Sunday, 21 September 2014

The run down on the run down.

Dear Mr Snob,

You know I love you. You would have to be completely out to lunch to have missed the fact that I am a big fan of yours, and clearly you are as sharp as they come. Everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine, and you are a true master of wit. I love that you manage somehow to get your point across with a laugh, even though you might be covering a serious topic of conversation.  Satire makes it simpler, somehow, to broach subjects which incite strong debate, and you do it so well.  But Friday's post was a huge departure from your usual fare. And as much as I love you, and will always remain a loyal fan, I really have to have a word with you...

Even though you're a world class satirist, you have every right to approach serious topics with serious intent. Please just keep in mind, however, that you have a lot of influence, not only within the cycling community, but across the board, at least as far as transportation is concerned.  So when you take off your satirists's cap to play the serious journalist, you ought to do so with integrity. Especially if you also plan to play self-appointed judge, jury and executioner to a fellow cyclist in the ugly kangaroo court of public opinion.

What happened, anyway? It is abundantly clear that Detective Mennen has a hate-on for us, and for you in particular.

Why does he hate you?  Probably because you have such influence AND you are one of us: a lowly, almost universally revilled cyclist. But what I don't understand is why did you let him push your buttons? Did you really have to jump on the "let's all hate the cyclsist" bandwagon?



I can't speak to the incident itself, because like you I wasn't actually there. I have heard various details from several different sources. I heard again and again that the cyclist had the light. Nevertheless, you vilified Mr Marshall for pushing for a personal best in a park where there are lots of people. You said "There seems to be some disagreement as to whether this latest cyclist had the light.  However, that doesn't matter.  It's a park.  You know people are going to cross against the light, and if you choose to ignore that inevitability the blame should fall on you."  Really?!  So as cyclists we are now responsible for the irresponsible behaviour so many pedestrians display?  Are you kidding?!  I yield to pedestrians, and I do my best to avoid the ones who step out into my path without looking, but if they don't look before walking out in front of a moving vehicle, the driver is not at fault, and neither, frankly, am I.

I have never ridden a bike through Central Park, so I can't precicely speak to the circumstances, but here in Vancouver, Stanley Park has a roadway through it, which I prefer over the multi-use seawall path the majority of cyclists use.  I choose the road for the simple reason that on my bike I am a vehicle, not a pedestrian.  As such, I typically travel at the same speed as the cars.  In Stanley Park, I have to speed by quite a margin in order to keep up with traffic, but nobody is complaining about the speed at which the cars drive. Well, except for me, perhaps. I don't understand how it could possibly be wrong for me to push for my personal best on the very same road that the cars speed on, simply because some pedestrians might  cross where they shouldn't, or because they might possibly be too lazy to look up before they cross onto the road.  I can't count how many times pedestrians have walked onto the road in front of me without looking up, simply because they don't hear a car coming. If Mr Marshall had been driving an electric car, and if he had hit the woman who wandered into his path in that circumstance, the NYPD would have done what they always do and declared that there was no criminality suspected.  But somehow because he was riding a bike suddenly he is worthy of a criminal investigation?! I can't believe the double standard, and I was deeply disappointed that you failed to call them on it.


I am sick and tired of being treated like public enemy number one when I am not doing anything wrong. Yes, I push for my personal best at every opportunity, and unfortunately I have to do it at risk to MY OWN life and limb every single day as I ride in traffic on public thoroughfares. I play nice, though, and yield when I should.  I try to create goodwill on the roads, so I signal, and I thank the drivers who are courteous. I always do my utmost to do the right thing, which is to be visible and predictable. I have a life, though, and can't often escape all the way out of town to hit the highways as you insist I should. And when I can't go out before six in the morning, (which I do because traffic is light then), I sometimes ride in the middle of the afternoon. How dare you suggest that I haven't got the right to ride hard and fast on the city's public ROADS, along with the cars that travel much faster than I?! It's absolutely, downright ridiculous.

