Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Entirely too silly

How do I stumble across these things?

I don't know what led me to the hilarious blog Bike Snob NYC, but something did. I ended up reading a frankly stunning account of a hawk killing a pigeon in the middle of the bike lane (this guy is speedy with a camera, too!), which then turned into a meditation on intersection behaviour in New York. This led me to his rant about something called "shluffing," and an explanatory link to a blog post and short movie that's so heroically dorky that I have to believe it's tongue-in-cheek. I have to. 

The concept behind "shluffing," as far as I can tell, is that if you have about a block to go but can't ride in the street, but don't want to ride on the sidewalk for fear of being ticketed or inconveniencing pedestrians, you can swing off the saddle, stand on your bike pedal and push yourself along with the other foot. Watch the video for the all-important "transition," where you smoothly step off the pedal entirely and begin to walk the bike in order to pass people on the sidewalk.

This needs, or warrants, an instructional video? Okay, I don't agree with the Bike Snob that touching your foot down at an intersection is a "despicable act of surrender," (in fact, that's what I think the hardened piles of snowplow-heaped slush at the corners are there for) ... but I have to agree that even coming up with a technical term for treating your bike like a very awkward scooter is lame, much less making a video to encourage people to do it. Ride in the street like everyone else, or ride on the sidewalk but be prepared to stop and walk when you have to, or when the cops tell you to, people. Don't "shluff."

Then again, while I'm in the realm of the entirely too silly, I also spotted a design blog's post with something that I think deserves to be filed as chindogu. (For those of you who don't know chindogu, here's the Wikipedia entry: essentially they are gadgets that on the surface look like they might be useful, but on second thought cause way more problems than they solve.) This one wins: an aerial bike lane. Like a monorail for bikes. Wow. I can think of so many things that are wrong with that...

...and yet if someone built one I might very well give it a try...

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