Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bike cool

Today I took off the plastic thingymajig that is between the block and the spokes on my new bike's back wheel. It turns out that it is called the "pie plate" and by removing it, I was taking one step closer to utter-bike--hipsterdom. I knew it didn't look right, I just knew it. I'm so cool.

It also meant that I got to use my chain whip, which is one of those tools you buy for a job thinking - "I'm only ever going to use this once aren't I, so why am I buying it?" But now I've used it twice which is cool, AND it helped make my bike look cooler, AND my neighbour who had taken her bike to the bike shop for some maintenance (the type of thing you have to do when you don't own your own chain whip), had her bike stolen from the bike shop!!! This is definitely not cool.

So all round, I'm definitely up in the cool stakes.

And whilst we're on the subject, this definitely isn't bike-cool: between 2000 and 2005, 109 cyclists were killed by cars in Finland, half of those being when they tried to cross a road at an appropriate crossing. Why? Because "busy and careless drivers simply don't notice those crossing the street". For anyone who regularly rides in Helsinki, they'll add that to their no shit sherlock file. YLE then suggests that wearing a helmet would make a difference, which in most car vs. cyclist accidents is crap. Helmets help a lot when you fall off your bike onto your head, but when you get hit my an SUV they are pretty hopeless. Perhaps they could suggest drivers try stopping for cyclists at crossing as they are legally obliged to, instead.

1 comment:

Ola said...

I see you've started reading bikesnob.. He's really funny, even for me who's a non-biker.

But still, hipsterdom is pretty far away. As I remember you need
1) fixie bike
2) with no brakes
3) and flipped/narrowed handlebars
4) a silly top tube "protector"
5) special fixie-biking-jeans
6) and last, but not least, a croquet club for your weekly bike polo match

you're getting there, but you still need to make a few adjustments to your gear..