Worse yet, how dare you condemn me as some sort of moral reprobate because I track my efforts on Strava?  I don't understand what your problem is with Strava. Had you ever given it a shot, or had you even bothered to ask a few questions of anyone who actually uses it, you would know that it deducts the time you spend at a stop from the time of your ride, so that there is absolutely no incentive for riders to blow through stop signs and red lights. In fact, the chance to catch your breath is pretty good incentive to stop if you're actually pushing hard.  But there have always been cyclists who don't like to stop, haven't there? Long before anyone ever even imagined Strava there was THAT GUY.  In fact, my understanding is that you yourself sometimes take a red light with a grain of salt. So it is ok to blow through a stop sign or even a red light as long as you aren't actually pushing your body as hard as you can, and just so long as you aren't tracking your ride?  That's absurd.


I have always ridden as I do. I have to strive for my personal best because my medical condition is only kept under control when I am super-fit. Strava hasn't suddenly made me a different person, but it has provided community.  It's a forum full of people who understand the kinds of challenges I deal with daily, people who support me where the rest of the world fails.  I long ago stopped caring what the average person thought of me, but I worked hard to develop a community of souls who understand who I am and why I live the way I do.  I figured your blog was just that sort of place, but maybe I was wrong? Look.  I know the type of rider you are objecting to.  We all do. But that guy has been around a lot longer than Strava has, and that rider isn't necessarily the man in question here. Strava is a tool, nothing more, nothing less.  The internet is a tool, too, and sometimes people are exploited at the hands of others who use it malisciouly. But put the shoe on the other foot for a moment, would you? How would you adapt your life to a world where people claiming the moral high ground insisted everybody just turned the internet off in memory of the people who have suffered at the hands of a few assholes who use it unwisely?

It's true. Even in the most unexpected places...

My heart goes out to Mr Marshall.  He may well have made a mistake - I wasn't there, so I can't say.  Perhaps he should have chosen a different path that day, but there is no real evidence that his actions were criminal in any way, shape, or form.  Still.  After what was probably one of the worst moments of his life, he then had to deal with the hatred and judgement rained down upon him from you and all of the rest of the sheeple too happy to join you in tarring, feathering, and hanging him out to dry. For shame, Snobbers. You've been a naughty boy. You would do well to offer him a humble, heartfelt, and equally public apology. Either that, or you're in need of a proper spanking.

But I am not holding my breath that he'll hear the "S" word, from you, or from anyone else who judged him so harshly. Sigh. Guess in the end, the best I can do is to go out and do what comes naturally...

...as best I can.  And because I love my cycling community, I will continue to track my rides.  And sorry, Snobberdooder, but I'm not even a little bit sorry.


52 comments:

  1. il Pirata est Mort22 September 2014 at 05:22

    Ms. Babble I have cycled through Central Park countless times over decades of cycling and went on record after Snob's write up as saying it is neither the place nor time for hammering. I can make exception for the early morning hours; but other than that, no. It is just to densely packed, especially in the lower three quarters. I don't think it's a matter of liberty, just a matter of sanity. I have seen people get clocked and it ain't pretty.
    I wasn't always this way and used to hammer up a storm against any challenger on my wheel. But now I just let them go and save it for other days. Someone who is all lawyered up is going to get hit one day and that will be it for all of us.

    Respectfully submitted from the most densely populated place on the continent.

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    1. Thank you. XX

      There is no evidence he WAS hammering during his afternoon ride. He hammered in the morning, when all agree it is an acceptable thing to do. (and what I am just about to do!:) What I take issue with is the judgement and condemnation levelled upon one of our own simply because he trains hard and tracks his efforts on Strava.

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  3. I could bang on about the selfish speeding bikers on the pathways who annoy and endanger all the other users but this issue transcends the petty bullshit, even mine. Jill Tarlov has died and we all need to examine our responsibilities, not just argue our rights. Bicyclists need to be the good citizens of the streets, not the bad boys (and girls.) It's hip to be square, kids.

