Artificially Intelligent

    Dontcha hate when people park in the bike lane? Me too–even when they’re unloading bikes!

    [Disclaimer: photo is 15 years old, that bike shop isn’t even there anymore.]

    Well, your troubles are over, because cities across America are solving the problem by committing to truly separated bike lanes with proper barriers that completely prevent motor vehicle access.

    Nah, they’re just gonna hire some tech company:

    See, common sense would dictate that if you have a problem with contamination you have to physically keep out the contaminant. If there’s crap in your water you filter it. If your house is drafty you insulate it. If there’s vermin getting into your home you seal the holes. But if you have giant motor vehicles killing your bicyclists you don’t make it impossible for people to drive their cars in the bike lanes, you just employ AI to create “culture change:”

    Yes, by leveraging the power of buzzwords, Hayden AI is helping cities monetize their own incompetence:

    This will be especially successful in cities like New York where absolutely nobody has fraudulent license plates:

    I can feel the culture changing already.

    Speaking of change, over the weekend I thumbed my nose at it by riding a bicycle with glued-on tires and pedals to which you must tie down your feet:

    Thanks to the “new” washers the shifters are now holding their adjustment and the Cervino is running beautifully. I also remain pleased with my modern slotted cleat setup, to the extent that you can be pleased with a pedal system that requires you to strap your foot in like you’re about to give it shock therapy:

    Like so much other old technology, the key to using to clips is remembering that you’re using toe clips. Sure, you’ve got to remember you’re using clipless pedals, too, but once you get the hang of them you can snap out of them in a fraction of a second–plus in a crash your feet generally eject themselves from the pedals like pilots in distress anyway. With the straps you’ve always got to have the fact that you’re using them in the back of your mind and un-fasten them in plenty of time to put your foot down, in the same way you have to remember to take a car with a manual transmission out of gear before you stall.

    For some people this whole “remembering” thing is part of the fun–you’re more engaged with your machine, and having to operate various aspects of it manually is satisfying. For others, it’s merely tedious and pretentious. Why fuss with all this stuff when technology has made it unnecessary, apart from the feeling of superiority that comes with having to pay slightly more attention? Of course nobody’s right and wrong when it comes to this sort of thing, and even those with an affinity for old-timey car and bike technology usually compartmentalize it. Sure, we may ride vintage bikes, but we’re not writing with quill pens or lighting our homes with whale oil.

    [“Hey, speak for thyself, asshole!”–This Guy]

    But I suppose the important difference is that, at least post-safety bicycle, when it comes to bikes ultimately the new stuff isn’t really all that much different from the older stuff. If you know what you’re doing on a bike the differences are fairly minor: the pedals are more cumbersome, the shifters are a little less conveniently located, and the gearing range is a little narrower. And if you don’t know what you’re doing the differences are truly meaningless: a new riders is falling over at the light with either toe clips or clipless, and is calling for a ride whether the flat is on a tubular or a clincher.

    Fuck it, I’m getting a pennyfarthing.

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