Re: Blurty McBlurtersen

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I am very talkative. But I figure that by now most of the people around me know this, and if they're still associating with me, it must be because it doesn't bother them much. (Though, the car is the one place where I actually am more quiet than normal - staring out the window is a pleasurable pursuit.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:09 PM
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Do you talk to strangers on planes?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:21 PM
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No, not generally. If they talk to me, I will often talk back, but sometimes even then I don't.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:25 PM
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2: I kinda figured that planes would come up. Absolutely not on plane travel—with a caveat: if prompted, I'm your chatty friend. If not, I'm quiet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:28 PM
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Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:38 PM
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Talkativeness is only really problematic on airplanes, I think. But a talkative neighbor on a plane can be hell, because you're completely trapped. On the other hand, I was recently reading this thread where someone voices the opinion that there's no reason to travel by air at all if you don't want to talk to your fellow passengers (!).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:48 PM
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Talking to strangers on trains is more acceptable. Maybe you'll find you can work out a mutually beneficial arrangement to trade murders!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 11:54 PM
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Isn't the densest city still Hong Kong? If not, I can't really imagine what would be.


Posted by: apk01004 | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:41 AM
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re: 8

It's not even close to the top of the list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_proper_by_population_density


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 2:22 AM
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I'm surprised Paris comes in so far ahead of New York. I blame the Rockaways.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 2:29 AM
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Dang.


Posted by: apk01004 | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 2:42 AM
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A list like that is going to be heavily driven by where the legal city boundaries are. That's why "Union City", a tiny inner-ring suburb of New York City, is the densest city in the US.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 3:45 AM
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Yeah. I actually had to go to the U.S. list to find New York City proper to compare with Paris. The list - both lists actually - would probably be more useful for casual conversation purposes with a higher total population number as the minimum for inclusion.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 3:52 AM
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"Hey, guess what the densest city in the world is"

I assume we're talking population density? Not, err, lack of intelligence?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:08 AM
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9: That list is strange. It would seem to me you'd want to limit to cities over a million people or something. Knowing the Union City, NJ, is the densest city in the U.S. seems sort of pointless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:13 AM
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The list is so strange that it makes me use definite articles in inappropriate places.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:18 AM
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I only talk to people to stay out of jail.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:20 AM
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17: You mean cutting deals with U.S. attorney? Or is conversation an alternative to mugging?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:23 AM
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Stanley's the first hitchhiker in the trunk.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:23 AM
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Depends who's asking.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:23 AM
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Hey, OT bleg:

I'm writing a proposal for a cycling plan type thing, and I need to refer to "committed commuters and skinny pants hipsters on fixies." But I don't actually want to use the latter phrase (OK, I actually do, but I don't want actually to use it); any ideas? And no sniping about the former phrase; I include it to give you some sense of rhythm.

So have at it, literate people of the internet.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:26 AM
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21:"close-cuffed cools?"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:29 AM
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skinny pants hipsters on fixies

"People who can't get to the top of Murray Ave. without wheezing."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:29 AM
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Recreational cyclists?

Does their having fixed-gear bikes make any actual odds*? Like, you don't really care about their hipness or anything, do you? Because I would be tempted by `recreational cyclists'.

* no design issues based on worrying about fools who can't brake quickly or whatever?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:32 AM
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No, I'm actually talking to recreational cyclists ("spandex-clad tools on bikes that cost more than your car") in another meeting.

I'm talking about a number of different populations, and the skinny-pants people are the hard-core, the ones whose identity is wrapped up in being a "cyclist." The people reading the proposal will know exactly whom I mean; I just need to be politic in describing them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:42 AM
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If your plan is to install a sort of escalator-like thing that you can grab hold of and be pulled-up some of the more absurb hills, I'm all for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:48 AM
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They are recreational cyclists though, aren't they?

(I mean, they are doing it for recreation, not because they have to, not like they are out of a Italian neo-realist film.)

The spandex clad tools on expensive bikes are also recreational bikers, but sub-type roadies.

Dunno; try reading NY Bike Snob or bikefag and see what words they use.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:48 AM
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25: The sort of cyclists who organize Critical Mass? People involved with the urban biking community?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:52 AM
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I'd like to keep it simple and just write "Sifus," but I suspect some in my audience wouldn't get it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:52 AM
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28: Definitely don't want to reference Crit Mass. "Urban cycling community" might work.