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  4. RE: Really?! So as cyclists we are now responsible for the irresponsible behaviour so many pedestrians display? Are you kidding?! I yield to pedestrians, and I do my best to avoid the ones who step out into my path without looking, but if they don't look before walking out in front of a moving vehicle, the driver is not at fault, and neither, frankly, am I."

    Just as motorists are required to drive defensively, cyclists need to also. There's no escaping the fact that we share the roads and pathways with pedestrians, drivers AND other cyclists, many of whom are oblivious. while cyclists perceive themselves victims of motorists, so pedestrians fear bicyclists. They are fast, silent and unpredictable. If we cyclists remove one or all of these descriptors from our behavior, we would create respect and safety in the city traffic.

    I know how I feel when the "fast and furious" jackasses zip in and out of traffic while I'm driving on a highway. They require me to pay white knuckled attention to the road and try to predict their next wank. These same idiots identify with iconoclastic heroes and are mourned as such when they kill themselves and take a family in an SUV with them.

    The cyclists who take their freedom out of the overall safety of the city they share are not heroes. They are selfish wankers who hold their joy above the needs of others. Strava is just an aspect of this and I agree shouldn't serve as a lightning rod for our disdain. But the Snobster got it right this time. He stepped out of character for a moment and called it for real.

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    1. Sigh. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I have to start by thanking you for illustrating my point so eruditely.

      Just because I move fast on a bike doesn't make me an irresponsible cyclist. And the fact is that my rides are all out there in the public domain, so that you can check for yourself and examine the ACTUAL PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that I ride responsibly, despite my collection of cups and crowns. You will not find one single incident of zipping in and out of traffic. Not one. But still I am judged for not supporting car culture.

      Every single death on the roads is a tragedy, but if she had crossed against the light and had been struck by an equally silent, and probably even faster electric car, we would most certainly NOT be having this discussion, and the police would most certainly NOT be investigating with so much intent.

      The biases against cyclists run strong and deep, and sadly, they exist even withing the cycling community.

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  5. Ms. Babble,
    It is sad about the lady. Number one. It is sad also that this guy is going to go through a lot of pain in many ways too.

    I have been trying to see the both sides in "our community". Even though rightfully emotional, you have provided a cooler head point of view in not blaming Strava. I am not going to try to make excuses but Mr. Snob's point of view is also based on the general cycling atmosphere here. I am not saying it's right or wrong.
    Just to provide a little color, Central Park during the day looks like one solid mass of people in many places. The lanes spill over and overflow with all types of "traffic". I don't really mean motor vehicle either. There are crushes of people at path / lane crossings.
    I am sure there are many reactions to the stereotypes. We will not know the circumstances for sure without going through the due process. Perhaps the gentleman was coasting and had the light in his favor and people spilled out with the usual impatience that is the norm here. That possibility should have been put out there with the same weight as the crazy maniac slicing through the crowd.

    The other point that has been made is that other periodicals are seizing on any balanced or imbalanced self critique we may be (publicly) engaging in and twisting it to push their anti-bike narrative and that gives me the real rage.

    I hope this all comes to some acceptable balance and not a bunch of restrictive and basically unhelpful legislation.


    vsk

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    1. Thank you for your open mind.

      If any city were truly serious about creating safer streets, they would simply put up radar trap cameras at every single spot where speeding is an issue. The cameras would pay for themselves in no time at all, and drivers would change their habits in short order. Easy. Peasy.

      But we all know that is never going to happen, because it is just so much easier to pin the blame on us.

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    2. True. I think speed cameras and more red light cameras would help immensely.

      vsk

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  6. Babs - Good on you for using the road instead of the crowded MUP for your Fredrica pursuits. Like you I don't know the facts either, and am slow to judge. Because this is at the front of my brain at the moment, I was extra cautious and extra irritated when peds zombied out on headphones walked out into my path on a downtown street this morning. It is part of the deal, unfortunately.

