Showing posts with label Things People Say Fridays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Things People Say Fridays. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2017

Things People Say Fridays #17: It's Illegal for Cyclists to Ride in Tunnels!

Hey everybody, I hope your week hasn't been too much of a grind, but if it has, it is now Friday! For those who work on the weekend, I am so sorry. I would take my comments back if I could, but the backspace key is so far away and I'm so tired. Anyway, as the post title suggests, this writing marks the long awaited return of the "Things People Say Fridays" series here on R A N T W I C K. When I say long awaited, I am referring to myself, of course. Nobody "awaits" anything from me; if you do I'm afraid you need to get a life, my friend.

In this installment, I am informed of a law that does not exist, second hand from someone who should have been a traffic authority...

Now, there are undoubtedly some tunnels where it might be very dangerous to ride a bicycle. Dark, narrow,  and/or high-speed tunnels can be some of the scariest places in the world for a cyclist, and I would never recommend riding in them, technically legal or not. In some cases these tunnels may have signage declaring "no bicycles permitted", which indeed makes it illegal to ride there.

On the other hand, there are many tunnels and underpasses that are perfectly well suited to cycling, like the one I rode through. The speed limit is 50km/h. It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk in my city and the sidewalks in that area are busy with pedestrians. The only danger to anyone in that situation would have been if I rode to the right instead of controlling the lane.

This is just a theory, but I think cyclists are so unwelcome in tunnels because their presence may extend the amount of time a driver feels like they are underground; I think there is a natural subconscious desire to be in and out of a tunnel as quickly as possible.

I wish the dissemination of imaginary, often self-serving laws when it comes to cyclists were something new or different, but it ain't. I, like many cyclists, have been informed of such imaginary laws lots of times.

Using the logic that things we find inconvenient or annoying can be re-stated as laws is really going to be really liberating I think! I'll bet you've got some suggestions for new laws... lay 'em on me in the comments section, and have a super weekend!

Yer Pal,

PS - For a summary of cycling and laws governing it in Ontario, follow this link: 

PPS - In an effort to cover my ass on this one I looked pretty hard for any legislation governing cyclists and tunnels in Ontario and found nothing at all. If you know of some stupid law that will prove me wrong, please point me to it and I will happily eat crow in a follow-up post.

PPS - If it is indeed illegal to ride through a tunnel where you live but not where I do, tell me about that too!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Things People Say Fridays #16: GoPro Kids

I sometimes wonder if there is some ad campaign I am unaware of, or an Internet meme, or something that explains why people (usually young people, but not always) feel compelled to yell "GoPro!" when they see my helmet cam.

If not, why does this happen with such regularity and in such a similar way? I hope somebody can solve this mystery for me, because otherwise I think it's a little freaky. I'm trying to think of some other consumer item that prompts people to yell out its name on sight, but I'm coming up empty. Here's a just a sampling of what I'm on about:

Mrs. Rantwick, the best (and perhaps most intelligent) woman on the planet, theorizes that it is just the combination of realizing you're being recorded, wanting to stand out and the fact that the ubiquitous GoPro brand name has achieved something like the common usage enjoyed by Kleenex. By that I (or more accurately, she) means people yell "GoPro" rather than "helmet cam" because they have no built-in fear of the willy-nilly use of trademarked names the way online or print writers do. Or, um, should*.

Problem is, despite how cool and smart she is, I don't always take Mrs. Rantwick's opinions as gospel truth, because, well, we're married and if I did, that would be sort of wrong. There is great interest and entertainment to be had in arbitrarily disagreeing with the one you love most. I'm sure many of you do it all the time and know exactly what I mean.

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you know what's going on? Theories are OK, but I'm still kind of hoping for some meme or ad or whatever like I said at the start. Help me. Like, really, please help me. Hey, maybe the good people at GoPro know... I'll tweet them a link to this post just in case. 

Yer Pal,


* Dear Trademark™ owners: Please know that I thought that this blog post constituted normal and reasonable use of your brand names. Please don't sue me, because, well, I'm a good guy who just wanted to talk about your products for what I think are decent reasons that don't really convey any message for or against the stuff you sell. If you disagree, please let me know via email at which time I look forward to entering into a lengthy and confusing period of correspondence culminating in my doing whatever saves my ass. Be warned, however, that if you think this little blurb is running long, this ain't nuthin', and you or your lawyers will be in for a veritable shitstorm of me trying to be funny about something that is potentially very serious.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things People Say Fridays #15: Yeah, Buddy!

Wednesday of this week was a pretty snowy day in London Ontario, pushing the limits of my relatively skinny tires in the morning and exceeding them sometimes on the way home. I tweeted something after my ride/walk home on Wednesday evening:

At the time I had just arrived home having seen many smirks and even overhearing some mildly derisive comments, so you can understand. However, now that a little time has passed I have remembered someone who was much more positive about my winter cycling efforts:

I am a firm believer that somewhat wild looking dudes with snow and ice in their beards are more likely to speak deep truths than the rest of us. I mean, if you're not going to listen to this guy, who are you going to listen to?