27: I actually don't think "recreational" applies (aside from the fact that, here, that term really refers to people who only ride for exercise), because many (most?) in this crowd don't actually own cars - it really is a way of life.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:54 AM
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"Young urban cyclists"

"Urban cycling enthusiasts"

I don't wear skinny pants.

I don't ride a "fixie" in the sense you're thinking of, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:56 AM
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"Shadyside cyclist"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:56 AM
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"fixed-gear bicycle enthusiasts"


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:56 AM
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"Fakengers"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:57 AM
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Lifestyle accessorizers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:57 AM
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I don't ride a "fixie" in the sense you're thinking of, either.

I thought a 'fixie' was a bike without gears (or rather, with only one gear). What are the other meanings?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:58 AM
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36: a bike without gears, without brakes, with accessories, allegedly with track geometry, and with a lot of sociocultural bullshit along for the ride.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:59 AM
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"undersized-knickerbocker-restricted velocipedists" is the obvious term JRoth is looking for.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:59 AM
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Purpose-driven riders.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:01 AM
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38: see, but then you get a different crowd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:01 AM
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37: No brakes in Pittsburgh would indicate some sort of a death-wish. It is very hilly and the drivers are hugely inattentive, especially when "Men without Hats" comes on the radio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:01 AM
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the ones whose identity is wrapped up in being a "cyclist."

I call these people "lifestyle-cyclists" or "lifestycleists."


Posted by: Faith Popcorn | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:04 AM
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I would be worried that `people who ride fixies' doesn't really overlap with `people who consider cycling to be part of their identity'. (Like, I own a fixie, don't own a car, but I don't consider biking to be part of my identity. I am also dreadfully hipsterish (well not really but in as much as this goes I think I'd qualify.))

I suspect I'm too close and too much invested in not being nice to a collection of wankers to be much use.

I thought a 'fixie' was a bike without gears (or rather, with only one gear).

A fixie is canonically a bike with no freewheel mechanism; it may have changeable gears and brakes and so-on. Mostly when people say fixie they also mean single-speed, but assuming that a fixie is anything more than a single-speed non-freewheeling bike is a bit dodge. The people who take it all too seriously also endorse 37, but they are Wrong. Wrong I say!


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:04 AM
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41: you can stop a fixed gear without brakes. If people can pull it off in SF I imagine they can manage in Pittsburgh.

Of course, most people manage it by riding very slowly, but that's neither here nor there.

cf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:04 AM
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43.2: canonically "fixie" is a dorky hipster term, so I think 37 obtains.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:07 AM
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44: That article really cleared it up for me. You may not have a 'brake', but you can just stomp backward on the pedals to stop. Like the bike I had when I was a kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:11 AM
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and with a lot of sociocultural bullshit along for the ride.

Also, a milk crate or a set of panniers to carry it in.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:14 AM
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46: a bit like that, although the mechanism's different, and on a fixed gear you can't coast.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:14 AM
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Sure you can--lift your legs up high.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:16 AM
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49: And hope the hill isn't too big.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:17 AM
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49: "hipster coasting", per the bikesnob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:18 AM
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Yes, and I am going to reclaim it for the sane! The sane I tells you!

Nah, you're right. But I think `fixies' can have (at least front) brakes. And I'd be wary about `track geometry' & so-on; the most common fixie is a shitty old ten speed with pretty slack geometry I think, not a proper track bike.

(At least, that's one stereotype.)

You may not have a 'brake', but you can just stomp backward on the pedals to stop.

Except (a) braking on the rear wheel solely isn't very effective, as any fule kno, and (b) if the chain comes off you are fucked.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:18 AM
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DFB = Dirty Fucking Bicyclist


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:18 AM
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if the chain comes off you are fucked

What did Michael Vick say to his dog handler?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:20 AM
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And I'd be wary about `track geometry' & so-on; the most common fixie is a shitty old ten speed with pretty slack geometry I think, not a proper track bike.

Oh aye, hence the "allegedly". But people can convince themselves that any old piece of crap is a track bike.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:24 AM
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Thanks again, Japan


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:25 AM
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And I thought that'd be the Keirin.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:25 AM
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53 has me trying to come with versions that enlist 'PBR' as an acronym. The closest thing I have so far is 'Pretender Biking Ridiculously'.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:26 AM
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Pretentious Bicycle Rider


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:26 AM
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I'm talkative, but I'm not good at starting conversations from scratch. So I like being around talkative people. I feel like it makes conversation easy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:27 AM
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Perilous Bicycling Radling


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:29 AM
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"bicycle", not "bicycling"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:30 AM
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What's the attraction of chop & flops? Don't they just fuck with the geometry of the bike?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:34 AM
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You're asking the wrong person.