    Pedal. On.

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    1. Every day!

      It IS part of the deal, isn't it? I just hate that whenever things go wrong, it is always the cyclist's fault. And it bothered me no end that our champion turned on Mr Marshall, and (or so it felt to me) on those of us who train hard.

      Sigh. Today will be a better day. Right?

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  7. RE:" But I am not holding my breath that he'll hear the "S" word, from you, or from anyone else who judged him so harshly. Sigh. Guess in the end, the best I can do is to go out and do what comes naturally..."



    So, tomorrow's another day, Scarlet?

    Snob shouldn't apologize, he should double down. Selfish habits by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are epidemic in NYC.

    You advocate for cyclists and Mother Earth. Doesn't a safe city fall within that implied gamut? We have a situation which does not center on who had the right of way.

    We need to share the infrastructure of NYCity. We can't rely on the Mayor and police to sort this out. We need to see each other as fellow users of the road. We need to look out for each other.

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  8. Snob lives in NYC. That shit would make me crotchety too. And if I lived in NYC I would likely still use my comp and Strava to follow my progress and mileage in the world. Would I go for racing speed in Central Park? Well, hell no. It should be a no-clip zone. And should never have any Strava segments in it.

    Pedestrians and their dogs are not safe. They do always have the right of way but having that does not make them smarter. I don't believe Tri bikes belong anywhere in the city. And guys who ride 300 miles a week may be lacking in some medication.

    I did enjoy your rant. Wanted to go on and on myself in the Snob comments. But those guys have short attention spans.

    Stay beautiful. Ride happy.

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    1. Oh bless. Thank you, Mr Raney.
      Yes, you're absolutely correct. For some of us, the ride IS the medication. Perhaps that is why I identified so strongly with Mr Marshall, and why I felt so judged and condemned by Mr Weiss. I can't speak to Central Park on a bike, as I've no experience of it, but it bothers me that I am automatically one of "those" cyclists.

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    2. Let me know when Snob apologizes to you directly. And I might go look at his blog again. And not pee on his hat.

      In the meantime:
      Oh shit.
      http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=2&from=en-us_msnhpvidmod#/video/f6a2a3ee-f211-43c3-88c5-eba4b835e3a8

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    3. LOL!! OMG that's a good one. As. If.
      You and I both know that is never, ever going to happen. That was the very first time he ever even acknowledged me, and look how well that turned out! But you should also know that you are missed. You have a great sense of humour, standing out even amongst a group of folks remarkable for their sense of ha ha.

      And holy fuck. Only in Russia... I love how he gets right up to help rescue the truck driver who very nearly killed him.

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    4. They played that clip on the news here in Sydney but they didn't show that the first thing the cyclist did was to get up and help the truck driver. For me that's the best bit of the video

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    5. Truck driver completely had the right of way. And is just as innocent as the biker. Don't know where red car man went?

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  9. I have to say, I'm not with you on this. It makes a huge difference that the crash occurred in a densely populated city, in a heavily used park. That's just not the right place to be trying to set a speed record using aerobars. It's not a well-thought-out plan.
    BSNYC went out of his way not to condemn Strava for this. I think you're overreacting to his raising the issue. Myself, I think Strava could be a little more aware and disable it for certain segments -- but, as BSNYC pointed out, there have always been people pushing themselves to ride as fast as possible without Strava. So it probably wouldn't make a big difference. Still, it would be a nice gesture.
    When I hear a motorist opening up the accelerator on a short 4-lane segment of a city street I think they're being irresponsible. They are also violating the law, by speeding, and risking the death of anyone in their path. A cyclist riding as fast as they can with aerobars in a busy park isn't necessarily breaking the law -- though they might be. But they're being irresponsible, too, I'd say.

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    1. BTW, one other point. Of course we blame the cyclist. He was going really fast. He had to take responsibility for that. If he was driving a car it would be the same thing. Criminal charges may not apply, but that doesn't mean he would not be blamed for the death, or face civil liability. He's responsible for the death, even if it is inadvertent and not entirely his fault -- even if the pedestrian wasn't looking when she stepped in his path.

