The most risible rant against cyclists so far

American political satirist and author P. J. O...
He don't know what he's talking about. (Image via Wikipedia)

It’s just  amazing how much nonsense about cycling and cyclists is being written by  rather well-educated people at the moment. It started with John Cassidy in the New Yorker, followed by Celia Walden in the “Daily Telegraph” and now P.J. O’ Rourke in the “Wall Street Journal”.

I’ve just added a new category to the blog which deals with this kind of  for this kind of rubbish.

The piece by P.J. is the most ridiculous one so far. I’m still wondering if it was intended to be an April Fool’s Day hoax and someone at the Journal just bungled his job and forget to publish it on time. J.P. writes:

The bicycle is a parody of a wheeled vehicle—a donkey cart without the cart, where you do the work of the donkey. Although the technology necessary to build a bicycle has been around since ancient Egypt, bikes didn’t appear until the 19th century. The reason it took mankind 5,000 years to get the idea for the bicycle is that it was a bad idea. The bicycle is the only method of conveyance worse than feet. You can walk up three flights of stairs carrying one end of a sofa. Try that on a bicycle.

That’s such an utter nonsense that I always have to grin when I’m re-reading it. Try to walk up three flights of stairs carrying a sofa in a car. Or in an airplane.

Another fantastic passage is this:

Bike lane advocates also claim that bicycles are environmentally friendly, producing less pollution and fewer carbon emissions than automobiles. But bicycle riders do a lot of huffing and puffing, exhaling large amounts of CO2.

If the means what he says, I really commiserate with him.

Continue reading “The most risible rant against cyclists so far”

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“London Cyclist’s” ridiculous bike reviews

LCC's magazine "London Cyclist"

Having been a CTC member for more than a year, I’ve recently also  joined London’s Cycling campaign (LCC) which boasts to be “largest urban cycling organisation in the world”. I hugely admire their work.

A few days ago, my first issue of the LCC magazine “London Cyclist” arrived (issue February/March 2011 – not to be confused with the great “London Cyclist” blog) In general, it’s really an impressive, professionally made  product.

However, the bike review on page 42/43 really is a shame. My dear colleagues are discussing “‘urban cross’ bikes”. I don’t have a clue what “urban cross” stands for  and “London Cyclist” doesn’t bother to explain it to me.

The teaser of the article says:

“Taking elements from both cyclocross and mountain biking, the new breed of ‘urban cross’ bikes are ideal for commuting, touring, and light off-roading”

Basically, “London Cyclist” seems to talk about bikes for urban use. Commuting, shopping, going to the pub. They’re featuring four different bikes:

Genesis Day01 Alfine” (£ 999,99), “Jamis Bosanova” (£ 700), “Kona Honky Inc” (£ 1199,99) and “Marin Toscana” (£999).

When I was searching for the bikes on the internet, I was a little bit surprised. For the first three bikes, the Evans bike online shop is among the top search results on Google, and for “Marin Toscana cycle” Cycle Surgery is ranked very high. Pure chance, certainly. Important advertisers like  leading national bike retailers don’t have any influence on the contents of a non for profit magazine run by a cyclists organisation, do they?

But let’s look at the bikes themselves. All of them have drop bars. Two (the Bosanova and the Honky) come with very small tyres (28 mm). The tyres of the Toscana are 4mm wider, while the Day01 has 35mm. Only one of the bikes comes with mudgards. None has  rack or a hub-dynamo and lights.

Apparently, “urban cross” bikes are road bikes with disk brakes.

So according to “London Cyclist”, what kind of bikes do you need for getting around in London?  Apparently you need a bike that

  1. rides very fast (drop bar)
  2. needs very good roads without potholes (small tyres)
  3. isn’t prepared for rainy days   (no mudguards)
  4. isn’t prepared for carrying any luggage on their bike  (no rack)
  5. doesn’t need a reliable, always ready-to-use lighting (no hub dynamo)

Continue reading ““London Cyclist’s” ridiculous bike reviews”