I think the attraction is that people want bullhorns (again, don't ask me why) but don't have any money? Or people want their bike to look kinda different, but don't care if it's actually usable?

Got me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:36 AM
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There's a guy who rides around my neighborhood with a recumbent bike. It really looks different and by different I mean "stupid".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:42 AM
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Yeah fair enough. Dumb fixie riders always annoy me irrationally; it's like, look, here's this wonderfully specialised bit of engineering called a track bike, designed to make going continuously round in circles on a very smooth surface easy, and you are going to try and ride over rough city streets? Have you ever heard of a `road bike'?

And then I just start muttering about how the Victorians were a sight better at this than you are pal etc etc. And then I calm down and go home.

(Recumbents are cool in some ways.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:43 AM
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The six-day bicycle race: it's not just indoors anymore!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:45 AM
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There's a dude in my neighborhood who rides a tandem bike alone. No, I'm not kidding.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:51 AM
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If gas gets too pricey, I'm going to take the bus, not a bike. The bus is a great place for random conversations with strangers. You are not trapped as much as on an airplane and conversation is a welcome relief from listening to other people on their cell phones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:51 AM
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68: Short story prompt?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:52 AM
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I took the subway the other day after a couple months of my bike basically being my exclusive mode of transportation and goddamn but I hated it. All those people, crowding in on me! No control over how fast I was going or when I could get going! So claustrophobic!

Then I went out west and remembered the car dependency and how awful that was.

In conclusion: yay, bikes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:55 AM
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70: Sure, go ahead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:56 AM
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65: Recumbents are hella cool for what they are good at, which is unfortunately not city street riding. You get improved performance due to reduced frontal area and the ability to push harder on the pedals. You lose the ability to hop and long lines of sight. Plus, if you're into that sort of thing, you can be even more snobby and superior than fixie riders.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:05 AM
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You lose the ability to hop climb hills and turn in a hurry and long lines of sight. You get improved aerodynamic performance due to reduced frontal area but your bike weighs a ton and the ability to push harder on the pedals, grow a luxurious sysadmin beard and belly, and the freedom to wear sandals with socks 24 hours a day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:08 AM
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I don't wear skinny pants.

I don't ride a "fixie" in the sense you're thinking of, either.

Next you'll be telling us that you're not a Brahmin fratboy.

Thanks for all of the, uh, helpful comments, guys. Perhaps I should have been more clear that I'm writing this proposal in order to get the job, not to amuse and/or offend the selection team.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:08 AM
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Add more punctuation to 74 as necessary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:09 AM
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There's a dude in my neighborhood who rides a tandem bike alone. No, I'm not kidding.

Maybe God is his co-pilot.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:10 AM
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Perhaps I should have been more clear that I'm writing this proposal in order to get the job, not to amuse and/or offend the selection team.

Oh! Our bad.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:12 AM
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re: fixies

And old workmate of mine rode one to work every day. Hers was definitely an old track bike -- fixed hub, no gears, but I think she had a front brake on it.

She was a bike racer, though. She raced a bit of track, but mostly road, and was, I think, pretty good. She'd won stages at semi-pro/pro events, that sort of thing. I imagine she rode her bike to work terrifyingly fast.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:14 AM
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75: Sorry. Then I suggest 'lifestyle-cyclists'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:14 AM
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fixed hub, no gears

The "conversions" we're talking about also feature this. A "track bike" means a bike with super tight geometry that's designed for a velodrome. They're designed to accelerate very quickly, but not to be comfortable for rides longer than a couple of miles (and definitely not rides on uneven pavement), and they often aren't designed to have brakes attached. They also aren't particularly optimal for turning abruptly, since your feet can hit the front wheel. Nonetheless, people like riding them in cities.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:18 AM
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. Perhaps I should have been more clear that I'm writing this proposal in order to get the job, not to amuse and/or offend the selection team.

Young urban road-bike enthusiasts.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:21 AM
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YURBEs?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:23 AM
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Fixed urban riding bicycle youth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:24 AM
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re: 81

Yeah, I understood the distinction you were making above re: frame geometry versus just the fixed hub on a bike with non-track geometry. As I said, hers was a track-bike, in terms of geometry. I know this because she told me, as it was the first time [this was about 4 years ago] that I'd seen someone riding a bike of that type as a 'commuter'. I think she rode it partly because she didn't want to ride her very expensive road bike to work, partly because she was into track racing, and partly for 'hipster' reasons.