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    2. Thank you, John. I appreciate your point, but my point is that this accident had nothing to do with Strava. A pedestrian crossed the ROAD against the light in front of a moving vehicle. The cyclist says he wasn't going really fast, and WE weren't there to say either way, but perhaps he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

      Is he automatically a liar because he uses Strava, too?

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    3. I really don't think Strava is the issue here. You are very sensitive on this point.
      But you are right, the cyclist might not have been going that fast, the pedestrian might have crossed against the light (you are assuming this to be true though, as you say, you weren't there and can't know), and the crash might have been some weird unfortunate incident. You can trip, hit your head, and die. It's possible. But given the circumstances I think it's more likely that the cyclist was travelling reasonably fast. It's just a more likely scenario. And given that he was in a heavily used park, a pedestrian crossing against the light -- assuming that was what happened -- isn't that unusual and should have been something he was prepared for. It's just part of being a good cyclist in a big, crowded city.
      We may never know exactly what happened here; that is for the legal system (civil, not criminal) to decide. But I'm willing to bet that the cyclist will be assigned a fair measure of responsibility. And I think that is as it should be.

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    4. Yes, I am sensitive on this subject, it's true. I am not trying to be difficult, John, and I appreciate your point, yet this situation reallly sucks. He is being assinged a hell of a lot more blame than any driver in his situation ever is. Worse, our collective condemnation of him is feeding the anti-cycling frenzy. And that is definitely NOT how it should be.

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    5. I haven't head of any criminal charges being filed against the cyclist -- have you?
      The problem people raise with motorists killing someone is always that there are no criminal charges. But, usually, the situation is handled through civil law. And that is usually not a matter of public record. It's something insurance companies work out.
      I would assume the same would apply in this case.
      Of course, everyone is condemning the cyclist (and especially Strava), but as a matter of actual charges I haven't heard of anything different between this case and a situation where a motorist killed a pedestrian.
      And think that if there were an app for motorists where they could measure their speed on segments and compete with others to set the "best" time it would be condemned from the get go as illegal and dangerous. It's not a fair comparison, of course, because cars are so much more dangerous than bicycles, but to the extent that Strava encourages dangerous behavior, it's not surprising that it gets condemned when someone dies.

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  10. Babs,

    Thou protesteth too loudly. Strava is not the cause, it;'s a symptom. More a symbol of the selfish, competitive ME FIRST ethic. By turning it off for a few days we embrace our place in a larger community. It's a simple, meaningful gesture, that's all.

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  11. Hey Babble,

    not a regular, but I saw the link over there and thought I'd say that I totally agree with what you're saying about Strava, it is indeed a wonderful place to have a little chat, give and receive support, or even find mates for riding. The fact that one guy who happens to use it might have done something silly should not be reason to go on a crusade or even a rant, especially if you're BikeSnob - that should go without saying.

    Snob really fucked up the way he handled this one, jumping to conclusions without the smallest shred of proof. In a (somewhat twisted) way, I'm sort of hoping Mr Marshall really is a criminal and a daredevil because otherwise he's an innocent victim to a lot of abuse, partly courtesy of Snob himself.

    While Snob is often masterful in pinpointing the silliness of elements of the cycling culture - and for that I (we) love his writings - I'm often getting the impression he truly hates (or at least has very strong feelings about) some things and Strava is one of them, it being a symbol in his mind, instead of the tool we like and use.

    Now, I'm persuaded promoting the use of bike in as widespread way as possible ranks highly on his 'agenda'. In the US I understand Lance Armstrong may be still strongly associated with everything cycling, a symbol himself that means a lot of work is needed to restore an image of cycling as something that stands on its own merits.

    I think one of the reasons he wrote what he wrote is that he's feeling defensive, protective even, towards the bike lanes. And that events like that one might put them at risk.

