either way, most cyclists will tell you that regular old gloves aren’t going to cut it when it gets really cold.

Keeping with the earnestness theme, what could be more earnest than social justice advocates’ concern with immigrant communities’ transportation needs?

There’s not much footage of people actually riding bikes, but what footage there is features people riding on the sidewalk.

This is certainly something I see around here: cycling on the sidewalk instead of in the street. I understand why people are tempted to do it, riding in traffic can seem more dangerous, but it is almost always safer. Cycling advocates like to spend a lot of time focusing making cycling safer for people just like them (mostly white, mostly middle class). I’m reminded of when I helped RIBike with the “light up the night” event. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but it’s something that could use more attention. And since I’m not sure where I’m going, I’m going to shut up before I put my foot in my mouth.

I forgot to mention earlier, that I also wear a jacket in the winter. I think it would qualify as a “snowboarding” jacket. It’s mostly water repellent, but not 100%. It’s not particularly noteworthy except for the fact that it is not a very heavy coat.  Even with my short commute, I can generate quite a bit of body heat while cycling. A medium-weight jacket over my work clothes is plenty on most winter days. When it gets particularly cold, I add a hoodie for one more layer of warmth.

This jacket was one of those bargains you always remember. It was originally $90, then marked down to $50 because it was out of season, then marked down to $25 because it had been on the racks for a while. It’s served me well for about 10 years now, but I guess I could get rid of it in favor of a $400 cycling jacket from Mission Workshop:

We begin this film with our hero riding a ferry from one part of Amersterdam to another. I’d say that he is on his commute, but it doesn’t look like he actually does any work during the rest of the day.

it's cold out here, luckily I have a $400 outer jacket to wear over my $235 inner jacket. I'd better put the hood up.

After I get off the boat, I'll take a gratuitous shot of row after row of Amsterdam bikes

Could you do this with any normal jacket? I don't think so.

This video has more rack focus than a Scorsese film

I think my favorite thing about this video is the fact that he is modeling a cycling-specific jacket, one that is designed for use on a road bike – or some other bike where the cyclist leans forward. But he’s riding a completely upright Dutch city bike. There’s nothing wrong with a Dutch city bike, but if you are going to ride one, you can just wear regular clothes. That’s pretty much the whole point of a Dutch city bike! Okay, back to our story, where our hero has returned to his canal boat home.

Uh oh, what’s this?

This doesn’t look good. The jacket has cable routing for portable audio devices.

phew, it's cold again

I guess I should put up my hood in order to further insulate myself from hearing any noise from the outside world while I....

....haphazardly mount my city bike

Biking through the city while wearing headphones. Always a safe idea. Note the skinny jeans – the perfect complement to cycling-specific jackets. Of course, this is an Amsterdam cyclist, so he is coddled by:

Protected bike lanes! (Note that even the bike symbols in Amsterdam have chaincases.) Alright, now I’m just being a hater. Who wouldn’t want bike lanes like those?

Ahh, now he’s leaning forward about 2 degrees, which utilizes many of the features of the “slim-fit, seam-sealed, waterproof jacket cut for life on the bike.”

Soon he reaches his destination: Pristine – a “Lunchroom/Gallery”

…where the depth of field is so shallow, you need a rack focus to read from one side of the menu to the other.

There are a few other product demo videos on Mission Workshop’s Vimeo Page, all of which are equally entertaining. I’d go through them all, but I’m working at mocking Mission, not providing them tons of free exposure to my dozen of readers.

But I can’t resist one more, the video for the Shed Messenger Bag. This one was filmed in Paris, where our protagonist (let’s call him Claude) rides a fixed gear bike from the top of Montmartre. It even sports an aerospoke front wheel. Epic.

I’m going to skip the part where he packs his MacBook into the bag, but I have to mention that every Mission Workshop video shows and Apple product at some point.

After Claude orders his coffee, the barista rings him up in slo-mo.

maybe it's just that all French coffeeshop employees work very slowly

Almost everything is in slo-mo. I guess owning one of these bags turns every day into an epic urban journey of self-discovery. Just about the only time the video approaches regular speed is right after Claude runs across a fellow cyclist, this one on what appears to be a vintage track bike. They gaze at each other knowingly….

because it’s on!