Personally, I cruise around on a 'mountain' bike [albeit with road tyres and a fairly 'roady' frame geometry], and I have mudguards [I believe you call them fenders] so I am the antithesis of fixie hispterdom.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:25 AM
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74: You also lose pressure on the perineum, sparing you erectile dysfunction. Mock the big bellied sysadmin bearded 'bentiste all you wish - he may be slow getting up hills, but at least he can still get it up.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:25 AM
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Oh, wait. This is Pgh? "Young Independent Non-braking Zealots". For short: "YINZ".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:26 AM
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Hooray for fenders!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:28 AM
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Track bikes can be perfectly comfortable on long rides if they fit right. I did a century around LA once on a Bianchi Pista with a dozen or so other people on fixies (most of them were riding bona fide track frames too), and we did fine.


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:28 AM
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89: Did you ask how everybodys' perineums were?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:31 AM
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The new (well, new 15 years ago, I guess) taint-preserving cutout saddles work pretty darn well on that front.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:32 AM
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91: If'n yer taint's in front it ain't a taint.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:35 AM
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Huh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:39 AM
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93: Just being silly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:41 AM
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Punning on "on that front," I assume.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:42 AM
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I do not understand what you earth people call "humor". Now let us talk in technical detail about bicycles for many, many more hours!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:43 AM
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This may sound dumb, but not until Sausagely's posts of the last couple weeks did I realize there were places where people who use bikes to commute do not feel obliged to ride as fast as possible.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:44 AM
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re: 97

Really? I alternate between a leisurely cruise, and fast-ish. I try not to arrive totally soaked in sweat. Fast-ish for me isn't fast, though [avg. about 14-15mph or something].

I don't see that many people really going flat out, apart from occasional people on road bikes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:49 AM
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I ride pretty fast, but I certainly don't ride flat-out if I'm just going to the store or a meeting or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:50 AM
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Kobe rides.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:51 AM
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98: I try not to sweat at all if I'm on the way to work. At 10 miles and hour on flat terrain, I can go straight to a formal setting and not feel grungy at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:51 AM
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In the summer, when it's hot, I tend to go faster, as I'm going to need a change of clothes anyway there's less incentive to ride at a leisurely speed. This time of year, it's pootling along.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:53 AM
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This may sound dumb, but not until Sausagely's posts of the last couple weeks did I realize there were places where people who use bikes to commute do not feel obliged to ride as fast as possible.

I think I know the post you're talking about, and, as a theoretical point, it was the first time I really thought about it as well. If I lived in a flat city, I think I would bike at a relaxed "Euro pace" as well, but the combination of hilly streets and my inefficient cheapo bike means I'm almost always expending maximum energy just to ride at a normal pace.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:53 AM
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I found out that one of my colleagues used to bike to work along my commute.

I'm so impressed - it's about 20 miles each way. How fast do you bike? Is that two hours? I would never try it because I'm scared of cars along country roads with no shoulder.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:55 AM
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At 10 miles and hour on flat terrain, I can go straight to a formal setting and not feel grungy at all.

How long does this take you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:56 AM
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105: In my current situation, I almost never bike to work, because it takes me two hours. At other jobs, and the same pace, my commute has been anywhere between 5 minutes and a half hour.

(The five minute bike commute was really nice. I miss it.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:59 AM
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105: I'm sure it would take you longer if you were going to a formal setting. It is much easier to cycle in a tux than a gown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:00 AM
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It is much easier to cycle in a tux than a gown.

An opera singer friend of mine rides her bike to auditions in a floor-length black gown. She says a lot of women bring their audition outfits and change into them at the audition site, but she finds it important to be in full diva mode when she walks in the building.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:03 AM
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I really struggle to bike at anything less than full speed. I can do it if I'm with someone else (although I usually end up pulling away once or twice, then coasting back alongside), but when I'm solo, it's all-out, all the time.

