Category Archives: Wheelmen Aroused

A Tale of Two Cities

Wheeled Thing’s work group has access to a car.  Unfortunately the office is located in the Financial District (Think Wall Street) and the parking spot for the car is in Manhattan Valley (Think Columbia University).  The distance is a little less than 10 miles.

Last week Wheeled Thing volunteered to drive this car uptown, with the full knowledge that he could use Ciitbike to return to the office.  It was a beautiful Autumn day… what could go wrong?

Manhattan Map

10 Miles… No Problem!

It is amazing the difference the choice of a transport mode makes.

The way northbound was stressful, difficult and annoying.  There was a crash along Route 9A, so the west side was a sea of red.  Cars jockeyed for position in the stop and go crush.  Wheeled Thing shifted to 10th Avenue to avoid some traffic, which may have shaved a few minutes off the drive, but also shaved a few minutes off his life.  At one point a dump truck claimed his lane… basically the truck was getting in front, and If he did not call “chicken” there would be some dented metal.   It made you really hate New York City.

The good news is he made it!

Then he hopped on a bicycle for the southbound trip, and everything was different.  Stress free pedaling.  No traffic and light salt breeze in his face, heart pumping for joy, instead of stress.

It took about the 45 min in each direction – but the first half Wheeled Thing hated the road, while the 2nd he loved it.  It really is a tale of two cities.

Nordic Biking – Copenhagen

Part four of the Wheeled Thing review of Nordic bike share systems is Bycyklen and if you have read the other three parts, you will not be surprised to learn that it translates to City Bikes.  No, you will not be confused by the name of the system as you travel from country to country.

Unfortunately, Bycklen kinda sucks, and I did not give it a try.  Let’s do the bad side first this time!

On the bad side

The pricing did not make any sense.  The website has two options for tourists:

1: Pay as You Go – The price for Pay as You Go is DKK 30 ($4.75 USD) per commenced hour.  Each account can have 2 simultaneous users on each user account. They both pay DKK 30 per commenced hour.

2: Packages:  Pre-paid package of 600 minutes DKK 300 ($50 USD) that allows 5 simultaneous users on each user account. All users that are logged into your account will be using your pre-paid minutes.

As I could not figure out what a “Commenced Hour” was, I  reached out to Byyken.  They wrote:

“The ‘pay as you go’ means that you are charged 30 DKK every initiated hour. That means that if you take two bikes at the same time and ride on them for 20 minutes then you will be charged 2×30 DKK = 60 DKK. It is possible to rent maximum two bikes at the same time on one pay as you go-account, hence the charge.
It is not possible to accumulate minutes, which means that it will calculate after each bike on each trip.”

This means that two bikes taken out for 20 minutes costs $10!  And I though Stockholm was expensive.  Buying a package was an option, but also confusing.

The other problem is the bikes were motorized  and has a tablet mounted, they look like this:

Copenhagen White Bike

Copenhagen Motorized Tablets

No thank You… instead we did a traditional bike rental at Copenhagen Bicycles

Copenhagen Bicycles

Motor Free Cycling!

48 hour rental for DKK 180 ($28 USD) – it was kinda nice not to have a time limit or look for a dock.  The bike worked!

The next reason Byyken is lousy is people ride the bikes too fast… why???? because it has a motor.  Bike share should be slow, as many people are novices riding in the city, and slow is good, especially on vacation.

Copenhagen City Bikes is the worst bike share of the Nordic Capitals.

Don’t Text and Fart

While this may be a little outside the core competency of Wheeled Thing – it is something we know all too much about.

While reading an article titled “Japanese tourism board writes pamphlet to remind Chinese visitors to not fart or burp in public” on the website Shanghaiist, I was served an ad with the headline, “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks

Text-and_Burp

Don’t Text and Fart

That leads to two questions:

  1. Was this ad served because we should not burp and fart while texting and/or driving?
  2. What kind of tips do you need not to text and drive?  I mean, I could use some tips to prevent farting and burping, but if you are driving, don’t text – how hard is that?

Quick! Call 212-242-6427 To Report a Hoverboard Sighting!

I’m sure we all can agree that New York City is overwhelmed with unlicensed, unregulated, exploding hoverboards.  To combat this blemish on society, a sign board has been posted on the Hudson River bike path.

Operation_Bikeway_Safety

Operation Bikeway Safety

It reads:
Operation Bikeway Safety
Prohibited: Illegal Motor Vehicle
E-Bikes, E-Scooters, Hoverboards
Use is Illegal on Walk/Bikeway
Help Report Sightings
Call 212-242-6427

Now do your part and “Drop a dime” on that hoverbardist.

OperationBikewaySafety from Wheeled Thing on Vimeo.

An Unholy Union between Pee-Wee and James Dean

I can’t tell you how much I hate Vintage Electric because it is hard to put words.  This crappy $5,000 “bicycle” is just a motorcycle that does not want to meet safety regulations.  They boast that this wheeled thing can go “36 MPH in Race Mode”.  In their promotional video, they don’t even attempt to pedal the thing and the riders wear motorcycle helmets, but call this thing a bike.

Vintage Electric Cruz

The chain and pedals are there for looks only.

Their inspiration is clearly Indian Motorcycles from the early 1900s.  These fools have no creativity and are building a “bike” for aging, fat, balding men who grew up watching James Dean.  If you want to die like Jimmy… this may be a good use of your spare $5K, but for the sake of your wife and kids, please make sure your life insurance policy is current before you make your mid-life crisis splurge on a Vintage Electric.

1909-Indian-Light-Twin

Just in case you have five minutes of your life you want to waste… here is their video.

Vintage Electric from eGarage on Vimeo.

Source of Indian Moto Photo: www.motorcycle-usa.com/744/17799/Motorcycle-Article/Four-Rare-Indian-Motorcycles-Up-for-Auction.aspx

Wheelmen Aroused

An article with the headline “Wheelmen Aroused” appears in the New York Daily Tribune on September 9, 1899 (pg 6).  Translating this into modern English the headline should read something like “Cyclists Angered”.  This headline amuses me so much, I’ve added it as one of the Wheeled Thing’s categories for items that really annoy the Wheeled Thing crew.

Wheelmen Aroused

The article itself, as can be seen from the subheading, is about the efforts of the League of American Wheelmen, the Associated Cycling Clubs of New York, the Associated Cycling Clubs of Long Island, the Good Roads Association of Long Island and the New York Consulate to to secure a “wheelway over the” Brooklyn Bridge.

They argue that a wheelway will save riders $0.10 per day (about $2.50 adjusted for inflation), and that the “bicycle was no longer a toy nor wholly a vehicle of pleasure… it is the poor man’s horse”

Unfortunately this wheelman is aroused that these same fights for bridge access are still going on more than 100 years later.

Source: ProQuestProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Tribune