    Unfortunately what this all means is he often ends up being excessively harsh towards performance oriented riders.

    Additionally, with writers like him it can be hard to tell to where the person ends and the persona begins. While he posts under a pen name, and that should create some insulation between the two, he is still his own character inside his fiction - the things he actually does and says are intertwined with the fiction.

    Sometimes it's hard to tell what he really believes in and feels strongly about, and what is simply a literary device and/or poking fun.

    This becomes a problem when you keep into account that, as smart, insightful and knowledgeable he may be, a great part of his readership is not. They only feel all of those things (and maybe even better than other cyclists, if some comments are to be taken at face value) by proxy, because they read the Snob.

    They have a limited experience of what cycling is or can be, and they look for simple concepts, lists of DOs and DONTs, effectively turning themselves into the same kind of readers Velominati produces - just with different rules. Not necessarily clear cut rules because, as can anyone see, there's a lot of misappropriation of Snob expressions where the user is clearly meaning something different from the Snob's original point (he pointed out this himself e.g. wrt shoaling, but clearly it does not end there)

    That is inevitable, I guess, but it can have unforeseen consequences just like his putting his clout and weight against Mr Marshall. I sure hope his constant hammering about lycra weenies won't turn into something unpleasant down the road.

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    1. It turned downright unpleasant today.

      With his rebuke, I realised how much that little community has come to mean to me, and how deeply I will feel its loss. I cried like a baby at work, (the tears are rolling still!) but at least I know the score, and can turn my attention to re-building my cherished two-wheeled support network.

      Thank you kindly for your support.

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    2. Calling that unpleasant is being generous. I am too thinking you should stick around. Breathe some fresh air, let the dust settle, and then go back.

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  12. ... don't go! Mr Snob's comment to you was indeed cranky & intemperate but it'd be a shame if you felt obliged to 'spit the dummy' and stomp off in turn... I do enjoy your input to his blog & it'll be a poorer place without it

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  13. .. in other words, pick yourself up, dust yourself down ... and continue on!

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    1. Thank you for reaching out, David. After all this time, it's hard to even imagine life without Snob and the gang...

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  14. Forgive me for saying it Babs, but I don't think either of you handled this particularly well. From my point of view, it looked like you were trying really hard to take the Strava moratorium personally. Snob may have jumped to a conclusion about the connection between Strava and this accident (this remains to be seen), but asking for 48 hours of reflection was hardly inciting a lynch mob against all competitive road riders.

    Eben said a fairly mean thing to you in retort, but I'm guessing he was stinging a little from your comments, too.

    I'll miss you in Snob's comments. You were so often a breath of fresh air there. I'll keep reading BSNYC, because it's funny, and Eben is usually right, or at least, perceptive, in an entertaining and enlightening way.

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    1. There's nothing to forgive. Somebody else made the same point, insisting that I was hard on Snob, and that I took personally what wasn't meant that way, and I trust both yours and his judgement.

      I still think Snob is wrong to blame the tool when it is the person using it who is either a good or a lousy rider, but that doesn't change this morning's pain even a little.

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  15. What you said made perfect sense to me Babble.
    Regardless of what happened there is no need to take an isolated event out on all Stravarians and people who go hard at times.
    Hang in there - I look forward to your blogs and you give me motivation to ride more.

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    1. Thank you, Harry. It's ironic. Your support illustrates what a great place his comments forum is. I made so many wonderful connections over there.