I should note that I drive the same way, and that I'm also a very brisk walker. I really don't understand slower mindsets.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:06 AM
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I'm lucky, I can commute in under 15 minutes if I ride fairly hard. Even taking my time it's only a bit longer. I don't cycle every day, though.

re: 104

Unless the person's in really good shape, I'd imagine that's at least an hour. Maybe more.

re: 109

FWIW, I'm also a brisk walker, but not a particular fast car driver.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:11 AM
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I've had people criticize me for standing up when I pedal to get uphill or something. Either I've never been on a properly adjusted bike or I just don't have the quad muscles, because I find it much more comfortable to stand up. And I've had people readjust my bike endlessly on a quest to get me to sit down going uphill. I think it's futile.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:13 AM
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111: you go ahead and stand up if you want. In the long run, it uses less energy to sit down going uphill, but it does require more muscle strength.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:15 AM
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My fast driving habits have been tempered by the relatively recent experience of driving a pickup truck with a trailer full of gear for several hours. "Oh, wow, we really are a lot of stuff moving along here," is always my thought as I hit the brakes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:15 AM
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I pretty much never stand up, but I do change to a really low gear and move pathetically slowly on steeper hills. The not standing up thing might partly be because of my knee problems, though, as I'm pretty sure I find it easier to stick to one posture.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:17 AM
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I don't stand up when I drive uphill. I do when I walk, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:19 AM
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115.1: Convertibles and/or very short people FTW.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:30 AM
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I don't even HAVE a bike.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:31 AM
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Well you can't join our special club, or learn the sekrit handshake.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:33 AM
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I have asilon's bike.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:34 AM
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I *knew* taking it to UnfoggeDCon was a bad idea!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:39 AM
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96: I do not understand what you earth people call "humor". Now let us talk in technical detail about bicycles for many, many more hours!

I'd like to know more about bushings.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:41 AM
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I'd like to know more about bushings.

Don't beat around them - that's the main thing to know.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:46 AM
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Beat around the bush none. OK, got it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:50 AM
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I'm on my fourth bike since moving to Oxford. It's not the best place for nice bikes, unless you have good insurance or a secure place to keep them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:50 AM
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I should really be out on my bike instead of posting this comment. Kind of nice out! Kind of a holiday!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:53 AM
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If you bike to Oxford, don't park.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 9:55 AM
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An opera singer friend of mine rides her bike to auditions in a floor-length black gown.

Rock. On.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:01 AM
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Kind of a holiday!

It's a pretend holiday. Everyone had fingers crossed when they "ended" WWI.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:01 AM
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128: Once all the Germans were warlike and mean but that could never happen again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918 and they've hardly bothered us since then.
--Tom Lehrer

(This comment also to some of the discussion in the Wall D'oh thread.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:10 AM
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111: Uh, have these people ever seen a bike race? Professionals, who have bikes custom-built for them and have full-time assistants to keep them positioned just so, stand in the saddle to climb. Not always, and obviously not up a whole hill, but the idea that one should never stand to climb a hill is simply preposterous.

IME, many women are actually incapable of standing on a bike - something about weight distribution and upper body strength.

Ideally you should spin up a hill in a relatively low (easy) gear, but there are a lot of intervening factors. On a long climb, standing occasionally helps to give your muscles a change, as well as to shift your speed and cadence a bit.

People really underutilize the super-low gears, because it feels too "easy" somehow - spinning around without going anywhere*. But you should ideally spin at the same RPM regardless of conditions, which for an uphill means a really low gear. This is more of a cardio workout than a strength workout, incidentally. Different bodies have differet optimal approaches to hills - Lance Armstrong spun up hills at a very high cadence, while Jan Ullrich would power up in big gears that no one else could push. Few people have the cardiovascular system to match the former, nor the brute force to match the latter, but in general I lean towards the former - if nothing else, it's easier on the knees.

* Ironically, I also see the opposite error - people spinning too fast on level ground.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:19 AM
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Ironically, I also see the opposite error - people spinning too fast on level ground.

God yes. I see that all the time. Sometimes it seems like every second commuter I see i) has the saddle so low their knees are half way up to their chest, ii) is spinning fast, out of breath and barely moving.

I find spinning up hills easier, but I have bad knees, and don't really like standing. The position shift is uncomfortable for me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:26 AM
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IME, many women are actually incapable of standing on a bike - something about weight distribution and upper body strength.

What, really? So does not square with my experience.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 10:39 AM
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We live on a short steep hill and see many people pushing their bikes up it. My children are very proud (more like smug and scathing of the losers who walk) of their ability to cycle up it. They all use looooow gears and don't usually stand up.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 11:49 AM
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The asilon and c children were bred to be winners.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:10 PM
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I find cycling fast doesn't get me to my destination much more quickly as it only brings me sooner to the next red light. I used to cycle to work fairly regularly but my bike is disintegrating. I only paid €50 for it a few years ago at the Garda bike auction (of unclaimed recovered stolen bikes) so it owes me nothing. It's the first bike I've had for any length of time without its being stolen.