Not actual "yeah, buddy" guy. I was unable to get a usable image from the video. I thought this might do instead. pic source

Thanks, bearded cycling brother. You get it, and that's enough for me.

Yer Pal,

Friday, October 3, 2014

Things People Say Fridays #14: Hey, I'm A Star!

It has been almost a whole year since I posted one of these... I like this guy! He made me feel, for one fleeting moment, like people all over the world watch my videos. The truth is, I'm lucky if you watch my video, and that's with it being ready to go right here:

Did you play it? Oh God, please tell me you played it. I don't want to let this guy down... please take the video's request seriously and help me make him a STAR, even though he was joking! Please share this video as aggressively as you can, on every social media platform you know how to use.

How cool would it be for this guy to discover he's the star of a video that has gotten, like, a bazillion views? This was recorded back in April of this year (2014). He won't know what hit him!

Yer Fellow Star Maker,

PS - If you're thinking, "huh, maybe I'll do that later", DO IT NOW instead! You'll forget, you know you will, leaving me bummed out that my idea never got any traction. You don't want that for me, do you? Jeez, I hope not.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #13: Wild Man

I'm posting this on a Monday, but that's OK, because this person said what they said on Friday. That's good enough for me. Plus, this one is awesome and I'm not gonna wait 5 days to post it. As with other "Things People Say" posts, I'm not gonna write a whole bunch of stuff and just let the video speak for itself:
On this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for all the characters like this guy that make my world more interesting. For all you silly 'Mericans, happy Columbus Day! I bet that dude was a way out character too.
Enjoy Your Holiday Wherever You Are,

PS - If you are not enjoying a Holiday today, please tell your boss that I said it is OK for you to take a day for yourself with pay. If they have a problem with that, they can email me and I'll give 'em what for about the value of your work and how they really don't want to piss you off because they don't know what I know about how crazy dangerous you are.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #12: A Startlingly Common Question

I've generally stopped keeping video of people saying, "Is that a helmet cam?", because it happens once a week or so and is no longer novel to me. This one was a little bit more memorable than most others because it startled me and was just a little funnier somehow, so I kept it to show to you now.


Have super weekends everybody!
Yer Pal,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #11: Bike Path Trash Talk

The time: Early May 2013.
The Place: London, Ontario.
The Battle: Hill climbing supremacy.
The Protagonists: Awesome. 

Hey, find your inner Annabelle and have a great weekend!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #10 - D O P E .

"The teens" are right into my middle-aged weirdo bike commuter video thing. I knew it. KNEW IT!

Yer Pal,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #9 - I Am Wan Ming! Do Not Ignore!

People say the darndest things. Which is why this particular series of blog posts exists. The ramifications of shtuff you hear can reach deeply into your life, you know. More on that soon. Right now, let's meet a couple of friendly, high-spirited young men:

I showed this video to my wife, laughed a little, and decided to do a "Things People Say Fridays" post on it (YOU ARE HERE). That should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. It became kind of stuck in my mind. Later I wrote the new catchy phrase next to a cartoon face one of the kids drew on our whiteboard:


Next thing I knew I was using it in conversation (at home only, of course) when I felt that I was not being heard. Try it yourself! Say it with me: I am Wan Ming! Do Not Ignore!

Feels good, right? I mean, don't we all need to feel like Wan Ming, the powerful dude with the bigass bamboo stick once in a while? Using the phrase at home was working for me, stopping cross-talk and getting me the attention I required. It might have helped that I was yelling and had perfected the "Wan Ming crazy eyes"...

Anyway, this new phrase and the very temporary but very powerful alter-ego that went with it was working for me, so much so that I tried using it at work in a joking way. People liked it a lot. They snickered and looked sideways at each other and fidgeted around and said stuff like, "you are one super weird dude". It was awesome. None of my jokes had ever worked before.

With the phrase being so successful in all parts of my life excluding the professional, it was only a matter of time before I tried it out in a more formal setting. Have you ever been required to participate in a conference call? For those of you who have not, a conference call often takes the form of a group of people with a conference (fancy speaker) phone talking to other groups or individuals about something they all have a mutual interest in.

In the many conference calls I have participated in, it is common and almost unavoidable that you feel "talked over" sometimes. This is sometimes because one or more parties on the call are using conventional office half-duplex speaker phones (the fancy conference phones are full duplex*, meaning they can transmit and receive simultaneously) and can't hear your attempts to interject because they are talking at the time. Or, the speaker is just a jerk who won't stop spouting their BS sales jargon, or an egomaniac who can't get enough of her own voice or just a good old rambler who won't shut up. In any case, I was feeling "talked over", and Wan Ming made an appearance.