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  16. Dear Ms. Babble-On,

    I sometimes comment a little in the BSNYC blog. I've never commented here.
    .
    I was thinking about the very strong feelings (pro/anti Strava) spurred by Snob's call for a two-day Strava moratorium after the death of the poor woman in Central Park.
    .
    Am I off-base here, or is Strava one of those things that if you care about it at all, you either love it or hate it? Kind of like the Crossfit exercise phenomenon. Do you know Crossfit? It's a competitively-oriented group exercise program in which participants lift free weights, climb ropes, do pull-ups, toss wall balls, row, run, sprint, etc.
    .
    I have friends who do it, and they simply will not shut up about it -- it's part of their daily routine (well, 3-4 days/week), and it's also clear that it's done them a lot of good. So much so that I gave it a try for several months. And I liked it. A lot. I'm not naturally disposed to being a gym rat, and I'm not inherently competitive -- but I enjoyed working out with intensely competitive people, getting both challenged and cheered by them. And I liked the non-gender bias (at least that I observed at my Crossfit gym in NYC).
    .
    After several months though, I gave it up. Cost was a big factor: at the NYC gym, it's $200/month, and that's simply too much cash for me.
    .
    Other friends of my friends know about Crossfit and they hate it. They're not indifferent -- they hate it with a passion, calling it a cult (some justification to that, although "cult" is a pretty strong word) and criticizing the "paleo" diet that many Crossfitters adhere to as absurd and immoral. There is a lot of justification to that, as a meat-based diet like "paleo" is very bad for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (meat production accounting for 25% of global warming emissions).
    .
    Anyway. Echoes of Strava. You (and others) love it. Snob (and others) hate it. (I'm a commuter cyclist and don't even own a cell phone, so I have no opinion one way or the other about Strava).
    .
    I do have a great deal of sympathy for the victim of the crash, Jill Tarlov, and for her husband and children. I do not know who is to blame, but I think that Snob's proposed weekend without Strava was an eminently decent gesture of support.
    .
    There's a lot of passion about this. My advice: chalk up the unpleasant exchange on the BSNYC board to passion. You had some pretty harsh words for him (e.g., your paragraph above that begins "Worse yet, how dare you...") and Snob responded with some harsh words. Sometimes, that's how it goes -- but don't walk away.
    .
    At the center of this story is an incident about which we'll never know the exact details and who should have ultimate responsibility. But the outcome is that a woman is dead, and loved ones are left behind. Snob's gesture may have been wrong-headed (although I don't think so), but it was at least a gesture --- and at least it provoked a discussion.
    .
    Kind of a long meandering rant, for which I apologize. I hope it helps somewhat.

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    1. Hey dnk! Great to see you here! Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Yes. I have long been aware of Crossfit, but have never given it a go. I expect there IS something to your theory. And you're right, Jill's family deserves our sympathies. As do the families of every single person who dies needlessly on the roads. I understand Snob's gesture. Honestly. I just think that Strava isn't the real reason lives are being lost on the roads, (not even hers) and that a weekend moratorium on the app would do nothing at all to make the roads any safer. His heart is in the right place, but I think his gesture is a distraction from the real issues, one which allows people to continue to ignore the reality, and worse, one which gives the anti-bike movement a good head of steam. We really should be doing something about road safety, too, and yet I don't know a single driver who will even consider a quantum shift in the way we enforce our collective driving errors.

      Sometimes I despair at the world we are leaving to our children.

      Delete
    2. Babble, I know what you mean about the anti-bike people. This morning on my ride to work --- to give you the full picture, Manhattan is completely gridlocked this week, tons of idling cars emitting tons of carbon into the air because....wait for it....climate talks taking place at the UN General Assembly! Lots of world leaders in town, and way too many ninja security force dudes looking like commandos and carrying automatic weapons (boy, does that make me feel safe!).
      .
      Where was I? Oh yes, gridlock, biking to work. A woman stepped out into the street right in front of me, very expensively dressed and carrying a cigarette, a cell phone, and a cup of Starbucks. I braked and avoided sending her Starbucks to the pavement. This was in mid-block, away from the intersection -- she was just jaywalking without looking because (car) traffic was completely stopped. And why bother noticing a bicyclist coming your way?
      .
      For my heroic stop that saved her Starbucks, cigarette, cell phone, and possibly her well-dressed keister, what did she do? She looked at me like I was Satan, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or Vladimir Putin annexing Ukraine, and she continued on her way....