I'll probably spend about €200 on the replacement and if I wait until January I can get about €80 of that back in tax (I didn't pay much tax this year due to periods of 3 day weeks and study leave).

In the meantime I registered for the dublinbikes and have used them a couple of times. They are definitely sparking more interest in cycling in the city. No good to me for commuting though as there are no stations near my office.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:12 PM
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God, could the word "I" have been used more times in that comment?


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:13 PM
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I should note that super-low gearing is incompatible with standing - the force required to turn the pedals is so low that using your body weight is overkill, and the distance the wheel rotates for each pedalturn is so short that you haven't gotten anywhere.

What I sometimes do on very long hills is to spin up halfway or so until I reach a slackening of the slope (cross-streets do this), then upshift and stand to get myself some momentum for the next stretch. After 1/8 miles spinning up a hill, it's hard to increase your cadence, but your muscles are ready for a change.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:20 PM
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God, could the word "I" have been used more times in that comment?

Aye.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:21 PM
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109: I should note that I drive the same way, and that I'm also a very brisk walker. I really don't understand slower mindsets.

Let us not go hiking together, JRoth. Those friends of mine who insist on striding through the forest annoy me: Hey! Are we not together, or what? Why are you now out of sight altogether up ahead there? Mark your trail, okay?

Plus, you totally missed this snakeskin on the ground here, and didn't notice the dappled sunlight on the leaves, nor did you perceive the turtle over to the left. I found some interesting toadstools as well. I won't even tell you about the bug action I observed for a few minutes ago, and this weird tree.

Heh. Different strokes, no doubt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 12:47 PM
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Arthropod voyeur. Can't you just let the bugs boink in peace and walk briskly past?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:11 PM
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Walking through the woods is different from walking with the sole purpose of getting from Point A to Point B, parsimon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:12 PM
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140: Have you ever looked at bugs boinking? I mean, really looked at them?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:13 PM
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142: Of course not! Some of us still have a shred of decency!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:16 PM
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142: Maybe. It's kind of hard to tell what the bugs are doing unless you are a dedicated bug fetishist or an entomologist (or a confused etymologist).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:16 PM
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141: It's possible that strictly getting from point A to point B was what JRoth was referring to, Ned. That's true.

On the boinking bugs, yeah. Also the feeding bugs. You will all be ashamed on my behalf if I confess that I sometimes let a spider immobilize in its web, and then wrap up, some struggling bug, and I just watch. Even if it's on my kitchen windowsill.

Right. I don't do that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:21 PM
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145: Is this your version of OJ's confession non-confession?

You won't get away with this parsimon! You are an accessory to murder!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:24 PM
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145: I used to have this spider on my back porch to whom I would feed bugs in the manner you describe. It was pretty amazing how quickly it fattened up over just a couple days.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:28 PM
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Stanley! You fed bugs to the spider? You bastard!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:31 PM
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Bugs doing it


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:32 PM
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148: If he tied a spider down to an ant hill, he could even out the score.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:39 PM
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Bugs doing it


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:47 PM
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See, contra 144, it's pretty clear what the flies in 149 are doing.

151 is kind of a mood-killer, I must say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 1:56 PM
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151: I occasionally have nightmares about being a bedbug.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 2:45 PM
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On snowy evenings I walk briskly through the woods. With so many miles to go before I sleep, I'm not about to stop.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 2:54 PM
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IME, many women are actually incapable of standing on a bike - something about weight distribution and upper body strength.

Coughbullshitcough. Honestly, JRoth, think about it. How would that work?

Less likely to be comfortable doing it, maybe, but I don't believe that anyone reasonably ordinary in their physical capacities is literally incapable of standing up on bike pedals. Aside from balance issues, the big physical demand is putting your weight on one foot and straightening your leg.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 3:06 PM
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Women have two legs?