The film is back up to full speed as we get to enjoy some serious Cat 6 racing action.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you the details. These guys even made a video about installing a product display in a store in Portland. Maybe I’m trying to compensate because I just bought a new jacket from a different hipster-clothing brand based in San Francisco. But I totally needed that. And it was on sale… and it will make me go faster, right? Product review to follow.

Insightful Media Analysis

After enjoying the navel gazing of yesterday’s post, my navel took a beating from a one-two punch of lame cycling stories in the media. First, NPR’s Morning Edition had a soft-focus fuzzy piece about increased bike commuting in the U.S. Or at least, judging from the title (“Switching Gears: More Commuters Bike To Work“) you would think that is what the story is about. However, after listening again, I’m not really sure. Most of the story seemed to be about the CEO of National Geographic and how he encourages the staff there to join him on lunchtime rides so he can spy on the water cooler talk. Although it’s not on the written web edition, the intro to the piece mentioned bike commuting rates increasing by as much as a factor of 3 in some cities. They also mentioned that national correspondent (and NPR heartthrob), Ari Shapiro, often bikes through the night in order to get to his early morning hosting shift at NPR headquarters in Washington.

That's right, ladies, cycling is the secret to my washed out features

All right, so it wasn’t such a bad piece, just a little fluffy. It was nice to hear that the American Journal of Public Health “found that the U.S. cities with the highest rates of walking and cycling to work have obesity rates that are 20 percent lower and diabetes rates that are 23 percent lower — compared with U.S. cities with the lowest rates of walking and cycling.” There’s a little correlation vs. causation problem with that statistic, but let’s not quibble about that. Instead, let’s quibble about the pictures that accompanied the article:

Team Nat Geo prepares for an epic lunchtime ride

That's Nat Geo CEO John Fahey on the left

What’s wrong with these pictures? Everyone is wearing cycle-sport clothes and riding racing (or racing-like) bikes. Yes, I too don a ridiculous outfit for cycling on occasion, but this story is supposed to be about bike commuting (or lunchtime riding with your boss… or something). The audio story mentions a Nat Geo employee riding an ancient 10-speed and another on an old mountain bike, but evidently they didn’t make the cut for the photos. Also, it’s all dudes, while the audio piece includes some ladies including one who trades her heels for sneakers when she rides the afore-mentioned ancient 10-speed.

I was a little disappointed by the NPR piece, but the next day I got smacked in the face by the NY Times:

That’s right, “Fell off my bike and vowed never to get back on.” Ugh.

The article reads almost like one of the notorious NY Times “bogus trend” pieces. There are several tales of woe:

…last June, he was warming up for a race when he hit a squirrel, crashed into a telephone pole and broke his arm so badly he needed surgery.

I was drafting Bill when a slower rider meandered into his path. Bill swerved and I hit his wheel. Down I went.

My running friend Claire Brown, a triathlete, crashed a few years ago when she was riding fast on wet roads, getting in one last training ride before a race.

Then it’s time to cue up the expert:

“Control makes a big difference in whether we take risks,” Dr. Loewenstein said. “With biking, you feel in control until you have an accident. Then all of a sudden you realize you are not in control. That can have a dramatic effect — you can shift abruptly from excessive daring to exaggerated caution.”

Another annoying article about cycling. This time under the “personal best” series about fitness. Nothing about fun, nothing about transportation, nothing about the joy of riding in the fresh air. Just accidents and how they suck. How about this tidbit:

I remembered what Michael Berry, an exercise physiologist at Wake Forest University, once told me. With cycling, he said, it’s not if you crash, it’s when. He should know. He’s a competitive cyclist whose first serious injury — a broken hip — happened when he crashed taking a sharp turn riding down a mountain road. (emphasis mine)

Jeez, what a bummer. I’ll have to go back to the NPR story for something more uplifting.

Westergren’s commute is a combined 12 miles to and from home. And he says, given all the biking he does, he doesn’t need a gym membership to stay fit. “Really, to build it into your daily routine by commuting for me has just been the best thing,” he says.

That’s what I like to see! Our occupations used to be our exercise, but now that most of us sit in front of a screen all day, we need something else. We could ride racing bikes up and down mountains every weekend (and, if you are to believe the Times article, eventually crash), or we could ride a few miles to work every day. I’ll go with a hybrid of both (but I’ll stick to the mild hills of Rhode Island, and leave the mountains to other cyclists).

That’s all I’ve got for insightful media analysis for now.