Of course, everybody else stopped talking. I said what I wanted to say and waited for a response. There was none! It was almost like the other people on the call were sort of stunned and didn't know what to do. I needed to shock them into action and called upon the Grumbear. I figured the combination of the Grumbear and Wan Ming would be impossible to ignore!

I was right, it was impossible to ignore. Sadly, most of the people just took off or hung up and then called my boss. Now I'm in trouble at work. Turns out, my employer doesn't think it is acceptable to take some weird shtuff a kid said, fixate upon it until you create an angry but powerful character in your mind and then try to use it during a business conference call while channeling a construction paper and wool bear who is filled with insane ursine rage. 

I chalk it up to a lack of vision on their part.

* please forgive this little foray into complete nerd land. I couldn't help it. I wish more of us who end up on conference calls understood it. If your workplace has real conference phones, use them and encourage the people you are talking to to use them as well if they can. Huge difference. Much better comm.

PS - Just in case you're new here and are taking me seriously, almost none of the above narrative is true. To see where I crossed from the somewhat true to the completely fictional, find the blue line _______________ above.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #7 - Good Morning!

good morning!
When I bicycle on the paths running along the Thames River here in London Ontario, I often say good morning to those I meet. Not always, though. I'm sure you are familiar with this: When approaching a stranger on foot or on a bike, your gut tells you whether to smile and whether to speak or greet, based on factors like age and gender and other vibes that are largely intangible or unconscious. I probably say good morning to about half of the people I approach. Because I'm on a bicycle rather than on foot, they often don't have enough time to respond; I would say that about one quarter manage to do it in time. I'm working on saying it sooner, but with increased distance comes increased volume, and with increased volume comes increased startle / "you're a freak" assessment factor.

Is it strange that I don't greet people in the same way in the afternoon or evening? Are you the same? I never say "good afternoon" or anything along those lines, or even "Hey" or "How's it goin', eh?". I only greet those I meet in the morning, which I have only just realized. It must be that what optimism and kindness I've got hasn't been stomped out of me yet. Or maybe I'm just tired after work. Let's go with that. It's a little less negative.

On Thursday morning I came across an older guy with an off-leash dog. That doesn't bother me in the least, by the way. If your dog is obedient and predictable, why not? Nicer for the dog, nicer for you, and everybody else should just relax, in my opinion. Unless you are the parent of a baby who smells like bacon. Don't relax then, or ever: If your baby smells like bacon, potential biters are EVERYWHERE and are not limited to dogs, not by a long stretch.

Anyway, that off-leash dog made me slow down more than usual, which is awesome because I recorded the best return "Good Morning!" I have ever received:

That solid, energetic "Good Morning" set the tone for my whole damned day! Thanks, oldish guy! Now, just gotta put in one good day and it's the long Thanksgiving Weekend! Superb.

Yer Pal,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #6 - Sweet!

Unbridled enthusiasm is something in short supply in my world. Just the same, the mic on my helmet cam managed to pick some up the other day:

Thanks, excited dude! You made my day. Have SWEET weekends everybody!

Yer Pal,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #5 - Why The Heck?

As I've often written before, people often comment about the camera on my head. It doesn't usually make me laugh like a goof.

I Strongly Suggest You Laugh Like A Goof Sometime This Weekend! It Feels Good.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #4 - Guess What!

Video says (although not very clearly) it all...  have great weekends everyone.

Yer Pal,

PS - If you're the kind of person who would use some sort of audio software to try to figure it out, you are officially lame. If, on the other hand, the answer turns out to be easy for you just by listening, I am. Either way, somebody's gonna be lame, which is important for the self esteem of everybody else. It's a lose win! 

PPS - I ran across this while posting my youtube thing. Street riding ain't so bad...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #3 On Saturday - The Law

The reason this post is showing up late Saturday night is that I've been trying, without success, to make the youtube vid show up like it does on my desktop. It won't. After a dozen infuriating tries, including some right from scratch, it still goes wrong in the bits about me and London cops. I know things flash too fast and you don't have enough time to read some captions. I've been screwing around with it for two days. I'm done. F(%k It. Now to the originally scheduled post:

I recently posted some pics of myself that included my geeky helmet cam. Cafiend, one of my oldest returning visitors, said "The helmet cam front view looks like a bike cop. If you want a less conspicuous camera, get a Contour. They're more tubular".

Turns out Cafiend, as often happens, was right on the money:

Have Great Weekends, Please.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things People Say Fridays #1

As the title suggests, I'm hoping to present a video clip highlighting the things I (and my camera) hear while on the bike, every Friday if I can and on the odd Friday if I can't.

If brevity is wit, I am often stupid. But not on Things People Say Fridays:

Keep yer ears open and have a great weekend,