Boy is my face red.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 3:10 PM
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Blume, you can stop hopping now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 3:14 PM
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155: "actually incapable" is an overstatement - I didn't intend "literally impossible," but that's what I wrote. But AB, for one, swears that she can't pedal standing up, and I've never seen her do it in 10 years of riding together - not from a stoplight, not up a hill. I know several other women who say the same. I'm sure that, if their saddles were stolen or something, they could manage to ride a bit, but it's not an option that they can just choose at any time to gain a little boost.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 4:04 PM
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but I don't believe that anyone reasonably ordinary in their physical capacities is literally incapable of standing up on bike pedals

Careful--I once made this exact claim about doing a pullup, and was roundly shouted down for it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 4:10 PM
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Huh, I thought you'd claimed that any woman who couldn't do a pullup was unfit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 4:52 PM
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160: No, that was the opposing argument.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 4:56 PM
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You people are totally confusing me. Somebody should dig up a link. Well, some guy. Women don't have the shovel skills to dig like that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 4:59 PM
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160: well, "unfit"=not reasonably ordinary in physical capacity, right?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:08 PM
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To quote Brock:"Just for the record, and I don't want this to come across as mean or insensitive in any way, but a physically fit adult woman ought to be able to do bodyweight pull-ups for reps. "

And no, 'reasonably ordinary' is not the same as 'physically fit'. And of course, pullups are not standing to pedal on a bike.

People have been wrong around here an awful lot lately. I wonder if I'm in a bad mood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:13 PM
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People have been wrong around here an awful lot lately.

It happens.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:23 PM
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164: Well, look, since you're being snippy about this, 159 was a joke, 163 was mostly a joke, and 164 is badly out of context.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:28 PM
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I'm not sure I could do a pull-up and certainly couldn't do many reps. And I don't even have breasts getting in my way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:31 PM
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I don't even have breasts getting in my way.

You could change that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:32 PM
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168: I know. That's why I had beans and rice for dinner instead of the usual steak and cupcakes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:33 PM
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Hence the link to the whole conversation.

We're cool, jokes about having been shouted down are fine. I just reserve the right to poke back about how goofy you were being in the earlier conversation.

Snip. Snip. Snip.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:34 PM
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Beans and rice give you breasts?!?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:35 PM
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The rice and beans were very good. There was red pepper and onion in them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:35 PM
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Country women can do pull-ups.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:37 PM
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Shouldn't Megan be here to mention her triceps or biceps or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:39 PM
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Pre-industrial peasants can do pull-ups.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:43 PM
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You wouldn't want to confuse the two, I mean to say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:44 PM
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Any physically fit adult woman ought to be able to kill a cocker spaniel with her bare hands.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:47 PM
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Saying that the consensus is that someone's belief is "goofy" is basically a form of shouting him down, I think.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:52 PM
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Any physically fit adult woman ought to be able to shout down Brock without electronic amplification.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:53 PM
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Any physically fit adult woman ought to be able to kill a cocker spaniel fight off not fewer than three nor more than seven ninja with her bare hands. Add one ninja to the maximum for every ninja dressed in white or red or played by Franco Nero.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:54 PM
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Okay, I just re-read the entire damn thread linked in 164, and I maintain that I was eminently reasonable throughout. I even ultimately admitted that I was possibly wrong!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:02 PM
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Pre-industrial peasants can do pull-ups.

Sure, what with their skeleton frames and the fear of God in 'em.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:06 PM
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I don't actually know any pre-industrial peasants, JP, so I'm kind of making this up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:11 PM
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181, 183: You know who was even better at pull-ups than agrarian peasants? Hunter-gatherers!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:19 PM
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You know who was even better at pull-ups than hunter-gatherers? Tree-dwelling apes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:23 PM
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Hummingbirds! "Look ma! No hands!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:26 PM
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You know who really sucked at pull-ups? Tyrannosaurs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:32 PM
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187 made me laugh. Thanks.

Not so good at standing on the bike pedals, either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:35 PM
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187: yes, and look at how unfit they turned out to be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:46 PM
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189: I thought they did just fine until the comet came. Once that happened, they were too far from Baltimore-area organic farms to get food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:48 PM
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An asteroid will do that to anybody. Even Megan!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:49 PM
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190: comet woulda been a piece of cake if they'da been able to haul themselves out of the crater.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:50 PM
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190: Fuckin' A. My farm is no help at all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 6:52 PM
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Huh. Lou Dobbs just quit CNN.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:01 PM
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194: goddamn Mexicans stacked the deck at the pull-up contest.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:02 PM
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Who's Lou Dobbs? I've heard the name.

Alright, alright. I should do something else.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:06 PM
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This guy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:15 PM
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He's been on CNN since it was launched in 1980 and has gotten steadily more crazy old uncle with each passing year.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:16 PM
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He's been on CNN since it was launched in 1980

Except for a hiatus from 1999 to 2001 to found space.com.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:27 PM
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#194. Isn't Dobbs going to Fox? I hope so. Maybe all the heavy-duty crazy can be contained on one network.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:30 PM
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198: I apologize for going into my stubbornly-clueless mode. Yeah, I just checked TPM. Right. That guy. May be going over to Fox News.

