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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-09-05, 07:48 AM   #1
sethw
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I Can't Stop!!!

Yesterday I was crossing 5th ave, at 42nd St., in NYC.
Even though it was around 5:30pm 5th Ave was empty - probably because of the way the stop lights worked, ya know?

Anyways, I see this messenger coming down 5th ave, and I say to my wife, "Ooh, honey, a fixed gear!" But then he starts yelling, "Hey! Hey!"

Yea, when the lights are green but there's no cars the pedestrians like to cross the street. Well, this isn't good for Mr. Fixed Gear.

"I can't stop! I can't stop!"

I mean, the guy had a green light and was cruising right along. It's lovely the way the lights work like that sometimes, allowing you to build up some speed.

But it was just so funny hearing him yell, "I can't stop!!!"

He didn't hit anyone (sorry if you thought this would have some huge climax). He sliced through, and probably repeated the same warning at the next light.

"I can't stop!"
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Old 06-09-05, 07:49 AM   #2
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And then?
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Old 06-09-05, 08:01 AM   #3
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Either he's an idiot or he figures that's a more effective way to clear the crosswalk than "look out!"
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Old 06-09-05, 08:04 AM   #4
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Or maybe he couldn't stop.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:14 AM   #5
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That would be the idiot part.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:26 AM   #6
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I am guessing that warning probably works the best. Who would cross in front of a person yelling "I can't stop!" or "No brakes!" Maybe the moronic woman with her iPod in her right hand and her Starbucks coffee in her left that I hit yesterday. Of course I have brakes, but she was oblivious to me yelling "Bike!" Just the sheep mentality of pedestrians in the iPod fog. I guess she figured, "The two people in front of me made it across the street against the light, I should be fine." I'll give her credit, though. She didn't spill a drop of that Starbucks.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:38 AM   #7
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Maybe his delivery was too urgent to waste time stopping -- the way you tell people on the phone "I can't talk right now" when you're really busy.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:44 AM   #8
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most people around here wouldn't even look twice....i'll take out a pedestrian long before i take on a car....
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Old 06-09-05, 09:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by williamw
Maybe his delivery was too urgent to waste time stopping -- the way you tell people on the phone "I can't talk right now" when you're really busy.
Yea, maybe he was carrying a kidney or something... I didn't notice
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Old 06-09-05, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Either he's an idiot or he figures that's a more effective way to clear the crosswalk than "look out!"

D) all of the above.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Either he's an idiot or he figures that's a more effective way to clear the crosswalk than "look out!"
It could be either but this is a tactic used by some to get people the hell out of the way. I used to work with a former messenger who weighed about 250 lbs and he could clear an entire street by screaming "Look out. I have no brakes!". An interesting sight indeed.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:51 AM   #12
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I find that "WET PAINT!" gets people out of my way faster than just about anything else I could yell.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:53 AM   #13
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one of my least favorite things is when packs of people blindly cross the street, totally staring off into space when there are no cars coming, even though the light is still green.

i've almost hit people so, so, so many times. it's especially bad when i'm on my road bike and flying up 1st ave on my way to the park.

really wakes people up when you pass 3 inches in front of them at 25mph.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:16 AM   #14
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one of my least favorite things is when packs of people blindly cross the street, totally staring off into space when there are no cars coming, even though the light is still green.
Or when they're looking right at you and still don't stop.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Either he's an idiot or he figures that's a more effective way to clear the crosswalk than "look out!"
I find that "MOOO" works well.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:12 PM   #16
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yeah, i just scream "honk honk mutherfockers!"

it has absolutely no effect on the ped-drones, but i really like saying it
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Old 06-09-05, 12:54 PM   #17
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i have a tendency to throw up my arms and yell "are you ******** kidding me?" or "what the f*ck do you think you're doing?" when people do totally mind-numbing stuff while i'm riding. it gives you the opportunity to use profanity and point out that the person is utterly ******** without usually invoking as much rage than "f*ck you you ******** assclown" or whatever. people also apologize sometimes, which is the jam.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:11 PM   #18
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I go with the good old "look out!"

I mean, I'm down with the walking man, don't get me wrong. On the other hand, the public way is a cooperative space. There are a set of rules that facilitate that and if you're going to disregard them, you better make sure that you're not getting in the way of someone who is playing by them.

Sort of like how I won't run a sign or a light if someone is going to have to stop for me. (Nevermind the "getting hit" part).
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Old 06-09-05, 01:14 PM   #19
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Boots-Who said "Give me war redder than blood and fiercer than fire?"
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Old 06-09-05, 01:46 PM   #20
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barnaby- it's a quote from the reverend henry ward beecher, an 19th century pastor in brooklyn. he was known for being flighty, capricious and simple. he said those words upon learning about the outbreak of the civil war. they demonstrate his shortsightedness--while freeing the slaves surely would have been an admirable goal, no true servant of christ should wish for bloodshed.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1568...3D#reader-page
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Old 06-09-05, 01:47 PM   #21
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i use it as a quote because i think it's baddass
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Old 06-09-05, 02:40 PM   #22
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I like to make that tie fighter noise from Starwars. I heard a messeger making a very convincing police siren noise as he approached an intersection, which sent people scurrying, although he must have a sore throat by the end of the week.
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Old 06-09-05, 02:53 PM   #23
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The dog bark is quite effective. I'm sure the suits downtown have discussions about us menace bike messengers that cut them off when they try to jaywalk and then bark at them.
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Old 06-09-05, 03:36 PM   #24
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I once scotch-taped an old 10 speed together as a commuter and was too busy with school and what not to really suss out that it was even marginally safe (bad idea, btw!)

I found this out the second morning as I coasted towards a red light heading west thru Times Square - BOTH brake cables (more rust than steel) snapped with little puffs of smoke and I just froze on the bike as I glided with gritted teeth thru some startled and confused pedestrians.......I wasn't going fast enough to be TOO dangerous but I must have looked pretty silly......

I didn't yell "I Can't stop" - I think I kinda shrugged back and said "sorry"

I WAS particularly glad they had decided to implode at a level 5 mph rather than when I had been careening down the 59h street bridge not 10 mins before!
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Old 06-09-05, 08:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
I once scotch-taped an old 10 speed together as a commuter and was too busy with school and what not to really suss out that it was even marginally safe (bad idea, btw!)

I found this out the second morning as I coasted towards a red light heading west thru Times Square - BOTH brake cables (more rust than steel) snapped with little puffs of smoke and I just froze on the bike as I glided with gritted teeth thru some startled and confused pedestrians.......I wasn't going fast enough to be TOO dangerous but I must have looked pretty silly......

I didn't yell "I Can't stop" - I think I kinda shrugged back and said "sorry"

I WAS particularly glad they had decided to implode at a level 5 mph rather than when I had been careening down the 59h street bridge not 10 mins before!
Many years ago, I pedalled over to visit my brother on a Saturday afternoon.

He was raving about how good his new Derosa bike was. He had just won a 'criterium' race that involved going up an obsevatory hill ( say 1,500 feet) and coming down again three times.

I took it out for a spin. At the bottom of the first hill, I grabbed a handfull of front brake. Snap.

I rode slowly back uphill and sheepishly apologised for breaking his brake cable.

He nearly cried knowing what would have happened had it snapped a couple of hours ealier.

The first generation of 'aero' levers kinked the cables where they leave the lever.
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