      Delete
    3. No ", Sorry about that" or "Thanks!", right? I know what you mean. I stop for pedestrians all of the time, and they always, always stand there stupidly when I do. Except for when they are busy walking out in front of me without so much as a glance, as that woman did to you.

      But we are the menace.

      I am sick and fucking tired of being treated like public enemy number one when I am just doing my best to be a responsible human being with a small carbon footprint.

      Delete
    4. CrossFit has nothing in common with Strava.

      The polarizing feature is segments and a certain type of bad competitiveness they spur in some people. Segments are simply meant as something to have fun with and draw motivation from, but indeed some people tend to live them in a negative way.

      That is not a problem with the tool itself, mind you, more with the head of those people.

      If you understand segments, you also realize why Snob and some commenters constant bashing of them as 'wanking'.

      Delete
    5. Lol! But in my books, wanking is a good thing. Like a cocksucker. Everyone says it like an insult, but really, who is in a position to complain?

      Delete
  17. Wait, what? I'm still new to Strava but I thought it didnt recognize a "stop" unless you pulled it out and hit the pause button.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you stop, it keeps counting time till you download it, but then when you do, it subracts the stop time from your ride time. Check it out!

      Delete
  18. Whilst on the Strava thread, I remember in about 1988 trying to get fit after 3 years of driving my lazy arse around after I got my drivers license at 18.
    I used to ride from home to my mates place every afternoon after work, I think it was about 8km... Not such a big deal now but after 3 years of no riding at all it was hard work.
    At the start I looked at my watch and wrote the time down on a piece of paper and put it in my bum bag. When I got there, I looked at my watch again and wrote the time down. I used it to keep track of my progress and to motivate me to keep going. Old school Strava?
    Once I ripped through a round-a-bout without looking as well as I could have. I was lucky and nobody hit me but it made me realise that my focus on my time was encouraging me to take risks that I normally wouldn't. Since then I have tried very hard not to take silly risks in my pursuit of a PR. It's not about how silly I can be, it's about how fit I am.
    Of course only I saw my times on my piece of paper, unlike Strava where all my "friends" can see it.
    It's not exactly the same I know, but the human nature competitive streak existed well before Strava was born. I'm sure I wasn't the only one timing my rides before Strava or any other GPS based system turned up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? And the people who take unnecessary risks will take them with or without Strava. For sure.

      Delete
  19. Ms. Babble...
    I recommend a peek at TheOatmeal dot com. Just sending some positive vibrations your way and to your Babbleverse. Some light hearted funnies in there.

    vsk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet! Thank you.
      They are oh so right about Tesla, y'know. He was an amazing man.

      Delete
  20. Just came across a quote from Uruguay's president Jose Mujica on the Classic Rendezvous website. Apparently he was a racer way back and has a 60 yr old Peugeot in the house.

    "The most mature societies don’t squander. Go to the Netherlands and you’ll see cities full of bicycles. You’ll realize there that consumerism isn’t the choice of humanity’s real aristocracy. It’s the choice of novelty-lovers and the frivolous.

    The Dutch also get around by bicycle. They use them not only to go to work but also to go to concerts and parks, because they’ve reached a level where their day-to-day happiness is fed by both material and intellectual consumptions. So, my friends, go and spread the pleasure provided by knowledge, while my modest contribution will be to try to get Uruguayans to take bike ride after bike ride…"

    Our local politicians could learn something.

    vsk

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ms Babble

    I wish you blogged as often as Mr Snob, you're way more interesting (and real). Snob is a provocateur, that's his shtick. And at first it's amusing but after a while the glib take on everything and feigned world weary cynicism get a bit tired. Let's face it Mario Cippolini acts like a god because he has earned the right to. In blog world Snob is a god too, it's just that being a virtual god doesn't get you laid, yep we're back to wanking.
    So all I can say is that I look forward to many more babble adventures in the future and am just sorry that winter is coming and those amazing legs will get covered up.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  22. Show some more leg woman!

    ReplyDelete