I dunno, despite Dobbs's official statement, it's good news if CNN actually decided that it couldn't support such a maniac any more. The whole Fox News issue is troubling: it would be great if we could cordon them off somehow.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:31 PM
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Substantially pwned by Populuxe!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:33 PM
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201.last: The folks who could most effectively help do anything like that that are the other news media and they have shown no inclination to do so. Come see the propaganda model inherent in the media ownership system; every news outlet is sacred.

At least the Washington Times is showing definite signs of implosion. Your liberal media in action for 20+ years: wingnut jag-offs paid out of probable drug/Korean security apparatus money for dubious political ends and barely called on it by th mainstream. But apparently the next generation of Moons don't quite see the point--not getting the return on investment they were looking for.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:45 PM
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203.1: every news outlet is sacred

I think your other point about media ownership is more on target; that is, I think Murdoch may have something to do with it.

I honestly don't know as much about this as I would like: what does Murdoch's NewsCorp hold over the heads of the owners of other major media outlets? It's not just a back-room handshake among them all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:58 PM
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203.last: And it is so sad to see a pompous asswipe like John Solomon caught in the middle of it. But he''ll end up on his feet, it's not like he came to Washington and trashed the place like some people, just another run-of-the-mill lying fuckpig who blows the *right* people. Like Wolf "They* asked me, how could a retired U.S. military officer, a full colonel, go ahead and represent someone accused of mass murder? And I want you to explain to our viewers why you're doing this." Blitzer.

*Doesn't even have the balls to frame it as his question; he'sjust standing in for Everyman. Fucking cunt.

sorry ... wait, what were we taling about? Lou Dobbs? A pathetic laughingstock hideous faux populist troglodyte ... couldn't fucking do a pull-up if his dick was on fire.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:58 PM
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Did CNN decide they didn't want Dobbs anymore? They were incapable of pushing Beck out until he left on his own, and when he left, I remember reading some statement of theirs that implied they were sorry to see him go (but that could have just been a formality).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 7:59 PM
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204.last. Common interests. An ability to attack them and their real owners (see Glenn Greenwald on the Fox/MSNBC (really GE) truce), a shared appetite for buggering small children.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:01 PM
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JP en fuego tonight.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:03 PM
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206: What I read seems to indicate it was his choice although CNN had been trying to constrain him a bit*. But this sentence from the NYTimes article on it quoting some dim bulb at USC makes me just boil, "If CNN wants to be seen as the thoughtful, unbiased, middle of the road alternative to Fox News on the right and MSNBC on the left, this decision goes along with that," said Geneva Overholser, the director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

For Geneva's sake I hope this was taken a bit out of context, because otherwise it is totally fucked up.

*But they let Glenn Beck sail along with abysmal ratings even when he was bitching about Braille signs in elevators. Beck: "Just to piss them off, I'm going to put in Braille on the coffee pot ... 'Pot is hot.' Ow!". Exterminate the brutes!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:10 PM
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207: Okay, I was just thinking that Greenwald would hopefully have something to say about the matter. I don't read him often enough, dratted long-form blogger that he is (I say very fondly).

G'night!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:11 PM
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208: OK, I'm better now. Not really. I'll just leave it with my favorite Washington insider journo quote ever, "The judgment is harsher in Washington," says The Post's Broder. "We don't like being lied to." The words of a fatuous, pompous blowhard when uttered in 1998 made more evilly ludicrous by press behavior over the next ten years.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:16 PM
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208: Thers much more wittily so at Firedoglake, "Late Night: Lou Dobbs Likely to Annoy Nation in New Capacity":

Lou Dobbs has long been a rarity on the cable news scene: an angry old paranoid white guy who yells a lot and gets stuff wrong. Given the Harsh Discrimination the Liberal Media inflicts upon angry old paranoid white guys who yell a lot and get stuff wrong, it's amazing that Dobbs even had a teevee show in the first place. His was an Important Voice: an angry, old, paranoid, loud, inaccurate, white voice, practically the only one on the airwaves, except for all the other ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 8:53 PM
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He's been on CNN since it was launched in 1980 and has gotten steadily more crazy old uncle with each passing year.

Wow, I thought he was one of those guys who just did a radio show and then tried TV about a decade ago, like Michael Savage Weiner.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-13-09 9:42 AM
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